Territory Stories

Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 17 February 1999



Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 17 February 1999

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Parliamentary Record 14


Debates for 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Wednesday 17 February 1999 and advisory groups throughout Australia. Mr Deputy Speaker, I think the thing about Esme Tyson is that she just goes about her job in a very reasonable, dedicated manner without any fuss and thats what is so attractive and appealing about her. A quote from Esme: If everyone kept to their main aims then any service would stay on track. She has contributed a lot to our community in this very difficult area, an area that most people do not want to get involved in, and has gained the respect of everyone in doing so. The Northern Tenritory government has, in developing the domestic violence strategy over a period of years, demonstrated their commitment in this area and a great deal has been achieved both in the legal area as well as support programs. Esme is one of the people who has been instrumental in making the Northern Territory government strategy such a success. She will commence studying this year for Graduate Diploma in Social Sciences which may eventually lead her out of her coordinators current position into new areas later but her contribution has been recognised and I congratulate her on what she has achieved. Mr ADAMSON(Casuarina): Mr Deputy Speaker, with great regret, I advise members of the death two days ago of David John Caims, a former distinguished administrator of education, who retired from the department in May of 1997. David attended Geelong Teachers College in 1952 and 1953 and taught as an assistant and head teacher in Victorian schools from 1954 to June 1970. David came to the Territory in 1970 as an employee of the South Australian Department of Education and was posted to Larrakeyah Primary School. He quickly rose to the position of deputy head of the school in 1972. The department soon got a taste of the no nonsense straight shooting style for which over the coming years he acquired a reputation. The first official record that gave an inkling of his modus operandi was in a letter he wrote to the director of education within a month of his appointment. David was expressing his appreciation for the house recently provided for him and his family. It says in parts for being audacious enough to come to your office without an appointment and demand to be what I believe to be my rights. I realise now that I did not perhaps show due deference to your position but I am naturally pleased with the end result. David kept his focus on getting good results from his efforts throughout his public service career. In 1973 he joined the Commonwealth Teaching Service and was appointed a band three primary assistant principal. One year later he became the principal at Nakara Primary. David transferred to Moil Primary after Cyclone Tracy. The school was officially known then as North East Darwin Primary as it had to cater for the region during the early stages of the re-building of Darwin. Later in the year, the director commended him for his leadership and the positive manner in which he re-established the school under very difficult circumstances. After another year as principal of Moil Primary, David was appointed principal education adviser for Darwin region, a job he held until the end of 1979. In January 1980 he won a transfer to Alyangula Area School as principal. Here he was back to enjoying what he did best, teaching kids, providing leadership to his colleagues, enjoying a beer and the occasional barbecue with them in the evening. He didnt mind the weekend opportunities to get in some camping and fishing either. Despite occasional forceful pressure from above to return to administrative positions, he managed to remain as principal of Alyangula until the end of 1984. The department and David reached a compromise when he then accepted an appointment as superintendent of East Amhem region. One colleague recalled the impression David made on young students in remote community schools he visited. David was of average height with a stocky build. His most outstanding physical feature was his bald head, which he kept in a shiny state. On his school visits he enjoyed getting down on the floor with the kindergarten and pre-schoolers to share reading lessons with them. Within minutes children would have surrounded him and any shyness was overcome by the appeal of that glowing dome. The kids were the only ones who dared pat and stroke it and did so unceasingly once he was at floor level. By 1987, he had been appointed superintendent primary Darwin north. While in this position he occasionally filled in on an acting basis for the director schools north and deputy secretary schools policy and operations north. Following a permanent appointment in January 1988 as director schools north, he finally won promotion in 1990 as deputy secretary of schools policy and operations north, a position he held until his retirement until May 1997. Legend has it that David played for the Carlton Football Club, but I am not aware of any outstanding sporting achievements he gained as a player here in the Territory. However, he is credited with having being a leading light in the development of the Darwin-wide Primary Schools Football Competition which continues today and still produces players of great promise. Davids friends were always impressed by his carpentry skills which he applied to several houses in 2836