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1983

Felicity Melican

inducted 2012 Service

About Felicity Melican

Felicity's primary, secondary and tertiary education were all undertaken in Warrnambool, at St Joseph's, Our Lady Help of Christians, St Ann's College, Warrnambool Institute of Advanced Education (where she obtained a Bachelor of Business) and Deakin University (completing a Graduate Diploma of Education - Secondary). Following six years working in Melbourne at Duesbury's Chartered Accountants, Felicity returned to Warrnambool to complete further study and then joined Sinclair Wilson as an Accountant. She was asked to join the Partnership in 2001 - their first female Partner.

Felicity has given outstanding service to our local community through volunteering her time and expertise to local organisations over many years. Her committee and board involvements (including Heatherlie Homes,
Shipwreck Coast Tourism, Wunta Fiesta, South West Healthcare, South West Institute of TAFE and ten years on the Emmanuel College Board of Management) have been a significant part of Felicity's life. The not-for-profit sector is a significant and extremely important part of our community and Felicity's dedication and generosity has made a difference to the lives of many. Felicity personifies the Emmanuel College mission to "Empower our students to serve and act with compassion and justice as members of Church, local and global communities."

Judith writes: "I had a great school life starting at St Joey's then Our Ladies followed by six years at St Ann's. Our Ladies was a newly opened school but we were actually in the St Joseph's Parish so that should have been our choice of school, but, as was the case in those days the selection of schools came down to the bus route. As I grew up in Wangoom we were limited to one bus that passed our gate and that drove via East Warrnambool into town, our choice was made for us.

My memory of Our Ladies merges into my fairly carefree childhood memories. Growing up on a dairy farm meant a lot of freedom really and the broader community of Wangoom provided a breadth of opportunities that I guess was not available to my compatriots ‘in town'. It's not to be said of course that we were not envious on more than one occasion of our friends who had the benefit on living closer to the ‘action'.

One amazing experience I had in primary school was a grade six excursion to Melbourne. Our teacher, Mr Carrol had moved from St Michael's in North Melbourne to Our Ladies and so the excursion comprised the billeting of us out to the homes of students. I, and a number of other students stayed in commission flats nearby the school, a real eye opener for us all, and for those of us from farms even more so. I remember visiting one of my school friends who was staying in a house, without flooring, just newspapers. Of course we did the usual Melbourne activities but clearest memory for me was opening me up to the fact that not all people live in the same environment or are given the same opportunities. Some time later in that year those St Michael's students came down to Warrnambool, I can only assume their amazement at our life was just as marked.

I have four siblings (three older brothers and a younger sister) and grew up in a fairly conservative Catholic family. In hindsight I realize that I was drawn to a friendship group of those with very similar backgrounds. One thing I now realize is that I was totally oblivious growing up to those around me, in my class, who were in different circumstances, perhaps from a single parent home either from separation or death of a spouse, or perhaps had parents with a different view on life, on family or the Church.

A number of memories are triggered though, the death of parents of two girls I schooled with, having my mother called up to see Sr Philomena for my misbehavior, my closest friend leaving school in what was then called form 4, my complete lack of sporting ability, except maybe tennis which was not a high priority on Miss Bertrand's list of sporting activities (at 46 I still find it difficult to call previous teachers by their first name). I used to love it raining during sports period as we would be limited to activities in the basement, carpet bowls and the like, more my style. I am pretty chuffed that one of my nieces is now rowing under the tutelage of Miss Bertrand, the Melican name may yet be redeemed! One of my best friends at secondary school was Mary Serra, an accomplished sports person so I was happy to bask in her limelight whilst sunning myself near the pig face on the lower oval during sporting meets.

My mother was a school teacher, trained in speech and drama. In 1974 she had the opportunity to travel overseas with her parents and two brothers. With the absolute support of my father, mum was able to do this, quite significant, particularly in those days. She left dad with 5 children at home ages ranging from my sister at five years to my oldest brother aged 14. Dad survived the ordeal with the help of the Wangoom community, my paternal grandmother and his family and my parents' friends. Mum had the experience of her life. My grandfather died not long after their return, something that continues to resonate with me even now. The importance of not putting off today what you may not be able to do tomorrow. Live each day.
On mum's return and with the dairy industry in trouble she needed to return to teaching, which she had, like many of her generation, given up upon her marriage. Again this was fairly significant, my friends mothers did not work and they certainly did not have their mother teaching them, which happened to me on a number of occasions at Our Ladies! Mum was a gifted teacher who loved her work which I am sure had a significant impact on us all growing up, and she has certainly been the most inspirational person in my life, both personally, professionally and from a community aspect. Mum taught until she was 69, and only really retired then so she could spend more time with her grandchildren. She died three weeks later. Mum left a lasting impression on so many students over her 40 years of teaching. In some cases she had taught 3 generations of the one family. Still to this day I have former students or their parents tell me of the positive influence she had on them or their children.

My parents were always involved in some form of community work which I believe was the impetus for all their children involving themselves actively in community groups.

I feel so proud that my primary, secondary and tertiary education were all undertaken in Warrnambool, at St Joseph's, Our Lady Help of Christians, St Ann's, Warrnambool Institute of Advanced Education (where I obtained a Bachelor of Business) and Deakin University (completing a Graduate Diploma of Education (Secondary)). I can honestly say that my education years were the best days of my life, and together with those part time jobs I held during my secondary and tertiary studies, and my parents' strong work ethic, left me in great stead for my career and life beyond education.

Following six wonderful years working in Melbourne at Duesbury's Chartered Accountants I returned to Warrnambool to complete further study and then joined Sinclair Wilson as an Accountant. I was asked to join the Partnership in 2001, their first female Partner. During my professional career, both here and in Melbourne, I have had the opportunity to work with employers, colleagues, staff and most importantly clients who have inspired me both in work practices and personally. I have for the most part loved my work and in a career now spanning some twenty five years feel both a sense of achievement and excitement in what is yet to come."