By Esther Lauaki
Point Cook’s Julie Mason considers herself “very blessed” to have served the Wyndham community for more than two decades.
The principal of Baden Powell College, which includes the Derrimut Heath Primary School campus in Hoppers Crossing and the Tarneit P-9 campus, received an Order of Australia Medal on Sunday for services to the community and to education.
“I feel overwhelmed and very honoured,” Ms Mason told Star Weekly.
“I would attribute this recognition to the opportunities I’ve had.
“The people that you work with in anything you do lift you to heights that you would have never thought possible.”
Ms Mason began her career in Melbourne’s west serving at Derrimut Heath, Glen Ordan and Wyndham Park primary schools.
She will clock up 20 years at Baden Powell College in July.
“From the day I started teaching, I loved it,” Ms Mason said.
“I tell people that for the last 62 years, I’ve gotten up and gone to school.
“Somewhere in the first year of teaching, I had a magic moment, where I knew I’d taught a child something.
“From that moment onwards, I realised that it was such a privilege to do that.
“I believe… innovation, kindness, really caring about kids and wanting to make a difference to their lives, abounds in schools in the west.”
Ms Mason’s commitment to serving the Wyndham community has spanned about 25 years through her involvement with Rotary.
“I think Rotary and education collided for me, in a way, both – among many other others – are about putting in a lot of support, thinking and planning for young people.
“Rotary really does change lives for good, when you connect with Rotary only good ever comes from it.”
Her efforts in both education and community service also earned Ms Mason Wyndham Citizen of the Year in 2016 and Victorian Principal of the Year in 2015.