TOP TEACHER: Vi Jorgensen was honoured with an Order of Australia Medal for her service to Ipswich and adult education.
TOP TEACHER: Vi Jorgensen was honoured with an Order of Australia Medal for her service to Ipswich and adult education. Claudia Baxter

Vi recognised for a lifetime of teaching

FROM preschoolers to seniors to inmates at Borallon prison, Vi Jorgensen has taught them all.

The West Ipswich great-grandmother began teaching when she was asked to lead a Sunday school group at age 16 - and has not stopped since.

For more than two decades, Mrs Jorgensen worked at the Bremer Institute of Technical and Further Education to help students develop vital literacy and numeracy skills.

Before that, she led classes in pre-schools, libraries and high schools.

If a student has ever been in need of teaching, Mrs Jorgensen was there to help.

"It's been a very rewarding career," the 82-year-old said.

"Some of my adult students started out almost illiterate have gone onto attain school qualifications and attend university."

One of the most daunting moments in Mrs Jorgensen's career was when she took on the job of teaching prisoners at Borallon prison.

"I was terrified at first but it proved to be a great experience. By teaching some of the prisoners to read and write, it changed their lives for the better."

In her most recent years, Mrs Jorgensen has taken on the role as public liaison officer for the SeniorNet Association.

The group offers training and education in communication and computer skills for seniors and has grown to a membership of 250.

"Computers are a new language which we all have to accept as seniors," she said.

"Just like all my teaching jobs it requires patience."

Mrs Jorgensen is also a representative on the Seniors Consultative Committee for the Ipswich City Council and was on the Ipswich Seniors Literacy Committee for eight years.

She was honoured with an Order of Australia Medal for her service to the Ipswich community and to adult education.



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