Shirley Weder (nee Woods)
Upon completion of her studies in 1951, Shirley was offered a student teaching position by then MBC Headmistress, Mrs Drewe and, whilst teaching Year 3 in 1952-53, she studied at night in order to complete her Senior Certificate, before commencing further studies at Kelvin Grove Teachers’ College.
Shirley has maintained active links with the MBC community. She has been a member of the Old Girls’ Association (OGA) for more than 30 years, was for several years the OGA representative to the College Board of Governors and served as a Committee Member on the OGA Executive. In her capacity as the OGA representative to the College Board of Governors she helped to establish the College Heritage Committee, which assisted in the promotion of awareness of College history, the richness of the school’s traditions and the achievements of its community.
Shirley is a long-term supporter of Rotary International and she has worked as a volunteer with Rotary’s Donations in Kind projects, sorting through items of clothing, furniture, medical equipment and other materials to dispatch to developing countries and areas in crisis. On a number of occasions, she has been instrumental in raising awareness about such projects with MBC students and staff and encouraging our involvement in bringing items to school for collection by Rotary. In this way, she has helped to provide a means for students to acquire the attributes of caring and service to the community which are endorsed as qualities of an MBC graduate.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Shirley’s husband worked with Mobil Oil in Zambia, a developing nation in Africa. During this six year posting, Shirley took up volunteer work in Zambian communities, teaching English, Social Education and working to develop school libraries. Shirley and her husband have also worked as members of Rotary’s projects in the Solomon Islands, another developing nation, where she established a library in an area within the Malatai region.
In 2006/07, Shirley and her husband travelled to the Solomon Islands as members of a Rotary aid team. Shirley helped set up school libraries and other educational and community projects and continues to provide this support through the “Kits for Kids” Program. Another area in which Mrs Weder has contributed to the work of Rotary in the community is in its annual commitment to local Australia Day Citizenship ceremonies.
Shirley’s commitment to assisting young people and their wider communities can also be seen in her involvement as a volunteer with the Isolated Students’ Education scheme, through which she has cared for younger children in remote rural communities in Australia, in order to provide respite for their parents in times of hardships such as drought, or the need to travel to settle older children at boarding school or to attend medical treatment.
Shirley’s involvement in the wider community both here and overseas demonstrates that she has upheld the ethos within the College Song with sincerity and, indeed, she has dedicated her hands and skills to service, as the words of the College Hymn exhort us to do.
Shirley was awarded the Moreton Bay College Medal in 2007.
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