What do you do?
I work at the Alpine School at Dinner Plain which is a student leadership program for year nine students from Victorian government schools. We have students from about eight different schools involved each term with the kids living up at Dinner Plain for nine weeks.
How long have you done that?
I’ve worked up there since 2004. I moved to Bright from Canberra where I was a Physical Education and Outdoor Education teacher and youth worker. I started out as an outdoor ed instructor when I was 16 before going on to get a teaching degree about seven or eight years later.
What do kids do at the Alpine School?
The curriculum focuses on personal development and team learning projects sourced from students’ home regions. They do a lot of community project work and team building mixed in with outdoor activities. They do an expedition at the start of term and an exhibition at the end of term while our current group spent some time in Bright last week for a gender camp and also did some mountain biking and played some croquet with the oldies here in town. There are no TVs and no phones, so it’s completely different to what they are used to and is a nice break from mainstream school.
What do you love about the job?
I get to ski during winter, do lots of mountain biking and bushwalking, all things I love. I guess the thing I enjoy most is seeing the kids develop in nine weeks living away from home. Most the learning is outside of class believe it all not, doing the chores, vacuuming the corridors, and living with 45 other people.
You’re also a member of the Bright CFA, how long have you been a volunteer firefighter?
I joined the CFA in 2004. I always wanted to be a fireman or an outdoor education teacher and I got to do both when I moved here. I’ve been in the brigade management team since 2007 and am currently First Lieutenant. We’re always on the look out for new recruits so if people want to join, sign up, we need you.
What else do you do in your spare time?
I’ve got two young kids, Billie who’s nearly 12 and Dot who’s nearly 10, so they keep my wife and I pretty busy. Billie is playing footy this year and played cricket over summer while Dotty is into drama, mountain biking and netball so we spend most weekends going off to those things. I ski on my days off in winter and play some golf with some old boys from the fire brigade. I’m involved with the Alpine Cycling Club too, so I help out when I can with some of their events.