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Lecturer leaves powerful legacy in NT education

By Katie Weiss

Liz Hagan retires Liz Hagan retires

Veteran university lecturer Liz Hagan is retiring after more than 60 years of service throughout Australia and the Northern Territory.

The highly respected 82-year-old Territorian made the announcement after working as a horticulture lecturer at Charles Darwin University for more than 20 years.

“It is time to move on and let someone else have a go,” Ms Hagan said.

“What I have loved most about this job is the students. They are always great, and the staff are lovely.”

She said she would miss giving students native plant identification tours around Casuarina campus.

Ms Hagan’s exceptional contributions to education in the NT have been acknowledged in NT Parliament.

In 2011, then Education Minister Chris Burns congratulated Ms Hagan and her late husband, Barry Levarde, for their teaching efforts across the Territory, including in remote Indigenous communities.

Ms Hagan became the first female to be accepted into the Ryde School of Horticulture in NSW, after beginning her teaching career in 1953 at Ascham Girls School.

She later accepted a position as Head of Science at the Presbyterian Ladies College in Sydney, where she worked for almost 20 years.

Ms Hagan moved with her late husband to the NT in the early 1990s, where she worked as volunteer tutor at Hayes Creek Roadhouse before she joined CDU.

She is a qualified aerobics instructor and has performed as a dancer with the Polish-Australian Ballet Company.

Ms Hagan said she would miss viewing all the native tropical plants in the NT once she relocated to Sydney, where she would retire.

She said she planned to grow a garden at her new home.