Marie Thomas, a much loved and appreciated employee celebrated her retirement recently after 39 years working with TAFE, bringing a fulfilling and interesting career to a gentle finish. Celebrating with a big farewell function at
the Forbes Services Memorial Club on 24 July, Marie looks back on her administration career fondly.
Marie’s first taste of TAFE life came as a 16 year old student when she sat for her Secretarial Certificate before starting her administrative career. Starting at the Parkes TAFE as a typist in June 1976 when she was only 21 years old, Marie was a loyal TAFE employee on the Parkes campus for many years until 1998. “When I first started at the college as a typist I was by myself,” Marie said, “but the college grew quite big.”
When Marie was elevated to a role as Cluster Leader in Customer Service, she became involved with TAFE campuses in Parkes, Forbes, Cowra, Grenfell and Condobolin. For two years during 2007-2008 Marie worked out of Dubbo as the Head of Administration looking after Cobar, Bourke, Brewarrina, Walgett, Lightning Ridge and Coonamble
until coming back to her job at Forbes in 2009. “I chose to go down a few grades so I could come back to Forbes for the lifestyle,” Marie said. “Money is not everything.” “Our focus was on our students, ensuring they had the support they needed to succeed in their chosen career paths.”
“I loved seeing school students come to TAFE and watching them mature, and I loved the people I worked with in TAFE and the family type atmosphere.” “I was very passionate about trainees that came through and very supportive of my staff because you have to value the people that work for you.” “I will miss people a lot. I’ll miss the staff and
interacting with the students. But I’ve earnt my retirement; this is now my time which I’ll share with my family.”