Farewell to our Registrar

It is a significant week for Calrossy Anglican school with our Registar, Miriam Knight, announcing her retirement after 18 years with the School. During that time Miriam has seen Calrossy go through many changes and growth, including the amalgamation with the William Cowper Anglican School. From dust and drought to flood and Coronavirus, Miriam has flown the Calrossy flag proudly.  Here is a quick look at her role and recollections of her time at Calrossy.

Having moved to Tamworth from Wagga Wagga to be closer to family, Miriam commenced in July 2002 with William Cowper Anglican School, as Registrar and PA to both the founding Principal of William Cowper Primary, Mrs Ann Brown and Principal of William Cowper Secondary Boys, Mr Stephen Laurence.  In 2006 William Cowper Anglican school and Calrossy amalgamated and in 2010 Miriam’s role as Registrar expanded to cover both campuses.  In this move Miriam was relocated to “The White House” (now Uniform Shop) on the Brisbane Street Campus to enrol students from Prep to Year 12.  

After almost two decades as Calrossy’s main liaison with new families, it is that connection that Miriam remembers most fondly.

“The connection with families has been the most enjoyable and rewarding aspect of the role of Registrar.  Before school databases, it was possible to record the impending birth of a sibling, thus enrolling “in utero”, then experience the joy of meeting and bringing another family member into the fold,” recalls Miriam.

Other highlights in her time at Calrossy include the Annual WCAS Ball and the dedication of parents and friends.

“The WCAS Annual Ball organised by Sally Prowse, a parent at the time who then became Head of the Health Centre, was an enormous success raising a lot of money for new facilities and resources.  As the beverages continued to flow, the bidding for auction items grew higher and higher.  It was enormous fun and a privilege to be involved in the hugely popular cocktail party auction item, catered for each year by four mothers and the Registrar.  The engagement with parents and families was a very special side of the role on the William Cowper Campus.”

“The Calrossy P & F has always been a dedicated, active group intrinsically involved with the School, with the desire to do whatever it can for the benefit of the students.  We are indeed very fortunate to have such a vibrant parent body.”

The role of Registrar has seen Miriam a mainstay at events and expos across northern NSW, including Ag Quip, Boarding Expos, Tocal Field Days and many more. Once again it is the community and conversation, with new parents, Alumni and current families, that Miriam recollects.

“At the Mudgee Field Days with zero degree starts on a cement floor and an arctic gale tearing down the rows, warmth comes in the form of the joy of engaging with grandparents who, (always there early!), stop by to talk about their grandchildren’s achievements and holiday antics.  Later, the ex-students stroll in with tales of uni life or back on the farm and the careers they have chosen, then stay and reminisce about their time at Calrossy.  New families, tentatively inquiring, become enthusiastic as they learn about all the opportunities not readily available to them in their district. It is a golden opportunity to begin connecting with families who will, hopefully, choose Calrossy for their children.”

“AgQuip can be a drought baked dust bowl smearing a black film across everything, or a pouring rain mud slide or freezing wind blasting through the marquee scattering Prospectuses across to Knox … much to their glee! There was once a moat around the marquee at Tocal and we dug a drainage trench from the site at Casino, then peeled off the layers as the humidity hung in the air.”

“Boarding Expos are a challenging event, sandwiched between expensive Sydney Schools, furtively glancing at their new floodlit three dimensional backdrop and virtual tours glasses.  Then packing up and scrambling for the exit as they speed away in their Landcruisers leaving the Calrossy marketing van in their wake.”

Despite what people might think, Miriam says the camaraderie between Boarding Schools is amazing, with each respecting that they offer something different and unique.

“Education is an area where all are prepared to share and engage, knowing that what each individual entity offers is the choice for individual families.  The close-knit ties of Registrars together with the respect and support for each one’s role, is a special experience.”

Likewise, the close association with Calrossy’s Boarding Office has brought much satisfaction and reward for Miriam, working together to ensure students from outlying areas will be nurtured in a Christian environment and comfortable in their new home.

Sadly, Coronavirus has robbed Miriam of many goodbyes at events this year but we can be sure that families for many years to come will be asking for Mrs Knight when they call Calrossy.

At the end of this term, the time has come for Miriam to now look forward, with much excitement, to the extensive bucket list, seeing more of family and being with her partner, Tim.

In Miriam’s words it will also give her time to look back…at so many things …

“at the good fortune to have had the wonderful association with Calrossy families; 

at the graciousness of academic staff who take the time to welcome prospective families on tours and their passion as they speak about the experiences students will have; 

at the always obliging assistance of Kimlie Burgmann and of Receptionist Trish McPherson;  remembering the Marketing Team jaunts to Boarding Expos and Field Days with Dale Thompson and Alison Annis-Brown;  

reflecting, through the postcards and card table anecdotes, on Principal’s Regional Tours with David and Julie Smith, Michael Wilson and Courtney Coe; 

to have the good fortune to work closely with the exemplary Head of Boarding, Courtney Coe and her team; 

and be eternally grateful for the impeccably professional and supportive Kim Brissett.

Calrossy’s future under the leadership of David Smith will certainly continue to prosper. 

Best wishes to all. ” Miriam

Best wishes to you, Miriam! Thank you for being a valued and dedicated Calrossy team member. Farewell and enjoy your next chapter!