Cheryl on board for 40 years

Cheryl Garrard celebrated 40 years continuous IEU membership in July. Cheryl hasn’t worked in a school since 2014 but maintains her membership for the Union support and access to NESA accredited PD.

The former IEU Rep left her long time jobs at St Michael’s Daceyville and St Bernard’s Botany Primary Schools (she shared her time between the two) to venture into unchartered waters at Sydney Maritime Museum.

She’s on call whenever the museum needs someone to lead an excursion, be it for a preschool or school group, vacation care, university, English language college or conference.

Cheryl has guided tours of nuclear scientists from all over the world around the sailing ship Endeavour and taken 60 excited primary schoolers through the cramped submarine HMAS Onslow.

“You get to learn how tough life as a submariner would be. The Endeavour is not spacious either. People think that everyone was small in the past but it’s not true. Captain Cook was 6'2’’ and Joseph Banks 6'4’’. The Endeavour would have been pretty hard for them.

“When the museum job was advertised it said they wanted someone who wasn’t claustrophobic, didn’t get seasick and didn’t mind dressing up.

“Being a school librarian, I was used to the dressing up bit, and I was okay with the other things.”

Just last week Cheryl took on the guise of a pirate. She must be good at bringing history to life – she’s been asked what it was like to sail on the Titanic, and if she knew Captain Cook.

‘It’s a fun place to work, and there is always something new to learn about. We’ve had exhibits on Shackleton, James Cameron’s Titanic, William Bligh, Pompeii and Ships, Clocks and Stars. I’ve had to research all these. I’m constantly learning, and I love that.”

Cheryl has not ruled out a return to the Catholic classroom in the future, and the 50 year milestone is a possibility, but at the moment she’s happy to stay by the sea.