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Staff Stories: Aaron Richard

BA, BSc, Grad Dip Ed

Aaron Richard is a country boy with the most worldly of vocabularies. 

Mentone Grammar Head of Languages, Aaron Richard, grew up in the country near Stratford, Gippsland where he attended a one-room primary school in the bush and rode horses through the hills. Although his childhood reads like a passage from a Banjo Patterson poem, he also did regular kid things like football and hockey.  

“My favourite thing at school was playing music. I was in various ensembles and rehearsing almost every day after school. I also spent a lot of my spare time playing with a community band in Sale,” Aaron said.

When he was 17, Aaron decided to move away from home – in a big way. He packed up his bags and relocated to Germany for a year on exchange, where he enjoyed flexing his foreign language skills in a native environment. Aaron found the process of learning new languages much like learning music, and he was hooked. Today, if you press him, he will humbly confess that he can speak five languages.  

Like many of us, Aaron has enjoyed a diverse and winding career path which has gifted him life experience and character. Over his career, Aaron has worked as a rehearsal pianist for theatre groups and taught private music lessons - but he has also unloaded shipping containers and work as a filing clerk for Chubb Security. As a young creative, staying organised and completing tasks was a challenge for Aaron so his time as a clerk was short-lived. “It remains the most tedious work I’ve ever done,” laughs Aaron. 

Aaron completed a Science degree in Genetics, and although he enjoyed his studies, he couldn’t see himself working in a lab. He set out on a seemingly impossible journey to find a profession where he could combine all of the things he loved: music, science, languages and learning.

“All of a sudden, it was obvious,” Aaron said. "I needed to become a teacher."

Aaron was on his way to study a course in Berlin when Mentone Grammar called to offer him a job. “I signed the contract at the airport!” 

Aaron has enjoyed a relatively 'straight patch' in his career path ever since joining our School back in 2005. “What I love most about Mentone Grammar is the people – great colleagues and great students.”

As the father of three, Aaron now keeps busy with his favourite hobby of all, his family. Although he still manages to squeeze in playing sousaphone with renowned jazz band, Jules Boult & the Redeemers. 

His advice to his younger self is ‘not to worry about the past and focus on the future’ –  and what a future young Aaron had ahead of him!

Author: Deborah Callahan

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