Department recognises long-serving staff

Teachers Deborah Patterson and John Oldham are among hundreds of school staff to receive service recognition this year.

Teacher Deborah Patterson is among more than 340 school and corporate staff recognised for reaching service milestones with our department in 2021.

Of the 342 recipients, 174 were recognised for 40 years of service; 119 for 45 years; 40 for 50 years; and nine for 55 years.

Deborah, from Mill Park Heights Primary School, said she had been on a high since being told she would be recognised for 45 years with us.

'It's very nice to be recognised and acknowledged for all the work that you've done in education,' she said.

Deborah said the secret to her longevity was simple.

'You've got to have the knowledge, you've got to have the skills, and above all, you've got to have the passion,' she said. 'Treat every child as if they're your own.'

Karoo Primary School music teacher John Oldham was recognised for 55 years of service and said he still enjoyed teaching.

The key to success was to 'teach to your strengths', he said.

'Look to the opportunities to develop — both the things that you are really good at and the things you could be better at.'

Recognition of service

An official ceremony to honour long-service recipients was to be held in September but unfortunately had to be cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions.

To celebrate and recognise our long-serving staff, we have created a Recognition of Service ceremony web page, featuring:

  • a video message from Deputy Premier and Minister for Education James Merlino, thanking recipients for their enduring dedication to education excellence in Victoria
  • a full list of recipients 
  • a series of videos featuring eight recipients reflecting on their lengthy careers
  • information on eligibility for service recognition.

Our regional offices coordinated service recognition ceremonies for staff marking 35 years of service this year. Recipients receive a personalised Certificate of Recognition and a commemorative booklet.

Find out more

For further information, refer to Recognition of Service ceremony on our website.