Reflecting on a Topp career0
A true local living treasure. Lyn Topp has grown up here in Kallangur, attended Kallangur State School as a student, then returned as a staff member to journey a stellar career of over forty years. We sat down with Lyn and asked her a few questions reflecting back on her time at Kallangur State School.
G’day Lyn, thank you for your time to talk with us. Tell us the beginnings of your early life?
My mother started school here when the school opened on the 9th of June 1930. And she was a first day pupil. My sister also came to school here, we went to grade 8 because that was it wasn’t high school yet in those days. Then I went to work had my children, Karen and Des. I started here working as a teacher aide March 1976 and I’ve been here ever since.
Over such a time you would have witnessed much change here at Kallangur State School. Tell us about the change you have seen?
Yes, a great deal of change really. When I came here I wasn’t anywhere near as big. But I do have some photos on the wall that you might like to take to show the size of the school. And when I was here then by the time my children got here. We had eleven hundred students here at the school. And we were one of the two biggest schools in the state. Originally this area was a farming area, and then just pretty much farmers. It’s a change completely. Now obviously because of all the buildings that have gone up and we have a lot more because of all the units and that sort of thing we’ve got much more transient.
Tell us about watching the students growing up, and how it is different from your days as a student here?
We had a big change over the years with children coming and going. When I went to school it pretty much stayed the same. The other thing that I find very interesting is that many of the students who went to school here, their children are now back here. Yes, this area’s been an area where a lot of people have stayed for a long time. But yeah. So we’ve got a lot of children and grandchildren coming here now. The school has changed in some ways, but not in others. We’ve still got a very large number of terrific kids that attend the school. What they learn has evolved over the years. I always find it very interesting comparing when I came to school as a four year old, I was in prep and It was in the last prep class, now they have introduced it again. A lot of the way they taught, things you know like maths and english that you see has changed. When I first started school we had to ride our push bikes to school. The roads were dirt between here to home. We eventually got a school bus. The school bus was a big ute, they put some wooden plank seats down the middle. That’s what we set up to come to school. Eventally we got proper buses and that sort of thing. It’s changed in lots of ways, but in lots of ways it has stayed the same. Back in the 70’s, we had a lot more demountable buildings because of the number of children. They gradually they took them away as they built the new parts of the school. Then when prep came back they built they had to build a whole lot more buildings.
It’s been a long time that you’ve been here at Kallangur State School. So I couldn’t say ‘name one highlighted moment’. I don’t think that would be fair to just name one. So, name a couple of highlights that you’d like to talk about your time here. Even if it’s just a small success.
I think the success is probably parents who are very gracious and appreciate how we treat them here at this school. Just the other day when it was my birthday, a parent came to the administration window and the rest the school staff were singing Happy Birthday to me and she said “oh it’s your birthday!” and so I said oh yes it’s tomorrow. Within an hour she came back with a daughter who’d once attended the school with flowers and chocolates. And that’s the sort of thing that makes me appreciate what I feel that I’ve been appreciated for what I have over the years. This is what I believe is true. You know. It’s these sort of moments that you have to decide, yes, there is some truth in it.
You have been an influence in young people’s lives as a recognised face of Kallangur State School. You have also witnessed their trials and tribulations, to see them return as adults, as parents, seeing the struggles their successes being a part their life story, as well as your story.
Yes that’s true. When I reflect on how many students I would have known at the time there’s been over a thousand students over the time and then 800 students every year. When you think of it like that it is hard to imagine. The thing that I really appreciate is when parents come to the window to pay their bills and I say their child’s name, they are surprised I remember their names. Parents appreciate that sort of thing as well. I’ve always loved coming to work. And it’s a terrific place to work. Yeah, Terrific people. And the great staff over all these years. Really, really great.
In conclusion, are you looking forward to retirement and what are your plans? And, is there anything you wish to say as a passing to Kallangur State School?
Oh I think to continue on with the terrific work done by all staff, and wish all the children the best. To do the best they can. They’re all terrific. We’re going on a holiday. Past that I don’t know. My husband had major heart surgery so we’re just waiting to see how he copes with the holiday. Mum passed away last year at 95 at heart and she’s with us and. So that’s a closed phase. I’m just into the next one now.