Parkes Shire Council welcomes Kerryn Jones as Manager Cultural, Education and Library Services

GREAT ASSET: Kerryn Jones brings a wealth of knowledge and years of experience in the education industry to the role of Manager Cultural, Education and Library Services. Photo: Barbara Reeves.
GREAT ASSET: Kerryn Jones brings a wealth of knowledge and years of experience in the education industry to the role of Manager Cultural, Education and Library Services. Photo: Barbara Reeves.

Parkes Shire Council has welcomed its new Manager Cultural, Education and Library Services to the fold.

Kerryn Jones, a former Parkes girl, has taken over the role from Shellie Buckle who finished up in December to move to Far North Queensland with her husband Craig.

Kerryn, who was named South Australian Educational Leader of the Year in 2013, brings with her a wealth of knowledge and years of experience in the education industry.

Along with her sister Deb, Kerryn made the move home to Parkes from South Australia earlier this year to be closer to family.

They are the daughters of well known locals, Marg and Ray Jones.

"It's great to be back in Parkes close to mum and dad, reconnecting with old friends and making new ones," Kerryn said.

"And it's very exciting that I've ended up in this amazing position and working with council."

Kerryn spent her school years at Parkes Public and Parkes High School before studying a Bachelor of Education at The University of Sydney.

She worked in Sydney for 13 years teaching early childhood education, lecturing and running professional learning for teachers all around the state, before moving to Adelaide in 1998.

"Deb was living there, glass blowing at the Jam Factory," Kerryn Said.

"I used to visit her regularly and I thought 'what am I doing living in Sydney? I can actually hear birds here'.

"I could wake up listening to birds, I could get a park fairly close to wherever I wanted to go, whereas in Sydney I was spending all my time thinking about how I was going to get somewhere, where I was going to park, all of those things you worry about in a big city."

Kerryn made the move to Adelaide and started lecturing at the University of South Australia and three different TAFE colleges.

"Then I started working with the Department for Education as a Director of Early Childhood in a preschool," Kerryn said.

"From there I spent three years at Roxby Downs running a preschool - it was while I was there I won the award.

"It was an amazing experience working out in a remote community and being able to try really innovative ways of working, and that was probably part of the reason the leadership award came about."

Kerryn said she loved her time at Roxby Downs.

"It was really lovely living out there in the desert," she said.

"I used to do a country and western radio program called Outback Tracks on Sunday mornings, which I enjoyed.

"A lot of people would ring in with requests, it was a pretty wide-ranging program with a wide scope of what country and western can be."

After her time in Roxby Downs, Kerryn moved back to Adelaide and worked as Early Childhood Leader overseeing childhood services in the western metropolitan area of the city and also out on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands (APY Lands).

"I was travelling to remote Aboriginal communities, going from community to community to support teachers and principals," Kerryn said.

"I worked with the Anangu people to make sure the programs we were delivering were culturally appropriate and responsive, and we also designed educational programs in their home language."

Kerryn said her time on the APY Lands was special.

"I do miss that because I made a lot of connections and friendships out there," she said.

"And the countryside is really stunning, it's not the flat, desert landscape you would think."

Kerryn will oversee the temporary relocation of the library while the renovations and expansions to the current building are undertaken, thanks to the Regional Cultural Fund (State funding as part of the Regional Growth Fund) and from the State Library of NSW (an Infrastructure Grant Program).

"During July we will be moving to Clarinda Street to the shop fronts alongside Discount Daves for 12 months," she said.

"We are really excited to be in the main street - people who don't normally walk past the library will have the opportunity to come in and see what the library has to offer.

"We want to create a space where people can come in, relax and sit and read the paper, read magazines, or read a book.

Kerryn said just as exciting as it will be to be located in a new space in the main street for 12 months, it will be equally as exciting to move back in to a modern and dynamic new library and cultural space after the expansion works are complete.

"We will have facilities to support lifelong learning," she said.

"It will give us more opportunities to expand not just our space, but also the services and programs we are able to provide.

"The Library will need to close during July for us to make the move but we will try to minimise any inconvenience to the community."

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