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31 Oct 2023

Meet Michelle Hibbert, Manager, Moe Regional Centre

Michelle Hibbert, Manager, Moe Regional Centre

Michelle Hibbert, Academy Moe Manager

Michelle Hibbert is an experienced mainstream and specialist school principal who has spent most of her education career in the Latrobe Valley. Before joining the Academy, Michelle managed a team in Outer Gippsland, focusing on establishing support for schools in East Gippsland as part of the recovery efforts from 2019-20 eastern summer bushfires.   

In this series, we meet the people running our Academy centres and get to know a little bit about them. 

The best part of my job is… 

Connecting with local Inner Gippsland area school leaders and teachers when they visit our centre to access professional learning. Many of the principals are former colleagues, so it is wonderful to be able to support them in their work.  

What education means to me… 

I believe education is the key to life for many and the provision of quality educational allows individuals to achieve their full potential and opens doors to opportunities.  

One of my fondest memories from working in a school is… 

The staffroom banter was always lots of fun. At my previous school, I worked with a great team who were always looking for ways to incorporate fun and laughter. I have lots of memories related to stories shared in the staffroom, and a few pranks played on one another too. I learnt never to leave my mobile phone on the table unattended as I would find lots of sneaky images of colleagues making faces when I would later look at my photos!  

The best place to get coffee near the Academy Moe centre is… 

That is a hard one as there are a few great coffee places. Rachel Crellin, Ballarat Engagement and Program Officer, will tell you that it is Tommy Brocks but many others say Twenty20. For me, I really love the brewed coffee made with care by Ellie, our centre’s Participant and Program Support Officer. 

My favourite subject at school was… 

I grew up wanting to be a teacher and even played schools with teddies and dolls every day after school. My mum used to listen at the door to find out who had been in trouble with the teacher that day as I would re-enact my day.  

I wouldn’t say I had a favourite subject in primary school. I am not really artistic so give me sport over arts any day. In secondary college, I loved home economics (cooking) and textiles (sewing) but maybe just because we got to eat and use the items we made.  

A teacher who inspired me… 

My year 12 maths teacher was really well organised and persistent in her approach to teaching the class. I never really felt confident with maths, however, she certainly worked to ensure we all had a thorough understanding of the content and knew how to tackle problems. I never remember anyone misbehaving in the class either as we were all so engaged in our learning.  

The programs I am most excited to offer local educators are… 

The Inspire Local Leaders has been one of my favourites so far - the local facilitators program specific to the audience here. We have already received some wonderful feedback about new leadership opportunities the participants have been able to access due to their involvement in the program.  

My connection to the Latrobe Valley region started way back when… 

I attended primary and secondary schooling in the area and actually worked in a number of the schools as both a teacher and a principal as well.  

What I think has improved over the years in the Latrobe Valley is… 

The collaboration between schools has certainly improved which I think is largely driven by the Department of Education Learning Places model and the establishment of well supported Principal Networks. The support the Academy provides to our Network Leaders through the WISE: System Leaders Program is instrumental support to this work.  

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