Our last day of the 2009 school year was spent at Nan Tien Temple. I’ve just made the pilgrimage home after a most satisfying day and felt the need to write a blog post about this uplifting, professional experience. I’d highly recommend the temple as a venue for professional learning and (re)growth.

The whole staff gathered this morning, many choosing to greet the day with tai chi led by Reverend You or a walk through the salubrious temple gardens. Our conference, Optimism & Resilience: Thriving as a teacher, administrator, as a learner was all about a holistic approach to school and individual wellbeing.

Dr Kathy Lacey gave a well-received keynote titled, ‘Revive’ which explored the nature of staying physically, emotionally and professionally healthy in the challenging role of being a 21st century educator.

Some good discussion took place following the keynote and into the second session, especially about leadership and mentoring.

A number of colleagues retired today and the school always has staff awards, as voted by the teachers. I felt that we celebrated excellence, past and present, very successfully and gave a great send-off showing heartfelt appreciation of quality work, over many years. Sally Golding and Ian Heffernan have worked at the school for 35 and 37 years respectively, Elizabeth Young since 1992. They have been highly valued colleagues and great assets to the whole community. Michelle Hartcher delivered a great speech, as did Janet O’Brien, who spoke ‘off the cuff’ with great eloquence.

To cap it all off the vegetarian lunch was superb, just superb!

I’d like to thank all my colleagues at Dapto High School for their collegiality and professionalism during 2009. Have a great holiday and a glowing New Year!

I look forward to to 2010 with great anticipation!



  1. On our recent trip to Australia we stopped at the Nan Tien Temple on our way out of Sydney – it was not only a beautiful place, but a very tranquil experience as well. I can’t imagine how special it would be to hold an event there. Your mind just seems to quiet down, if that makes sense.

    And definitely the best vegetarian food I have ever had 🙂

    Happy Holidays!

    • Lizzie

    • 15 years ago

    That sounds absolutely gorgeous – what a way to end a school year. The photos say so much – a place to refresh yourselves and to celebrate together…

    • dskmag

    • 15 years ago

    Darcy, I love that not only did you look for spirit in the SDD, but pitched it as a conference with human values. It struck me that that there is tremendous emotional expenditure. You’ve turn what many see as the doldrums between kids leaving and their own holidays — into something much more.

    My hope for 2010 is that ‘the system’ notices things like this and begins giving employees for more credit and opportunity in lieu of the effort being made.

    Congratulations on all you have achieved this year — moving a supertanker from a constant bearing is a daily challenge and you are achieving it. ‘Grats. Dean

    • darcymoore

    • 15 years ago

    Bethany, Lizzie and Dean,

    Thanks for your comments.

    A number of my colleagues emailed to say how much they enjoyed the venue and conference.

    • Elaine Kirk

    • 14 years ago

    Oh my goodness – I can’t believe I found this blog. Not only to read about a great way to spend the last day of the school year – it sounded fabulous – BUT to read that Ian Heffernan retired. He was one of my favourite teachers when I was at Dapto High School. I wish him every happiness in his retirement. How time flies – I have been teaching now for 30 years myself!

    • Darcy Moore

    • 14 years ago

    Hi Elaine,

    Glad you enjoyed this post from last year. We all had a great end of year by going to the temple and it was especially rewarding for those having their last SDD.

    Ian is doing plent of travelling with his wife and is obviously enjoying his retirement.

      • Elaine Kirk

      • 14 years ago

      Thank you for replying. I’m very glad to hear Ian and his wife are enjoying retirement.
      I must suggest something like Nan Tien for our last day this year!

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