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MCC's 70th Birthday: Our Calligraphy Tutor's Story

MCC’s 70th Birthday: Our Calligraphy Tutor’s Story

The photo above showcases some of the work from Elaine Witton, our talented Caligraphy tutor. From left to right: Beatus – copy of an  11th century initial – 18ct gold leaf, watercolour, Love letters – various lettering styles and printing techniques ,collage, stitching.This piece is currently exhibited at Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre.Food of Love  – wood block print, 18ct gold leaf, lettering in ink and gouache.

This year, we continue to celebrate Macquarie Community College's 70 years of servicing its communities of learners.

The Eastwood Evening College opened its doors in late June 1950. With a commitment to serving the community, an experienced and talented team from the Department of Education created Eastwood Evening College – one of the first to open to enthusiastic local, adult learners seeking to gain skills and knowledge.

The long-term legacy of those dedicated educators lives on. An independent not-for-profit since 1988, MCC extends its reach as a community education provider from 5 campuses across northwestern and western Sydney. Our highly regarded and large range of short courses and full qualifications provide learning and employment pathways for students from all backgrounds and engages us in collaboration with government and other likeminded community organisations and employers.

Seventy years later Macquarie Community College has grown, transformed and adapted its programs and services, and as we have shown in 2020, remains nimble and agile and ready to face any challenge. We look forward to the next 70 years of service.

Elaine's Story – Calligraphy

I started teaching calligraphy, with what was then known as Eastwood Evening College, over 30 years ago. My first classes were held at Eastwood Primary school. The only problem with this venue was that the furniture in the classrooms was suitable for children, not adults. This made it difficult, especially for taller people, to get their knees under the table. I was always grateful when I got a Yr 6 class room.

Over the years my classes have been held in a number of venues in a variety of suburbs. This was especially so for the classes that I held during the day as the school facilities were usually not available. I held classes in scout halls, rooms in a variety of clubs, church halls, a School of Arts, the Parsonage at Top Ryde and in an unused classroom at Carlingford Public School (hard to believe now).

Before Covid, my classes were held in a large hall at Brush Farm House, Eastwood, a perfect venue. I am now teaching on-line classes, via Zoom, and though challenging at times, for myself as well as for my students, it is still a very enjoyable experience. Some of the students have been in my class for more than 10 years.

In the 1992, June Heinrich, CEO of Macquarie Community College, recommended that teachers get a degree in Adult Education. She felt that being an expert in your field would not be enough in the future and that official training in adult learning was essential. Having left school at 15 this was a very daunting thought, but with support from my family I went ahead and enrolled as a mature-age student. I am very pleased and proud that I now have a B. Ed (Adult Education) from UTS. I am very grateful to June as without her encouragement I would not have attempted it.

I really enjoy what I do, being able to teach enthusiastic adults a subject that I love, and I very much appreciate having had such support from the College staff all these years.

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