Trinity Spirit

← ​Coffee & Chat with Marc Nel, Head of Learning - Technology

  • What do you do in your role? I teach across the Middle and Senior schools and am the Head of Learning - Technology, so I oversee the curriculum and resources and manage the staff in the department to ensure the best outcomes for our students.
  • What are your areas of specialisation? Design Technology and Graphics
  • What was your first job? Supermarket cashier
  • How long have you worked? 25 years
  • What’s the most rewarding part of your job? Seeing students learn and develop, not only academically but pastorally too. I value being woven into the tapestry of their journey and it is my hope that in 20 years’ time my name will still pop up in conversations between our alumni as they reflect on their years at Trinity.
  • What are some of your notable previous employers and roles? I completed my engineering training with Nissan in South Africa and worked as a design engineer for the largest industrial fan manufacturer in the world where I specialised in positive displacement blowers.
  • What is your educational background? I completed a Mechanical Engineering diploma when I left school and worked in industry for about 5 years before immigrating to Australia where I studied a Bachelor of Technology Education at Griffith University and have taught in 3 APS (Association of Private Schools) schools over the past 15 years.
  • What specialised skills, knowledge and/or talents do you use in your work? Apart from subject knowledge and pedagogy, people skills are absolutely vital in education and being able to juggle a million tasks at the same time whilst keeping calm and having a sense of humour.
  • What are your most notable work-related achievements and/or awards received? Most of all I value colleague, parent and student emails or notes thanking and commending me more than any awards I have received.
  • What are your interests/hobbies outside of work? I like the outdoors and adventure activities. Recently I was introduced to skiing and absolutely loved it. For the past 4 years we have travelled to the Australian ski fields in Victoria and also spent a month skiing at Big White in Canada.
  • Where were you born? A small town called Mafeking in South Africa which is notable for a famous siege during the Boer War.
  • What is your favourite colour? The colour of the first car I bought for myself was called Moonstone and I absolutely loved that colour, it was a deep blue metallic, I’ll never forget it.
  • What is your favourite song? I don’t have any favourites - anything out of the 80’s.
  • What is your favourite cuisine? Italian food - my late Italian grandmother made the most unbelievable lasagne.
  • If we’re sitting here a year from now celebrating what a great year it’s been for you in this role, what would you say we achieved at Trinity? That we continued to keep our students challenged and our parents happy.
  • When have you been most satisfied in your life? When my child was born; becoming a parent was incredibly satisfying.
  • Who is your role model, and why? Arnold Schwarzenegger - I would like to be Arnie with all his big muscles and no nonsense attitude. I would walk into class and say, “Give me your assignments, DO IT NOOOW!” and all the students would come running up to the desk and hand them in!
  • What do you like to do in your down time? Going to the beach and spending time with family and friends. Watching sports, especially Formula 1 and rugby union.
  • What is your favourite family pastime? We like doing family movie nights together.
  • How did you meet your wife, the love of your life? I went to an all-boys school and my wife went to the sister all-girls school in the same suburb. We met through our church youth group.
  • What do you do to keep busy? Housework and gardening.
  • What things do you not like to do?Housework and gardening.
  • Tell me about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your life? The most recent one that comes to mind is renovating our house. It seems so easy when you hear other people talk about it or watch it on TV but it is quite stressful and difficult. Now that it is done though, I feel a great sense of achievement and pride.
  • Tell us about a time when things didn’t go to plan.The time I told my wife to “trust me” when we were skiing and approaching an unknown section of the slopes.
  • What do you think is the next big thing in ICT? Wearable technology or technology that is integrated somehow into your person, such as microchips.
  • Tell us more about yourself; what else can you share with us? I am the youngest of 3, my parents and sister live in Auckland and my brother lives in Brisbane. I speak fluent Afrikaans and a small amount of Zulu. I play strategy board games with a group of friends once a month. I haven’t checked my Facebook in over 2 months and feel liberated from social media. I don’t own a car but instead cycle to work. When I was 13, I kept snakes as pets, including an Egyptian cobra – what were my parents thinking!?

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