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  • Writer's pictureThe LBW Trust

Penny Verdich's Odyssey | Chairing the Education Committee

In 2016, Penny Verdich received an invitation that would change the trajectory of her post-retirement life. As a former teacher and Principal in the NSW Public Education system, her passion for education was unwavering. Little did Penny know that this passion would lead her to join the Board of The LBW Trust and eventually chair the Education Committee.

Penny's initial hesitation was rooted in her lack of experience in tertiary education and education in developing countries. Moreover, the world of boardrooms was uncharted territory for her. However, the prospect of combining her love for education with the allure of cricket made the opportunity too intriguing to pass up. After all, cricket had been an integral part of her life, with a summer diet dominated by Test matches.

Her tenure coincided with David Vaux's role as the Chair, providing her with a visionary guide for The LBW Trust's expansion.

As the head of the Education Committee, Penny delved into understanding each project, working tirelessly to streamline the Annual Reporting system and enhance the measurement of project impact.

Reflecting on her journey, Penny emphasises the valuable lesson that individuals with diverse backgrounds can make significant contributions to boards. While acknowledging the importance of legal and financial expertise, she champions the richness brought by a variety of skills. Her experience as a school Principal, she discovered, offered more than she had initially imagined.

One of the most enlightening aspects of Penny's board service has been learning about the impactful work undertaken by The LBW Trust's partners. Her knowledge of the countries where the trust operates, notably Tanzania and Kenya, deepened through three visits. These trips, made possible by her post-retirement coaching work with Growth Coaching International, allowed her to impart coaching skills to the teams of the trust's project in East Africa, So They Can.

Penny fondly recalls these experiences as "life-altering," emphasising the transformative power of education.

Beyond the projects, Penny cherishes the connections formed with fellow board and committee members. In particular, David Vaux and Mike Coward have been colleagues but also great friends and mentors. The camaraderie within The LBW Trust has fostered an environment of continuous learning where each member contributes a unique perspective.

As Penny contemplates the future, she is uncertain about what lies ahead. However, the skills acquired during her time on the Board have equipped her for potential roles on other boards in the future.

Penny's journey with The LBW Trust has been one of self-discovery, learning, and making a tangible impact on education globally.

As the final overs of her current innings approach, Penny Verdich stands as a testament to the power of passion, adaptability, and lifelong learning in creating meaningful change.

On behalf of The LBW Board, thank you, Penny.

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