Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall presents Julie Gittoes with the certificate marking her spot on the 2016 NSW Hidden Treasures Honour Roll.
Monday, 6 March 2017
IN smaller towns there aren’t many one-trick ponies – but Guyra’s Julie Gittoes has gone above and beyond, serving the community for decades in several different fields.
In addition to her work as Principal of Bald Blair Public School, Julie has somehow found the time to serve as secretary of the Guyra Lamb and Potato Festival and Tennis Club. All up, this accounts for almost 60 collective years of service in the community – making for a very busy couple of decades.
Julie’s constant contribution has earned her a place on the NSW Hidden Treasures Honour Roll, a state government initiative that highlights the role of women in smaller communities.
The teacher and avid volunteer says she’s always willing to do more.
“I love teaching; I love the Bald Blair community and students. It’s never hard to turn up for work at Bald Blair,” Mrs Gittoes said.
Julie started a homework club after school to help kids get their work done, with extra equipment and assistance if necessary.
“It’s all done, plus they get extra time with computers. To allow the kids to read a book for the second time, it shows tremendous growth,” she said.
Julie is the secretary for the annual Lamb and Potato festival, working for weeks to train volunteers from the community. She trains hundreds of volunteers, who then bring thousands of dollars back into the town.
“I work with 30-odd groups every festival, almost 400 people – that’s a lot of training! It’s for the love of Guyra. The community spirit that you receive from the people – you know it helps businesses, and provides a good boost for the start of the year,” Mrs Gittoes said.
Many people assume she’s paid for her work – but Julie says she needs no recompense.
“It’s a wonderful thing to be able to give your time for your community,” she said.
“It’s an inspiration – it’s run by very few people, and considering what they throw at us we must be mad.”
Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall recently presented Julie with a certificate celebrating her recognition on the Honour Roll.
“Julie has the instant presence to capture and inspire a crowd,” Mr Marshall said.
“Whether it’s through directing the education of primary school students or organising dozens of volunteers for the Guyra Lamb and Potato Festival, people are happy to follow Julie’s lead and get work done.
“In smaller communities, everyone needs to roll up their shirt sleeves and take part. Over decades Julie has worked in spades and ensured others were happy to lend a hand as well.”