Issue 3
Monday, 14 March 2016
Charles Darwin University
Celine Ociones (left) and Jade Hatt (right) perform a song and dance routine to farewell Lorna Walker
Celine Ociones (left) and Jade Hatt (right) perform a song and dance routine to farewell Lorna Walker

Lorna takes a bow after 27 years

By Patrick Nelson

Staff at Charles Darwin University have gathered in the Desert Lantern restaurant in Alice Springs to bid a fond farewell to a long-serving colleague who has bowed out gracefully after 27 years of outstanding service.

Student Central officer Lorna Walker said she was leaving with “happy memories”, having had “many fun times” during the generation she worked for Charles Darwin University and its predecessor institutions.

“I will remember CDU as a workplace that allowed you to work hard yet have plenty of fun,” Ms Walker said.

“The balance of being able to do a good job, but also to celebrate, is an important one. It allows for a sense of good will among staff and a good spirit in the work place.”

Ms Walker interacted with hundreds of students in her formal roles as cashier and exam officer, but will be remembered equally for her informal role as the high-energy leader of many spectacular social events, including farewells, birthdays and Christmas functions.

A highlight was winning the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Exceptional Performance by General Staff in 2009.

A colleague wrote at the time: “Lorna has been at the forefront of staff farewells and numerous staff concerts, and has been instrumental in getting staff to participate in concert items. It is one of those things that is not listed on a job description and cannot be measured as such, except for the amount of ‘feel good factor’ that it generates with all staff. In a small campus, this is something that should not be underestimated.”

Ms Walker said the workplace continued to be a place of constant change.

“It’s your capacity to adapt to institutional change, new processes and to different ways of doing things that allows you to endure for a long time,” she said.

But the mother of four adult children, and wife of Bruce, said it was time for a new phase in life.

“If you don’t create the space for life to present new opportunities then change won’t happen, and I think I’m ready for a change.

“I have the energy for a new phase in life, whatever that might be.”

CDU has taken steps to ensure a high level of service is maintained in Student Central while recruitment takes place.