Meet A Fairholme Teacher
As she stands with a group of Junior School students on the steps of the old Fairholme Homestead, Belinda Eldridge has little idea of the impact she’s having on their growing imaginations.
“I want you to imagine you have gloves on your hands, you’re waiting for the horse to come up the main drive…”
It’s not until the walk back to their 21st century classroom, that the humble music teacher is made aware of how her lessons are helping to build the Spirit of Fairholme in the next generation.
“Mrs Eldridge?” a Year 4 student taps her on the leg. “I just hate when I step back outside the Homestead and go back to my boring old life.”
There wouldn’t be many students who haven’t, in some way, been involved in the spirit of Belinda Eldridge’s make believe lands. A Music teacher who, for 16 years, has allowed hundreds of students to have their chance to shine, in the Junior School Musical, a Christmas Play or the Choir.
Belinda’s history at Fairholme stretches back further than 16 years though. Her Mother taught here in the 1950s, and Belinda had imagined a life on the Wirra Wirra street grounds ever since.
“I always felt this was special place. I felt I needed to get back to Fairholme early in my Teaching career.”
Belinda applied for a job at the College. A job that had nothing to do with Music, but she was desperate to have a position at Fairholme. She was unsuccessful. But, as luck would have it, a Music Teacher position was presented to her not long after, and the rest is, well, history.
“I think every time I’m with a Kindy class and those little faces are laughing and responding to my music and singing, that for me is a real highlight.”
Somehow, in every Musical she creates, there is a line for every Junior School girl. No one misses out.
“I can think of several girls who have been quite shy, and once they have the chance to hold that microphone and do their part, they shine. That warms my heart.”
This year’s musical will be Belinda’s biggest. She began writing ‘The Spirit of Fairholme’ in December, and when School started back in January, she began the arduous task of sewing costumes.
“I want it to be a really good reflection of the Spirit of Fairholme. The history and the love for this College.”
Believe it or not, occasionally Mrs Eldridge finds time to do the other things she loves.
Spending time with her husband, Simon, cooking in her ‘cottagey’ home, lighting the fire and snuggling up with her pet poodle, Juliette.
“And I love camping. Simon and I take Juliette anywhere that’s within five minutes of a good coffee,” she laughs.
‘The Spirit of Fairholme’ will be presented Monday March 27 at a Matinee performance and evening performance, and again on Tuesday March 28 for an evening performance. Tickets are available online Fairholme Payment Portal ›