Legacy on the doorstep

Pam Dellow can’t leave home without running into one of her former students.

Pam took her first teaching job in the small town of Oberon in 1973, and she’s been a fixture ever since.

Husband Brian was the local vet, so the couple are well known and a community spirited pair, with Pam involved in local arts and craft and tourism.

Pam began teaching in the public system in Oberon and then took a break to raise her three boys. The boys went to St Joseph’s Catholic School, formerly a central school serving K-10, now a primary school.

Pam’s initial involvement with the school was as parent helper and on the P&F, but gradually her involvement grew until she was employed, first for an afternoon, then a day, then two days, until she began a job share that lasted 10 years.

“My partner and I showed that job share really can work,” Pam said.

“I would do three days a week one week and two days a week the next and my partner the same. All the students knew what was going on and we communicated well. My partner is still a great friend.”’

Pam also served as relief primary coordinator, and she got support from the IEU, receiving help with her permanency status, due to this role.

An IEU member for 31 years, Pam said she has always encouraged colleagues to join the Union.

”People need to be in it to get that support and fight for the cause.”

In 2004 Pam finally got her own classroom, and she’s relished teaching the basics, music, arts and craft and getting her students involved in community projects such as Waste to Art.

Pam will be retiring this year after seeing many changes over her four decades in education. She regrets the increasing bureaucracy and believes something has been lost from the teacher/student relationship with the greater emphasis on technology.

Pam may be leaving teaching, but teaching will not be leaving her.

“Every time I go to the hairdresser’s or wherever there they are saying’ 'hello’. I remember all their names,” she said.