The following article was taken from the Brisbane Catholic Education website.
With a country change in mind, BCE teacher Libby Graham left the bustling city of Brisbane for one of their most rural schools - St Joseph's School Gayndah.
Ahead of Queensland World Teachers' Day (Friday 27 October), Libby shared her inspiring journey of how she quickly embraced teaching life in a small country town.
The Prep teacher says she cannot get enough of the regional town she has called home for over four years after initially accepting a six-month role there in 2019.
"I was ready for a complete change and to try something totally different,” Libby says.
“I was instantly struck by the uniqueness of the school community, with only five teachers and four classrooms.
“The close-knit community feels more like a family.
“It is a different way of living out here. I know every student and their family by name, and I have quickly become part of the furniture in our small town.
Libby says she feels like her career at BCE “can lead me anywhere I want to be.”
“BCE has provided me with many opportunities not just to work regionally, but I also recently went to World Youth Day in Portugal,” she says.
“Working in a rural town of less than 2000 people was a stark contrast to seeing more than 1.5 million young Catholics in the city of Lisbon.
“It’s been incredible to see my career lead me to the most unexpected of places.”
Principal Bec O’Connor says Libby has had quite the journey from an urban to a rural teaching setting.
“It’s a testament to the dedication and adventurous spirit that many educators possess as they leave familiar territory to nurture young minds in new and enriching environments,” she says.
Libby herself says any educators considering a country change should “just do it!”
"We would love to have more teachers coming out to the country,” she says.
“If it is in the back of your mind, you should do it, because small towns will give back to you as much as you give to them.
“For me, I love the people, the relaxed lifestyle, and the sense of belonging that makes country living truly special.”
Libby says during COVID-19 the Gayndah community united like never before and staff “stepped up” to check on her while she was isolated from her Brisbane family.
“Our togetherness was a testament to the strong sense of community that defines life in Gayndah,” she added.
BCE employees work in a wide range of teaching and non-teaching roles that support Catholic traditions and contribute to developing socially just young people who embrace sustainability and make positive contributions to the modern world.
Want to belong to something bigger? Click here to apply for a career at BCE.
For more information at St Joseph’s School Gayndah and to enrol click here.
St Joseph’s School teacher Libby Graham reading a book with a student. © Brisbane Catholic Education (2023)