Foundation Studies Literature teacher Neralie Hoadley talks about teaching and her other passions

I have been teaching in Foundation Studies since 1995. In that time I have taught in EAP and Literature over all the intakes we run. I am now teaching Literature in the February Main program and loving my work and my students as much now as twenty years ago.

It is strange to think that when I first started teaching at Trinity, snail mail was the norm and there were only a few thousand web sites in the entire World Wide Web. Now digital modes are standard in teaching and learning and Trinity College Foundation Studies grown from a small, intimate program to a huge, multi-campus undertaking. In spite of these potentially depersonalising factors, it is great be able to continue to teach in a way that emphasises personal connection with my students as individuals.

Over the years I have also had fun with students in Cooking Club, Sweet Treats Club and also Gardening Club. This year we have a very enthusiastic group of gardeners and we are hoping to harvest some rhubarb soon!

Outside of work, I am a nature-lover who enjoys bushwalking. My hiking highlight was in 2010 when I walked 34 days (non-stop and it rained every day) along the Australian Alps Walking Track. This is not really a track so much as a line on a map that runs across the mountains from Walhalla to Canberra. I didn't quite get there but it was an honourable withdrawal due to flooding. My family still tease me about my remarkable ability to break a decade long drought.

Another wonderful experience was visiting the Antarctic in 2011. My grandfather, Arch Hoadley, had participated in Douglas Mawson's 1911 expedition when he was a young geologist. Families of the early expeditioners were invited to join the centenary celebrations by visiting the frozen continent. As it turned out, a huge shelf of sea-ice prevented us from landing at Commonwealth Bay and so I missed visiting Mawson's Hut. Nevertheless, I learnt a great deal about the importance the protection of this region for the health of the whole planet.

As I get older, the preciousness and vulnerability of the natural world has become something I feel acutely. I always encourage my students to get out in nature and learn how to love it. I remind our young ones that adventures are worth having, and that unlike me, they should start before they are 50!

12 May 2016
Category: Foundation Studies