Vale Alannah Stedman

7 September 1969 - 19 July 2015

What can I say about Miss Stedman? Sparkly, smiling, fun and glittery. Alannah started teaching at St Jerome’s Primary Punchbowl in 2009. When I first met Alannah she seemed a quiet person, but, as you got to know her, the layers unfolded and revealed a person that was fun loving, a passionate traveller and a collector of beautiful jewellery.

Miss Stedman was also a wonderful, dedicated teacher, who loved the children in her care. She was a hard working teacher who delivered lessons in a fun and interesting manner. I used to call her Miss Glitter. If the class was doing an art project there would be glitter involved in the production. The classroom carpet would be covered with glitter from one end to the other. She would have glitter in her lovely red hair, on her cheeks and even on the end of her eyelashes.

Miss Stedman was an avid traveller. She had taught for many years in Japan and spoke Japanese very well. Alannah was flexible and eager, she was keen to experience the wonders of Japanese culture and tradition. She loved Japanese art and she kept in touch with many of the colleagues that she taught with. I am sure she loved the beautiful kimonos and Japanese fabrics because she loved colour and beautiful fabric. I loved the way she wore bright pinks, purple and orange. These bright colours enhanced her vibrant personality. About two years ago Miss Stedman, the intrepid traveller, got on a ship and started her travels to Antarctica, that coldest, driest, windiest of continents. She described the amazing ice formations and sheets of floating ice she had observed. She had the most amazing, unforgettable time and met so many interesting people whom she kept in contact with.

I really got to know Alannah when she taught Year 1. Each day, being the Reading Recovery Teacher I had to pick up children from her class. I found her to be hard working, and a caring teacher who only wanted the very best for her class. She would ask me lots of questions about how the children were progressing in their reading and writing. She would often ask me to hear a child read if she was worried about their progress. And yes, I always had to step over her glittery floor. Miss Stedman also worked very diligently as sports coordinator. She was organised, conscientious and carried out this duty with aplomb and a quiet calmness.

And Drumbeat, what can I say? She loved it. It really was her tour de force and passion. The Drumbeat Project inspired her to deliver a program that was fun, creative, inspired self esteem and cooperation, communication, teamwork, community and self belief for all the people involved. She told me that drumming was a healing tool, the drum beat was like a heartbeat and after a drumbeat session she felt wonderful.

Miss Stedman loved the beat of the drum and she certainly liked to dance to her own drum. She was unique, quirky, off centre, unconventional, colorful and sparkly. We can all learn something from her uniqueness. We thank Our Lord for bringing her sparkly presence into our lives. She will be sorely missed.

Margaret Wallace, Reading Recovery Teacher, St Jerome’s Catholic Primary School, Punchbowl.