Mother's Day Out
IN WHAT IS BECOMING A MUCH-ANTICIPATED STAPLE IN THEWOODLEIGH CALENDAR, MUMS, GRANDMAS, AND SPECIAL WOMENFOLK ENJOYED A LEISURELY LONG LUNCH AT MERRICKS GENERAL STORE BACK IN MAY IN CELEBRATION OF MOTHER’S DAY.
During the lunch, guests were treated to a Q & A with two well-respectedand admired Woodleigh alumni; Mel Gleeson, Founder & CEO of Endota Spa, current Woodleigh parent and Woodleigh Board member; and Emma Cleine, Founder & Owner of Lumiere Art & Co, current Woodleigh parent and Leader of the Arts Learning Area.
Through an engaging conversation, Mel and Emma challenged Woodleigh women to take risks, to back themselves, and do something they are passionate about. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us!
MEL GLEESON (1992)
Looking back at my Woodleigh experience as a student, I wasn’t awareof the profound impact the school had on my confidence and outlook on life. This understanding didn’t come until after I finished school, and I could reflect on the learnings and friendships.
The natural environment at Woodleigh provides the setting for deeplearning to occur. Woodleigh is a values-led education, and the three Rs really gave me a solid grounding for life. They cover everything, respect for self, others, and the environment. This is GOLD.
Woodleigh is able to recognise individuals’ strengths and builds on those. It allows for creativity, creative thinking and gives a sense of place and belonging.
Woodleigh is a place where, as a student, you felt safe to not only express who you are but to learn who you are. This changes as you grow through those critical years.
Woodleigh gives you the space to figure it out, try things, fail at things,and win at things, all in a caring environment.
The camps and activities were a highlight. The resilience and life skills you acquire through experiential learning serves you well in the real world.
I am so appreciative of the time I spent a Woodleigh and the friendships I made. They have helped shape me into the person I am today.
EMMA CLEINE (1997)
Why Woodleigh? This question was asked at this year’s Mother’s Day Out. Without hesitation, I knew the answer. Woodleigh isn’t paralysed by its traditions; its values align with my family’s values and, it’s a truly contemporary education.
I started at Woodleigh way back in 1985 in Prep. I’ve come full circle. I had 13 years here as a student and this year is my third as a teacher.
Before I commenced here as a teacher, I decided to scale back my artwork,put our furniture business into hibernation and sell my third business. I also realised that the Mornington Peninsula was my home and I decided to settle into a familiar life for my children. I have embraced that I am a teacher and the ‘Woodleigh way’ has helped me become who I am.
Through my experiences I have realised that my purpose is to encourageyoung people to question, try, succeed, and reinvent, just like my teachers at Woodleigh did for the 13 years I was here. My experiences and education gave a me a unique outlook. Whilst I was not the most consistent student at school, I learned how to persist, be experimental, treat people with respect and apply my love of the environment and culture to everything I do.
I am so lucky to now work and inspire on this beautiful Bunurong / Boon Wurrung land. So, why Woodleigh? I will always have my art practice and I will lean into it again down the track. However, to properly feed my creativity, I need the three R’s. Woodleigh is where I’m supposed to be in this time and place and it feels right.