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What made Kuring-gai special? (It's not just the carpet!)

September 2015

For a quarter of a century, Kuring-gai has been a slice of bush heaven for many at UTS. 

In sharing their fondest memories, few fail to mention the canopy of green outside or the carpet of green inside. But it turns out that its best qualities are its well-developed sense of community and a very hardy school of fish, according to two, long-serving Kuring-gai staff...
 
Tony McDermott, Campus Security Supervisor, Kuring-gai campus
 
“If there is one memory that will stay with me as I continue my working career with UTS, it would be simply the people – those that you share little moments with that either get you through the day or you have a little chuckle about to yourself during the course of your day. I suppose it's all the little things that make a difference.

Kuring-gai campus –  known for its bush setting and acres of green carpet.
Kuring-gai campus –  known for its bush setting and acres of green carpet.
 
“I started at UTS back in 1991, working in the city before I moved to ‘the farm’ in 2000. Actually, it was more like a little community where time moved a little slower, and I wondered whether I would be accepted, not just a work colleague but also as a friend.
 
“After a period of time I won their trust, which was probably easier than I had predicted, thanks to Paddy Parkhill, who took me under his wing. As someone who had been at Kuring-gai for what seemed to be most of his life, he knew everyone and everybody, and if he didn't, whoever it was knew him. This is what made my transition not only easy but a pleasure.   
 
“It's been an absolute pleasure working at Kuring-gai mixing with all the staff in a range of faculties.
 
“And the other fond memory? Well, that would have to the resurrection of the koi following their passing.”
 
Jane Stein-Parbury, Professor of Mental Health Nursing, Faculty of Health
 
“I began working at what was then the Kuring-gai College of Advanced Education in 1986 as a lecturer in the Department of Nursing, left in 1987, then returned again in 1991 as a Senior Lecturer. 
 
“My fondest memory of Kuring-gai was the staff lunch room located next to the fish pond, which became a gathering place for academic and administrative staff from the entire campus, and somewhere you could get to know people from other departments. 
 
"At lunchtime there was barely a spare chair and the lunchtime buzz was great. This built a strong sense of camaraderie and esprit de corps throughout the campus that, to me, became its defining feature. There was a real sense of community and caring. And that included the fish in the pond!”