Deb Fryer recognised for 40 years of service to Diocese

Deb Fryer (seated centre) with her Wilcannia-Forbes Diocese work colleagues Merindah Wilson (Aboriginal Education Officer); Sharon Ferrari (St Patrick’s Parish Primary Brewarrina); Paul McKay (St Therese’s Community School Wilcannia); and Vicki Bourne-Fallon (St Ignatius Parish Primary School Bourke). Photo contributed

After 40 years of service to the Wilcannia-Forbes Diocese as a teacher, principal and most recently a consultant, local Deb Fryer had decided it’s time to move on.

A very well-known face at St John’s Primary School, Deb started in 1978 as a classroom teacher and for the next 30 years worked as a teacher, librarian and later principal at the school.

Acting Director of Catholic Education for the Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes Mary-Ellen Dempsey recently paid tribute to Deb at a Diocese dinner outlining her long and illustrious career.

“Over 40 years Deb has faithfully responded to the call to serve, demonstrating the gifts and qualities of an outstanding Catholic educator and leader,” Mrs Dempsey said.

“Deb has fulfilled multiple roles during her vocation, serving for over three decades as teacher and school leader at St John’s Parish Primary School, Cobar.

“Most recently, Deb has completed six years working remotely as Schools’ Consultant for the western area, supporting the Catholic schools in Broken Hill, Wilcannia, Cobar, Nyngan, Trangie, Bourke, Brewarrina and Hillston.

“She has contributed significantly to system leadership serving as an inaugural member of the Wilcannia-Forbes Westnet Council in the establishment of a diocesan IT network, and for a number of years was a member of the Diocesan Schools’ Board.

“Deb also established the first co-principalship for the Diocese, and is currently a member of the CEO Leadership Team.”

Mrs Dempsey described Deb as a “dynamic educator” whose focus had been to link the development of effective learning and teaching with contemporary curriculum to provide high quality student learning.

“Deb has championed Aboriginal education and enthusiastically embraced the Stronger Smarter philosophy, leading school teams in its implementation.”

Deb told The Cobar Weekly that she
would very much miss the collegiality of the Wilcannia Forbes Diocese and the many friends and colleagues that she has made
over the past 40 years however she won’t miss the large amounts of travel and nights away from home that were part of her consultant role.

“I am looking forward to spending less time travelling and more time in Cobar catching up with family and friends,” Deb said.

After taking some well-earned long service leave, she will look at work options next