Lecturer in Education, Kate Osborne, talks life, learning and the Tabor difference
Born and raised in Adelaide’s southern suburbs, Kate Osborne comes from a family with a long history of working in education. Though she shifted schools in her senior years, Kate’s roots in the southern suburbs run deep as she still lives in the area and, before coming to Tabor, that’s where she was working too. But there’s another side to Kate’s story – that of the young woman with a thirst for adventure and a love of the arts that has powerfully shaped her life story, including her passion for teaching.
It was thanks to her secondary school’s IB program that Kate discovered her passion for Italian culture. She explains: “I went overseas on student exchange to Italy, and I ended up continuing my language studies after school and went back and studied there again, only this time in Rome. I love all things Italian. I don’t have any Italian blood or anything like that – I’ve just always been really interested in languages.”
Kate’s love of Italian culture and the arts could have seen her pursue a career in any number of areas, but it was in teaching that she saw a way not only to deepen her passion for these things, but also to share it with others:
“Deep down I always knew that I wanted to be a teacher, but I wanted to try out some other things first. So I studied a Bachelor of Arts at Flinders and I got to study a semester overseas. I majored in Italian and Geography at that point, with a minor in Visual Arts, which later became my third major.”
Returning to the idea of teaching, Kate began a Graduate entry Bachelor of Education (Secondary) at Tabor, continuing to study Art cross-institutionally. Kate says: “My goal was to teach Art and Italian and maybe a bit of humanities as well, and I’ve ended up teaching all of those.” In translating her personal passions into a teaching career, Kate has also come to see how her gifts and abilities have taken on new meaning through her personal commitment to the goals of education. Reflecting on this, she says:
“Teaching is definitely a calling. I’m not sure that you can really do this as a job, I think there would be something missing. It demands a lot of you as a person. You have to constantly be there for other people and really put others first.”
Thankfully, Kate finds balance and support in the form of her husband, Owen, whose passion for science has also led him to work in schools:
“I’m married to a scientist, so we’ve got like the whole ‘art-science’ thing going on. He works in a school as well. Not as a teacher but a Lab Manager. And we have four pets, two dogs, a turtle and a bird. It’s a bit of a madhouse!”
What’s more, Kate’s love of the arts isn’t confined to the classroom. “I love creating art,” she enthuses. “I don’t really stick to any particular medium. I love painting, drawing, sewing, embroidery, clay, whatever, I love everything!” Kate’s diverse interests in this area even led to a successful printmaking exhibition in the McLaren Vale, as part of the 2016 SALA Festival. She also plays the piano!
Kate’s inspiring dedication both to her subject matter and her vocation make her a welcome addition to Tabor’s Faculty of Education. As a former Tabor student and now as a lecturer, Kate has come to recognise the difference Tabor makes to all its students, and especially those who have taken up the call to teach:
“I had the advantage of going somewhere else first and then coming here, so I could experience the difference for myself. I went from being anonymous – a fish in the sea – to being part of a community. I really appreciated the smaller classes and the lecturers knowing me and how I was going, what I was up to in my studies and having a bit of accountability with that.”
While studying Education at Tabor, Kate recalls how the students were challenged to think deeply about who they were and what kind of impact they wanted to have as teachers. She explains, “It was about both developing the craft of teaching and about developing ourselves as people.” Now, as a lecturer, Kate relishes the opportunity to guide the next generation of teachers through that process. She’s also mindful of what a special place Tabor is to work:
“Since working here, I’m even more passionate about Tabor as an institution – to think that what they’re offering is so high calibre and so meaningful and purposeful… And the leadership here – they just make decisions with such integrity.”
Having lived and breathed Italian culture for years, Kate recognises quality when she sees it – the kind of quality that stands the test of time. We like to think she judges Tabor’s success with the same keen eye for quality she has when it comes to Italian food!
“I love pizza and pasta. A margherita pizza is my favourite, when it’s done right – the simplest food is the best, and the best food begins with good-quality ingredients.”