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Welcoming new Head of Junior School

Townsville Grammar School has welcomed Martin Tait to the community this year, as the new Head of Junior School.

Moving from Sydney, Martin and his wife Monika have settled in quickly to the North Queensland lifestyle, describing the local community as very welcoming.

“Everyone says hello here,” laughs Martin. “That was one of the first things we noticed, how openly friendly the people are in Townsville. When we walked The Strand for the first time, just about every person we passed said hello – that’s quite a difference to living in a big city.”

Martin says the appeal of regional Queensland was one of the attractions of the position with Townsville Grammar School.

“We saw the position advertised, and, with our sense of mid-life adventure, it seemed very appealing to move North,” laughs Martin. “On further investigation, we learned more about the School’s reputation and it’s values – which seemed very aligned to my own values as an educational leader. I love the School’s motto – Bonus Intra Melior Exi, which translates to ‘Come in good, go out better’. This really resonates with me, and I am already witnessing this in action across the School, with the underlying mantra, ‘personal best’ – something that all students hear regularly.”

Martin comes to Townsville Grammar School with a wide breadth of experience, having worked at Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School, Sydney Grammar School, and the Avondale Grammar School in Singapore. His most recent position was Principal of Masada College in Sydney. 

“Grammar schools offer a particular style of education, and I am very keen to further strengthen our Junior School offering,” said Martin. “A Grammar education is a broad and liberal education, and the Junior School sets the foundation. The early years have an intensive approach to numeracy and literacy, and from Year 3, students are introduced to specialist programs that lead into the Grammar secondary experience.

“Our Junior School education provides an incredible learning foundation for children. It works exceptionally well, with a continuity of teaching in line with the Grammar commitment to providing an exceptional education.

“The dual-campus situation of the Junior School was also one of the appealing elements of this role. I spend time at both campuses, Annandale and North Shore, engaging with each community, whilst continuing to work on our one-school approach.  

“I am so pleased to see that the values of the School are so evident in daily life. Students are respectful, they are taught to value ‘personal best’, they are encouraged to develop a service-mindset and they are supported in discovering and considering the wider world community. These are the values that we need to fully develop in this generation of children who will become the community and business leaders of our future.”

After enduring two years of intense COVID restrictions in Sydney, heading north almost felt like an escape – until they arrived in Townsville just as the COVID situation ballooned in North Queensland, resulting in a delay to Term 1.  “It’s been an unusual start to the School year, I will say,” laughs Martin. “However, through this, I could very quickly and clearly see the sense of community that exists in our school and in Townsville.

“The people we’ve met so far are genuine and authentic, and Townsville seems like a very tight community. I think that says a great deal about regional communities – people look out for each other and seem to take an interest in others. It’s definitely a more relaxed way of life and we are really embracing everything Townsville and the region has to offer – how wonderful is Magnetic Island!”

The one thing that perhaps will stand in Martin’s way is the fact that he is a Sydney Roosters fan, deep in Cowboys country.  “I’ve already poked the bear,” jokes Martin. “I turned up to School wearing a Roosters face mask and then wore it to our first online assembly. I think our families were too polite to really push back at that point, but I guess at State of Origin time that might be a different matter!”



Compiled by the BDmag editorial team