He’s the smiling face you come to when you need to book a camp venue, buy some textas for your Year 3 class or score a new TV for your classroom. He is Ellenbrook and Beechboro’s Business Manager – David White.
In his 16th year at SCEA, David has seen a lot of action. Students, families, staff all play their part in the respective schools that he manages, but David has made life-long friends along the way – largely because he views his job at SCEA as a calling or a vocation in which he can serve God and really make a positive impact on people’s lives during his time at SCEA.
Growing up in a British family that emigrated to Australia when David was 9, there was always a sense of Church-going and bible studies at home. David joined Westpac Bank (at that time known as the Bank of NSW and then Challenge Bank) straight out of high school and spent 23 years in finance there.
At a time when most bankers are looking to really make a big career move and consolidate their skills in a senior management role, David and his wife felt compelled to serve at Scripture Union where amazing things were happening in numerous mission opportunities. The donations and organizing of last-minute budgets fell to David, who had taken a 60% pay cut to serve the Lord in this capacity.
Why would anyone make a sacrifice like this at that stage of their career?
‘Why not?’ says David with a broad smile that hides what must have been a tough decision at the time. ‘I actually though at the time – how can we stand before God and say that we didn’t help when we had the chance?’
‘We made it work. There were a few sacrifices to make but the miraculous things that I saw at Scripture Union during my time there was absolutely incredible. Donations would come in at the eleventh hour to make things possible, people would come together in very trying circumstances. It was a very special time.”
After nine years of serving at SU, a call from Greg Wells brought David to Ellenbrook in 2005 where he has served as the Business Manager for both Ellenbrook CC and Beechboro CS.
After so many years at SCEA, David values the people element above all other highlights.
“People definitely matter to me. The operational staff that I have worked with have just been fantastic. I’ve never found it hard to work with people who are so dedicated to making our schools great places to learn and grow.”
David counts the $2.5M refit of the Beechboro site as one of his biggest moments for SCEA, from designing the configuration and logistics of the current demountable setup to the eight-week time schedule that was reached with just a few days to spare.
“The City of Swan was very understanding as to what we were trying to achieve and the team worked a lot of weekends over summer to make it happen. That was quite a feat.”
In 2020, David is looking forward to Beechboro seeking a new home just around the corner from its current residence at the Cracovia Club on Marshall Road, Bennett Springs.
“Its really special for the Beechboro community. So many people have worked and prayed for a long time for this to happen.”
As David transitions into retirement over the next couple of years, he hopes that his legacy of serving people and letting the accounting follow will stand his schools in good stead as Ellenbrook enrolments grow and Beechboro branches out into the new communities being built around the new school site.
“I’m excited for SCEA over the next couple of years. It’s a great place for students to come and learn from Christian teachers who are passionate about they do for God!”