Staff Spotlight: Kate Gillam

Kate Gillam joined St Mark's as the Head of Home Economics this year. In a recent interview, it was great to learn more about Kate, the intrepid traveller, particularly her favourite funny student memory! Thanks, Kate, for sharing a little more about you with the St Mark's community!

What made you want to work at St Mark’s?

St Mark’s enjoys an excellent reputation as a School, and the Home Economics Department has for many years achieved significant success in the Food Science and Technology ATAR examinations. I needed a challenge and a change in my career, and the opportunity to be part of the St Mark’s community presented itself. I applied for the position and was successful.

What is it about teaching that drew you in?

When I was at school, I had a fantastic Home Economics teacher. I loved the subject and always wanted to work in the hospitality field or perhaps even be a chef. I did not imagine at the time that I would take on a teaching career, but she was a big influence in my decision to do so.

What was your path to becoming a teacher?

After school, I worked in the office of a large manufacturing industry for five years. Working allowed me to travel a lot and have a great social life. I started an Economics degree part-time at UWA but soon realised this was not for me. As the years passed, I realised that study was the way to a more fulfilling and rewarding career, so I quit my job and went to uni to become a Home Economics teacher.

Any accomplishments you are proud of?

In 2008 and 2009, two students I taught were recipients of the Curriculum Council, Secondary Education Exhibition and Awards: Subject/Course Exhibition, Fabrics, Design and Technology. In my personal life, I have raised two wonderful children.

How would you describe yourself as a teacher?

I have high expectations of myself and my students. I want them to be the best people they can be, see challenges as growth, and believe that anything is possible.

What are your hobbies outside of teaching?

I am the owner of a very naughty but lovable Irish Terrier, Arthur. He is two and lives up to the saying ‘the terrible twos’. He keeps my husband and me very busy.

What’s your favourite travel location you’ve been to, and where do you want to go next?

I seek out beaches. I have sat on the beach in Broome, Bondi, Cairns, Bali, Hawaii, Mexico, California, the Maldives, Sarawak, Corfu, and South of France, to name a few places. But I love to sit on the beach at Falcon Bay, south of Mandurah, where we are lucky enough to have a beach house. My next trips are to Broome in October, followed by Crete and the North of Greece in July 2023.

What’s your favourite meal?

I love so many dishes, so this is hard to single in on. But I guess it would have to be a roast of any sort. I love the flavour of roast meat, beef and pork especially, and all the vegies and trimmings that go with it.

What’s on your bucket list?

I want to buy an inner-city apartment, eat out lots and travel extensively.

What do you love about working at St Mark’s?

The students and friendly staff.

Any funny teaching moments to share?

This year the Year 6 students did an assessment on ‘Super Foods’. Apart from other things, they had to provide an interesting fact about a superfood. One student wrote: ‘Did you know that Miley Cyrus loves avocados so much that she got one permanently inked on her arm — it's green and everything!’

We love it! Thanks for your time Kate!