Farewell for now!

By Dr Siobhan Dennison

2019 was the third official year of the Discovery Voyager program, and my third year with the Discovery Voyager team. I’m both excited and a little sad to say I will be heading off on a different adventure in 2020 – parenthood! My partner, James, and I are expecting a little girl in February, and I’ll be spending the year off navigating this new journey.

The last few years have brought a lot of change for me – switching careers from researcher to educator, moving cities from Sydney to Armidale, and a lot of personal change along the way – I know this next change will probably be my biggest yet.

Since moving to Armidale in 2017 and taking on the role of Program Manager for the Voyager team, I’ve worked with an incredible group of passionate, dedicated and fascinating people, all of whom have taught me so much about so much. Not only does everyone in the team bring different expertise and science disciplines into the mix, but each and every one has a creative and adventurous side – from climbing Mt Kilimanjaro to starting up theatre companies; from sailing tall ships to programming festivals and art installations.

I’m inspired every day to push myself a bit harder, to learn more, create more, and reflect a lot on my own philosophies and approach to doing things.

I’ve felt so lucky to have had the opportunity to travel to so many amazing schools across regional NSW, and meet so many incredible students, teachers and community members along the way. I’ve learned so much about the importance of self-directed exploration and a hands-on approach to learning – getting outside and experiencing the world around you – for the inspiration and education of our children. I’ve been inspired by all of the teachers and support staff in remote schools who work tirelessly and passionately to provide unique educational opportunities to their students, and have been touched by the strength and resilience of these communities in the face of the extreme challenges our regional areas have been confronted with in recent years.

I can’t thank everyone enough for the amazing times I’ve had, lessons learned and challenges tackled. I’ll miss everyone this year, but am so looking forward to the road ahead.

The Voyager has some wonderful things in store for 2020 – I look forward to following their adventures from the wings, and to seeing you all again in 2021!

Siobhan 🙂