March 14th, 2022Principal inducted onto shire honour roll
INSPIRATIONAL Bullarto Primary School principal Joanne Pegg has been inducted onto Hepburn Shire’s Heather Mutimer Honour Roll.
Above, a moment to shine: Jo Pegg, her son, Jack Pegg, and her mother, Elaine Morrison, at the Heather Mutimer Honour Roll celebration last week
At last week’s event celebrating International Women’s Day, Jo was surrounded by family and friends, colleagues, past and present students and their families.
Her work in the school system, a system that often sees children fall through the cracks of mainstream education, her advocacy, her tenacity and determination was recognised through her inclusion on the honour roll.
Jo was featured in The Local last February at the height of Covid. She had moved to the little school on the edge of the forest from the Grampians. While it was assumed she was there to create an exit strategy for the school with four students, Jo had other plans and with the help of a passionate community, the school now has 22 students, and a menagerie of animals.
In the Victorian public school system teachers and principals can no longer freely speak to the media without going through the bureaucratic hoops. Jo will always be the advocate, willing to share her thoughts, fight for the wellbeing of her students, her son and children of all ages, if it means voices are heard.
On the night, Jo spoke about the influence her parents had on her life. Being born with a hand anomaly her parents raised her believing she could do and be anything.
Growing up she witnessed her parents advocate for her every step of the way. When she was stopped from using scissors in kindergarten, and when her Year 9 teacher refusing to teach her typing, Jo’s parents intervened and instilled the power of advocacy. They fought for her when she was too young to have her own voice. Now she’s the voice for many children and their families.
“My parents are the reason I am here. My colleagues, my school community and my parents. If you are a student of mine, I’ll have your back forever.”
One of the themes for this year’s International Women’s Day was Break the Bias. Hepburn Shire Mayor, Tim Drylie, broke the bias in his own way – not only delivering a powerful speech – but actually delivering the speech when it was suggested by a few that it wasn’t his place.
“I take full responsibility for my own biases and recognise the privileges that come my way as a white, able-bodied, heterosexual, Anglo-Saxon middle-aged man,” he said.
“When I asked my daughters what they thought about me giving a speech at an International Women’s Day event they said I shouldn’t do it and I am sure there are some people who would agree with them.
“However, after speaking with several other men and women, I realised that I could be an ally by speaking in solidarity with women and to continue to take proactive and preventative measures to help ‘Break the Bias’ associated with this toxic masculinity.”
Cr Drylie spoke about recently formed group, Safety, Respect, Equity and the work sexual abuse survivor Grace Tame and parliamentary staffer Brittany Higgins are doing. He called on men to stand up in solidarity.
“Call out and break our own biases and refuse to be a part of this toxic masculine identity that pervades the top tiers of government and filters down, and to be better for others,” he said.
“In our own relationships as men we need to look in the mirror and acknowledge our biases, to be honest with ourselves and begin breaking repeated patterns of abuse and control, be it of a physical or emotional nature. We need to understand that healthy relationships are based on respect, good communication, trust, honesty and equality.”
Above, Daylesford College students, from left, Lucy Muscat, Lily Austin and Alice Dennis
Young leaders shine
Lucy Muscat joined fellow Daylesford College students Lily Austin and Alice Dennis at the International Women’s Day celebration last week. Alice and Lucy proudly, passionately and with conviction, made moving speeches of what it means to be able to live in a world where women are celebrated and heard without bias, while Lily sang and played guitar. It was a proud moment for everyone in the audience knowing these three young women are future female leaders.
Words & images: Narelle Groenhout