Altona resident and Altona Primary School principal Kevin Enright has retired after two decades at the helm. He speaks with Goya Dmytryshchak.

 

What’s your connection to Hobsons Bay?

 

I was born in Hobsons Bay, in Newport. My mother still lives there, in the family home. So, I went to primary school there, secondary school, and played football locally and cricket locally for Spotswood and Yarraville.

 

What do you like about Altona?

 

What I really like about Altona is obviously the beach. All the local facilities, the cafes and restaurants, and there’s a real sense of community in Hobsons Bay, which I really like.

 

What don’t you like?

 

I really can’t think of anything I don’t like or that I want to change.

 

It’s the end of an era for your teaching career. Can you tell me about how you came to be Altona Primary’s principal?

 

I’ve taught across quite a number of schools across the western suburbs and western region. I was assistant principal at a school which was called Derrimut Heath Primary School but it’s now called Baden Powell College and from there I was lucky enough to apply for the job at Altona Primary and be successful. In those days, it was a much smaller school of just over 200 children and it’s now a very thriving larger school, which offers every single possible opportunity that kids could want, not just in terms of literacy and numeracy but all the other skills of art, music, phys ed and an extremely amazing IT program.

 

What will you miss most?

 

I’ll really miss all the students. We’ve got fabulous students and every day they’ll come up and say hello to you and smile and really engage you in conversation.

I’ll really miss working with the staff there; once again, very committed, highly skilled and just terrific people to work with – inspirational people.

And the community. I mean the families are just brilliant in Altona and I’ve developed a connection with many, many families over the 19, 20 years that I’ve been there. I’ll still have that connection walking around Altona because I live there but it won’t be the same, I suppose.

 

What’s your favourite place to grab a meal or a coffee?

 

I like Pier 71 in Pier Street, which is an Italian restaurant. I really like the food there. I like the staff – they’re very friendly, very efficient. It’s always a really good place to go and it’s authentic Italian cuisine. I love Italy and I love going there and one of the highlights is the food over there and Pier 71 replicates that here in Altona, so that’s fantastic.

I also like Harmony, which is a Vietnamese restaurant right next door, which is really nice too.

 

What does retirement hold for you?

 

I have a couple of grandchildren, so it holds some babysitting. Having time to do the things that I like to do that I maybe haven’t had time to do being principal. And some travel. Just at this stage probably Spain, France, Germany, America, just to name a few.

 

What’s something that people would be surprised to know about you?

 

In my spare time, I like to go down to Ocean Grove and catch waves on my surf ski.