My name is Marian Hobbs.
Recently I have retired from daily timetabled work earning money.
Now i have time to think, to remember, to assess and to argue….and to dream of winning Lotto to pay for the curtains!
So I want to do some of those things on line. I want to share my observations, memories and arguments.
I have had a busy life. Most of my working life was in education, as a secondary school teacher in New Zealand. I held most positions in a secondary school, although I never wrote a timetable! After seven years as a Principal of Avonside Girls’ High school in Christchurch, I entered the New Zealand Parliament as a list MP for the Labour party.
I served in Parliament for twelve years. For six of them I served in the Labour Cabinet. For nine of them I represented the wonderful constituents of Wellington Central. I have been both a list and a constituency MP.
In New Zealand, where the parliament is small in number, Ministers hold a number of portfolios. My main portfolios were Environment, Disarmament, New Zealand Aid ( as Assoc Min of Foreign Affairs), National Library, National Archives. There were some roles in Education, Biosecurity and Justice. The experience in these roles has given me access to ideas and viewpoints that I would not normally have been exposed to. I watch the news with different eyes now.
I want to share my observations with a wider audience. Education is my life work, and once I left the New Zealand Parliament in 2008, I travelled to work in England, to regain my privacy and to reconnect with the community. I worked in two local authorities: Birmingham City and Northamptonshire County. My work involved supporting schools not meeting the goals set by government, joining schools into a support network, preparing a school for being turned forcibly into an academy. In the last two years until I returned home to New Zealand in October 2008, I was headteacher at a secondary school in a market town in one of the counties. There is much I want to share from my English education experience. There are places that I do not want to see New Zealand going.
But while education is my life focus, from helping start a state alternative school without walls ( Four Avenues) when in my twenties…1972…to serving on the committees which wrote the Education Development Plan for NZ in the 1980s..to being a head teacher in the 1990s, I have also involved myself in the peace movement, environmental issues and issues around overseas aid.
So the blogging adventure begins with this my first post.