Jude Darby Retires After 35 Years of Faithful Service

Community News Wednesday 19 July 2017

On Friday, 14 July, Hillcrest Christian College honoured one of our longest-serving staff members as she celebrated the start of her retirement with a staff luncheon. Jude Darby has been a faithful member of our Hillcrest community for 35 years, and was one of our founding parents. Jude's son Jonas enrolled as a Prep student at the start the College's first year, of what was formally Gold Coast Christian Community College, situated in the back rooms of Palm Beach Baptist Church, on the Gold Coast Highway.

Like many of our pioneer parents, Jude volunteered around the school, and in the second year of the College’s operation, she was employed as a fulltime staff member. It soon became clear that this would include many and varied tasks including secretary, teacher aide, relief teacher (special areas), and playground duty supervisor (twice a day for 10 years!).

As the College grew, Jude’s responsibilities also expanded. Her roles included purchasing officer, furniture placement coordinator, test paper photocopier, headlice investigator, broken arm splint-maker, library manager (with the help of volunteers before Hillcrest had a librarian), playground duty roster coordinator, instrumental music program coordiantor, Handwriting and Science teacher, assistant to Linda Richmond (our first teacher who is still one of our JLC teachers) in writing the first language program, parent/teacher interview organiser, secondary staff cook, class roll writer (before the days of electronic rolls), student support tutor, and more. Jude also served on the Board of Directors and various other staff committees, and was a part-time Secondary Secretary.

With the establishment of the Hillcrest International Students Department in 2000, Jude became our first ESL Teacher and worked tirelessly to build a program that rigorously supported ESL students in developing their mastery of the English language.

Jude has done so much to serve our College and we will sincerely miss her genuine down-to-earth and caring nature; her no-fuss attitude, her faithful perseverance and inner strength, and her quiet words of encouragement. We wish Jude all the best as she starts the next exciting phase of her life.

Vince Wakefield
Head of Teaching, Learning and Global Education