We acknowledge the Kulin nation as the traditional owners and custodians of this land and pay respect to their elders’ past, present and emerging.
As a proud community at Melbourne Montessori School, we acknowledge and celebrate the incredible contribution of Gay Wales. She arrived and hit the ground running some 10 years ago with long, graceful and swift strides. Rapidly assessing the lay of the land, forging relationships and making her mark. She brought with her an enthusiasm for the Montessori philosophy and made every effort to grow her understanding. She supported the delivery of the method with an unfaltering trust in the staff. Her support and passion for Montessori extends beyond the walls of Melbourne Montessori and through her enthusiasm and pride raised the profile of our humble school (which is not as humble now as it was before she arrived).
Gay, from the beginning, expressed her vision to grow the school and recognised that the knowledge of the Montessori method in Australia needed to spread and expand. She collaborated with Principals across Australia, was involved in the formation of Montessori Schools and Centres Australia (MSCA); she promotes Montessori teacher training, opening our school doors to regular teacher trainees.
Gay’s intractable confidence in the School and the Montessori method drew people in. You only need look at the staff photos, since she arrived, to see how the school has grown exponentially. More staff means there are more students, more students meant there were more buildings… and sometimes a bit of reshuffling!
Gay worked tirelessly to achieve her vision of a “whole school” and the availability of a Montessori experience for more children; a vision shared by many, but it is no mean feat to grow an independent school!
Gay has achieved her vision through determination, integrity and conviction. Of course, she could not have achieved all of this alone, but it was her leadership, vision, dedication, intelligence, eye for beauty, her communication skills and willingness to listen, her problem-solving capacity and her clarity that brings us to this very moment. A time when we reflect on all that the School represents to each one of us involved in the broad and complex community it has become.
With Gay’s expert forethought and planning, and all those who have supported her along the way, she leaves us with beautiful grounds, purposeful and positive learning environments, full classes, and a supportive and peaceful community.
You can walk away from your principalship knowing you are leaving the school in a better place. We are grateful to you for the contribution you have made to the growth and stability of Melbourne Montessori School. Of course, nothing shows your love for the school more than the fact that we embrace your own family in joining our community.
On behalf of the staff, we sincerely thank you and wish you all the best for the future.