If your computer has been working well this term and your photocopier is not malfunctioning, the chances are Wayne Fewster and his team are doing something right. As SCEA’s Head of ICT, Wayne is used to having problems thrown at him every day.
“My joy comes from helping people. I spent 29 years at NewsCorp working in a very large organisation, but I’ve never been a career-orientated guy. To see things working efficiently and effectively, that’s what I live for,” says Wayne, who seems to have a permanent smile on his face and a spring in his step.
Coming from the corporate world and joining SCEA just over a year ago, Wayne knows exactly how to fix anything – “turn it off, turn it on again!”.
Wayne’s easy-going nature and eternal optimism demonstrate an important skill when dealing with people in our Christian organisation – the ability to relate to people and understand their perspective in each situation.
Anyone who spends time with Wayne will see that while his technical knowledge is of a very high level, it is his empathy (the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person) that sets Wayne apart as an excellent leader in his field of computers and technology. Interestingly, it seems that with all that technology can offer us to make our lives easier, empathy is a God-given trait that computers can never recreate for us.
“This is the first time I have worked in a Christian organisation, although I have volunteered in church settings for years.
Every day in conversations there is the opportunity to live your faith in an open and collaborative way,” says Wayne prior to a group meeting with his ICT team at SCEA’s Head Office.
“I was expecting to endure a transition period of 6-12 months before people really accepted me as part of the team, but it was more like six weeks! That’s been the pleasant surprise about working alongside Christians – understanding shared goals and values very early on so that we can work together more effectively.”
Wayne is optimistic about the future for our SCEA schools, having spent his first twelve months assessing each school’s ICT setups and the needs of each site in terms of infrastructure and personnel.
“There is a huge potential within SCEA to genuinely make a difference in the lives of its staff and the families that come to us. Its great to look and see excellent people everywhere who can make Christian education a reality for students – but also families who may not realise all of the great things that our school’s can offer them.”
Wayne knew SCEA before he started working at Head Office. His son attended Kalamunda Christian School (Mike Pitman’s understanding of a Christian community school echoed so strongly with Wayne and his wife that it was a very quick decision) and then went onto Swan Christian College, the Trade Training Centre and now studies Mechatronics at Curtin University.
“The anecdotal stories of families being transformed through a SCEA education really resonates with me. I see this organisation as being very impactful in the lives of young people and their families. Its exciting to be just a small part of equipping our teachers and our schools to be able to do their jobs well. Its absolutely ‘Kingdom Work’ in my opinion.”
The Fewsters attend Parkerville Baptist Church (with some other SCEA families) and when Wayne is not setting up complicated servers and working at SCEA, you may see him with his Olympus camera taking photographs of coastal landscapes or bushland scenes in the Perth Hills.
“I love a temperate day in nature, just looking for the perfect angle of flora and fauna. The process is sometimes more important than the actual result for me.
Seeing creation interact and trying to capture this in front of my eyes – there is a real joy in this.”
If you see Wayne around your school in the near future, be sure to give him a wave a let him know that he needs to turn down his socks - they are too loud!