When Mrs Erin Vallance signed up to do a day’s work as a Receptionist at the front desk of Swan Christian College in May of 2008, she thought it was just a case of ‘helping out for a little while’ and ‘taking a break from her corporate life’ at one of Australia’s top four banks.
“My kids were at the school, and it made good sense at the time,” says the Accounts Assistant from her cosy office on a sunny Wednesday afternoon.
Fast forward fourteen years later, and Erin Vallance is a stalwart of SCEA and almost due for her second long service!
Erin began her working career in the finance sector and loved the positive aspects of retail banking:
“I loved helping people with financial problems, but the sales aspect was not for me. At Swan, I get to assist parents and staff without having to sell any products. Perfect!”
Erin’s personal brand is her surname – Vallance. There have been Vallance’s in Swan for twenty years as students and staff. Mr Joel Vallance (nephew) has carved out a reputation as a Head of Pastoral Care at Southern Hills, where he works with cousin Ms Esther Vallance (niece from another Vallance family) in the Primary Area there.
Erin’s children have been the beneficiaries of a Swan education, with son Riley attending a mission trip to the Philippines and Tarryn visiting Cambodia as part of Mr Ray Hockley’s Missions drive during his time at the College.
“They made life-long friendships during their time at Swan. Riley is now a mechanic after his time in the Swan Trade Training Centre. Tarryn is a nurse now. Jack, our eldest, is teaching karate and working in youth leadership. They are all active in their pursuits due to excellent teachers and a thriving community here.”
When asked about the highlights of her time in Swan, it is the philanthropic efforts that come to mind for Erin.
“One year, I taught the trade students how to make scones for Mother’s Day. Another time we took a mission trip to Zambia, I met my sponsor child there. These experiences are life-changing, and I am thankful to have been a part of Swan for all these years.”
How does a long-time staffer view the world of Swan in this new, post-COVID era?
“I feel like Swan is definitely moving into a new chapter now. What we are trying to achieve as an educational offering is exciting,” says Erin.
“I occasionally help the Canteen staff out on the till at lunchtime, and I love seeing the students happy and enjoying their day.”
While some may categorize Erin as a ‘bill-payer’ or the ‘person who chases up the Accounts’, it’s clear that she is much more than just dollars and cents.
“I love being a part of the Swan community because I genuinely feel that we are part of people’s lives, and we are making a positive difference for families in this region.”