Saturday, January 29, 2011

Dr Quake's Chronicles Volume 7, Issue 3

Greetings from Wellington.

Dr Crumble and I enjoyed a fab dinner on Friday night at Logan Brown – one of the swisher restaurants in Windy Wellington. We were celebrating Neil’s last day at the Retail Institute. This means that on Monday morning I will have to remember that he is unemployed and stir myself out of bed to be on time for work. While he may well consult/do some contract writing for them in the coming weeks, for the moment at least he is a gentleman of leisure.

Actually it was a double celebration. I tendered my resignation from my role at Chilton at the start of December and with the company of my Board, have been sitting on the information for nearly two months. I announced my decision to staff at the first staff meeting, held on Wednesday and parents / caregivers were advised in writing in Thursday’s post. I had been hanging in my straps a bit. It is good to be out in the open.

I have a 6 month notice period but in discussions with the Board across December and January we have agreed that I will take some of my accrued annual leave during the notice period and that my last day will be Monday 11 April. An odd day perhaps, but it separates farewells from the Easter Services on Thursday 14 and Friday 15 April and conveniently coincides with the scheduling of the usual weekly Principal’s Assembly. Efficient and no fuss.

In anticipation of likely questions some of you might have…

Why – where has my decision come from? My sabbatical leave last year gave me the time and space to reflect on the things that really matter. My experiences here and across the Ditch in recent years have taught me powerfully that life is short and relationships matter very much. I have been reminded of who I am and what I value. My mother’s very dear sister Edith died in December 2009 and her remaining sister Lucy died in December 2010. My cousin Peter was murdered not long after our return from overseas. The long-term partner of a very dear friend of Neil and mine dropped dead totally unexpectedly during fourth term. In this context the facts that Mary de Araugo turns 95 on her next birthday and Neil, who was fifteen years older than me when we were married and unsurprisingly is still fifteen years older than me, is not far off approaching his 70th birthday have confronted me over the course of the year in 2010. Thus, compelling personal reasons have led me inexorably to a turning point after having completed six years as Principal of Chilton Saint James School.

Crumble and I intend to return to Australia to be closer to family and in particular, to my mother. We will base ourselves in Melbourne in the first instance and see what happens after that. I anticipate that we will be back in Melbourne by the end of April and maybe sooner.

I have had to overcome my terror of an immediate future without a job. Now that I have moved beyond fear, I actually feel quite liberated - I am still grappling with the question of what I want to do when I grow up! I have enrolled in the Experience Bank Program with Leadership Victoria – a program targeted at people like me in the 45 + age bracket and with substantial leadership experience already. I hope to meet a lot of interesting people through this and with luck, my future employer. I am not ready not to work but do realize that picking up a job may take some time.

That’s all for now from

Dr Quake & Dr Crumble

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