New role for Trinity doyenne

New role for Trinity doyenne

Three decades in Headmaster’s office 

“There has never been a morning when I’ve woken up and wished I didn’t have to go to School.” 

How many people can echo the words of Deb Xuereb after 32 years in a job? 

Her role as Headmaster’s secretary has come to an end, but she is not lost to Trinity. 

After working with three leaders since 1991 – Rod West for five years, Milton Cujes for 21 years and Tim Bowden for six – she has moved to a new part-time post in Marketing and Communications.

 “I love being at Trinity,” she said. “It’s a beautiful, dynamic environment, and you’re seeing fabulous boys develop into the generations that take us forward. It’s very heartening.” 

Her most uplifting moments have come when members of the public contact the School with “bouquets instead of brickbats”. 

A recent example was when a man emailed the School to express his admiration for a large group of Trinity cross-country runners he encountered in Enfield. 

The man was leading his four-year-old daughter on her bike on a footpath near a park; the Trinity boys not only cleared the path but formed a guard of honour and clapped the delighted child through. 

“That fills my heart with joy. It means if nothing else we are teaching these boys to think of other people.” 

During her three decades in the Headmaster’s office there have been dark moments to face, too – the 1994 shooting murder of Trinity mum Toula Soravia in front of her teenage son at Summer Hill; the 1995 stabbing murder of 16-year-old student Peter Savage in Lidcombe; historic sexual abuse in 2000 which became the subject of a Royal Commission. 

“The actions of a few were visited on many. Everyone here was impacted,” she said of the Commission. 

“In an environment the size of Trinity it’s a microcosm of society; you expect there will be problems and just come to terms with that. 

“If something happens in the wider community it will happen here despite our best endeavours. 

“When you’re on the front line you’ve got to deal with situations as you see them. You’ve got to be on your toes all the time.” 

Her job over the years entailed “anything and everything”. 

“That’s what made it such a terrific job. I was never bored. No two days were ever the same.” 

The sight of Mrs Xuereb with her dog Smudge was a common one for anyone visiting the Headmaster’s office. The black Shmoodle has been an unofficial Trinitarian since puppyhood in 2013, when then Headmaster Milton Cujes told Mrs Xuereb: “You can’t leave her at home.” 

Smudge would often have morning tea with Mr Cujes and his wife Susie in the adjoining Headmaster’s residence. 

One day Smudge went missing,” recalled Mrs Xuereb, “until I received a texted photo from Mrs Cujes upstairs – Smudge has made herself at home!” 


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