Reverend Mary Eseli is taking a well-learned retirement after making an enormous contribution to the Cape York community.
Mary spent three decades educating and caring for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the Northern Peninsula Area.
Her dedicated service, which started in 1985, was recognised with a special ceremony earlier this month at the Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council.
Mary’s career in education encompassed classes throughout the primary school years as well as teaching cultural studies and traditional Indigenous language. However, her main focus was early childhood.
Most recently Mary taught the pre-prep program at the Reverand Canon Francis Bowie Early Learning Centre, which is part of the Northern Peninsula Area College’s Injinoo campus.
There were numerous tributes for Mary in her retirement.
She was hailed as a strong advocate for education; a source of great support for students and their families; a voice for the community, Elders and the NPA campus; and a respected individual regarding cultural protocols and practice.
Mary’s teaching qualifications and experience were greatly assisted by her participation in RATEP – a teacher education support program designed to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students undertake higher education study.
NPA Head of Campus Gaye Lovelock said Mary was a passionate believer in the importance of education and the Cape York community has greatly benefited from her dynamism and commitment.
“Mary will be sadly missed for her wisdom, patience, kindness and infinite advocacy for children,” Gaye said.