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People of Cessnock is a blog by local resident, Rebecca Murray. The project seeks to value the people of her home town by sharing their stories value and raising the profile of people living outside metropolitan areas.

Forty-Six: Part 2

Forty-Six: Part 2

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“Well, growing up, my dream was to work outdoors or with animals - or both - but I’m really allergic to horses and hay and all that stuff. I have two dogs but I sneeze if I cuddle them too much. Also, I realised how competitive it is. Like, if I was going to be really serious about Zoology I’d have to be extremely good at it and probably move somewhere really far away.

So, one day, people came to our school to talk about Avondale Collage and there was a pamphlet about primary teaching. And on the front of the pamphlet was a person with long curly hair teaching with this puppet and I thought, “Well, that looks fun”. But it didn’t really hit me until I got to Avondale that it was also going to be a lot of public speaking.

Growing up, I was terrified of public speaking. I had the palm cards shaking so much that you couldn’t read them. I’d just be anxious and nauseous and I’d get sweat underneath my eyes. I’d be trying to read my palm cards and the sweat would be in the way of me trying to read. But the Uni I went to was small and family orientated and they helped me conquer that. And I realised once I stopped being scared that, “Oh, I’m actually really good at this.”

At the time it probably didn’t sink in so much but, in hindsight, completing my degree and securing a good job is probably one of my proudest achievements. I found out later that my grandma had wanted to be a primary teacher but she was caring for her mother who was unwell; she cared for her, for her whole life. And to be a teacher you had to go away to training college and she couldn’t be away from her mum for that long. And so, she didn’t do it. And then my mum had also wanted to be a teacher and for some reason she couldn’t’ do it either. So, I’m like the third generation who is like, “Oh, yeah. Teaching would be fun.” And then I’m the one who actually went and did it.

So, I feel proud of that. In hindsight. Yeah.”

Forty-Six: Part 3

Forty-Six: Part 3

Forty-Six: Part 1

Forty-Six: Part 1