A special message from Stu:
Hello everyone … some news for you all. To those new parents I have yet to meet, my name is Stu Cooper and I have been a teacher at Richmond Primary School since 1977. (Yes, really!) I was a class teacher until 2002, when I took on the roles of Physical Education and Performing Arts specialist. Since 2014 I have concentrated solely on Performing Arts. My contract expires in December this year, and I will not be reapplying for the position.
To most of you this will not be unexpected, not after a stay of 43 years! To put that into perspective: when I first walked in the front door (of the old Brighton St building) in February 1977:
- Malcolm Fraser was still Prime minister and hadn’t yet defeated Gough Whitlam for the second time; Jimmy Carter was US President; six presidents would follow him.
- Holden was still making Kingswoods – there was no such thing as a Commodore;
- All four Beatles were still alive, and Elvis still had eight months to live;
- Tim Watson was 15 and hadn’t yet played his first game for Essendon;
- Greg Chappell was captain of the Australian cricket team that was being paid peanuts by
the ACB. (No-one had really heard of Kerry Packer except those he hired and fired);
- The SEC (State Electricity Commission) and Gas & Fuel Corporation were in charge of
those energy sources, long before privatisation;
- Madonna, Prince and Dire Straits hadn’t yet made a record, George Miller hadn’t made
the first ‘Mad Max’ movie and Bon Scott would be front man for AC/DC for four
- The current school building was only a brick shell. My classroom in the old one was where the western basketball tower is now.
That’s enough history … I’m sure you’ve got the picture. A long time, a lot of water under the
bridge. Thousands of children have come and gone. Most are parents now, some may even
be grandparents. I’ve seen our school change beyond recognition, going through high points
and crises (it was nearly closed in the mid-1990s), and not one of those 42 years was the
same as any of the others. Every year brought new ideas, challenges and opportunities to
exercise the imagination.
I’ve been privileged to have worked with dozens of fine colleagues and formed friendships
with so many parents during my time at this great little school. Making the call to stop at last
wasn’t done lightly, but the time is right. So, I look forward to throwing myself into year 43
and finishing this amazing learning journey with your children, before opening a new chapter
in 2020. Stu Cooper