Heidi Hardaker

Having an impact in the everyday things

Chicken cheese nuggets from the canteen, marbles and footy cards in the playground, and bouncing along to ‘I would walk 500 miles’ during aerobics with Mrs Pearson. These were a few of Heidi Hardaker’s favourite things during her time at St Edwards Primary School.

Heidi was a student at St Ed’s from 1988 – 1994, and we suspect her time must have been positive, because more than 25 years later, she hasn’t strayed too far. After completing her Degree in Primary Education and a Masters in Theology, Heidi went on to become, you guessed it, a teacher.

“I chose to become a teacher because I love kids!” says Heidi.

“I also loved my time at school, at both primary and secondary. I witnessed the way that teachers can first-hand influence kids every day – building up their emotional, social and physical well-being, as well as their academic knowledge. It was all about the relationships and the kids, seeing their progress, as well as being that person they know they can trust and rely on.”

Heidi has moved on from the classroom to become K-6 Sport Coordinator for the Catholic Schools Office in Armidale, looking after more than 40 schools in the Diocese, but she says that even though her ‘every day’ now has more of a sporting focus, she still gets to build relationships.

Heidi can recall many of her own experiences as a sporty student – mentioning Sydney Netball Trips with Mrs Long and Mrs D (mostly for the games, but the shopping and super coach didn’t hurt!). She also recalls the famous ‘Comets’ netball team, coached by Mrs Pauline Long, who were undefeated from Kindergarten to Year 6, and went on to play together until year 12!

‘We are all still great mates 20 years later. It really showcases the importance of sport for kids and the many benefits it has for little people’, Heidi says.

‘I love to watch students grow, and now I just get to see their skills play out on the field or court rather than the classroom.’

We’re all grateful to Heidi for the time and effort she puts in with so many students, and of course, to the many teachers who put her on this path. If a life is most important in the ‘everyday’ impact it has on others, then Heidi has certainly made hers count.