Long-serving horticulture lecturer Liz Hagan was the toast of Charles Darwin University’s Casuarina campus today [2 Nov] in a surprise celebration to mark her long career in education.
Born to teach, Liz has been involved in education for more than 40 years, including the past 21 years at CDU.
She came to the Territory with husband Barry to serve as a volunteer tutor at Hayes Creek Roadhouse in the early 1990s. Within a short period of time she was offered a tutoring position in horticulture at the Northern Territory University (now CDU).
She began her teaching career in 1953 in Sydney at Ascham Girls School, the same school at which she was a student in the 1930s and ’40s. Later, while on leave to have three children, she decided to enrol in a Horticulture Certificate Course at Ryde School of Horticulture, so she could better manage her garden.
She was initially refused admittance on the grounds that “horticulture was man’s work”, although this was reversed and Liz went on to complete the course with high marks.
Liz was invited to teach at Ryde School of Horticulture, which she did until offered a job as a science teacher at the Presbyterian Ladies College in Sydney – by head mistress Dr Freda Whitlam, sister of former Prime Minister Gough. Liz served as Head of Science at that prestigious institution for nearly 20 years.
Liz has maintained sound levels of fitness and health by keeping active and interested in a variety of pursuits. She played tennis into her late 70s and currently participates with the Sing Australia group in Parap each week.
The grandmother of five is a qualified aerobics instructor and a committee member of the Open Gardens Australian NT. She is a contributor to a tropical horticulture magazine and has judged the NT Government’s Garden competition and the horticulture section at the annual Tropical Garden Spectacular.
Liz is highly respected by staff and students alike as a consummate professional who invests high levels of energy and enthusiasm into her work.