Welcoming Lesley Nation as Head of Visual Arts

Can you tell us what your teaching journey has looked like so far? Which schools have you taught at?

My teaching journey began as an art educator, and full-time positions were very limited and competitive. I started my career in Geraldton at the grammar school, where I had the opportunity to work with Jenni Winterbottom, an incredible visual art educator and a champion for excellence. After a year, I moved back to Perth and taught at St Stephen’s School for 14 years and again I had the advantage of working with incredible women who inspired me to pursue my own love of leadership. I am delighted to be joining the team at Santa Maria College this year.

What is something surprising that people may not know about you?

I spend way too much time in the gym and love powerlifting. I have completed a couple of novice competitions and I hope to participate in my first official competition in 2024. I also used to play competitive polocrosse but haven’t had the chance to play since having my two children, but horse riding is still something I try to make time for.

What inspired you to apply for the Head of Visual Arts position at Santa Maria?

Growing up in Ireland and attending all girls’ Catholic schools with nuns at the heart of the school inspired me with the desire to teach in a similar environment. So, when the opportunity arose to apply for the position of Head of Visual Arts at Santa Maria College, I knew it was the perfect fit for me.

Who is your favourite artist and why?

Picking a favourite artist can be challenging because my preferences have changed with moods and times. Nevertheless, I’m drawn to the hyper-realistic style of Robin Eley, and I’m also passionate about supporting local artists. I’ve collected works from talented artists like Rachelle Dusting, Sid Pattni, and wildlife photographer Harman Heer. Furthermore, I admire female artists who have overcome obstacles and made a significant impact in a male-dominated industry. Although at the heart of it, I find the work of our students and alumni the most exciting and engaging.

Has there been anyone who has inspired you throughout your career, or during your own time at school?

Throughout my career and my time at school, my family has been a great inspiration to me. Additionally, I’ve been fortunate to work with incredible mentors and colleagues who have inspired me to pursue my own love of leadership and creativity.

What are you most excited to bring to the role of Head of Visual Arts this year?

I’m thrilled about the potential impact that Santa Maria and its students will have on my teaching journey. It’s an honour to work at a school that has a legacy of producing empowered, creative, and resilient women. I’m excited to discover my role within this community and contribute to its culture of excellence by advocating for innovation and creativity. As Head of Visual Arts, I aim to inspire and challenge the students to develop their artistic talents, achieve their goals, and make a difference in the world.

Thank you, Lesley. We can’t wait to see what the year ahead holds for Visual Arts at the College. 

What A Term! So Many Opportunities – Jennifer Oaten

As I look back on the past nine weeks, I am so grateful for who we are as a community and what we have achieved. Through the dedication of our staff and the enthusiasm of our students, we have established new connections, immersed ourselves in opportunities and worked through challenges.

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