Meet Jak McPhail Adonic Art’s International Women of the year 2021.
For over a decade Jak has been the Greenslopes State School Crossing Guard Supervisor, or as the children affectionately call her "lollypop lady," but she is more than that.
I think the initial thing that struck me about this extraordinary woman was her ability to interact with the children. Ensuring, she sends them into school with a smile on their faces. Remembering what each child says to her daily and communicating the same topic of conversation the next time she sees that child. What astounds me is that she does that with every single little person who comes her way.
In Jak's own words, “If a child is crossing the street and is trying to tell me something, I will wait until they have expressed what they need to say. I will hold traffic up if I have to. What they say is important, they need to be heard and I am there to listen.”
Now let's talk about those shorts, intensely bright and very on-trend with what the kids want. Collectively she has 84 and growing. She is forever sourcing materials because children are always asking her to find more. They will usually ask, “Jak, do you have ones with donuts on them? What about Star Wars? What about Elsa?"
Remembering names and conversations is only part of what Jak does. Her commitment to the children runs deep, an exemplary member of the P&C, she attends all meetings with the school’s best interests in mind.
Jak considers the school community as her family and she has stepped forward to stand in as a Grandparent on Grandparent’s day when children have needed one.
Greenslopes State School houses families that speak twenty-eight languages, with various children born in fourteen different countries. Jak understands and acknowledges how diverse the school community is, therefore she converses with children and parents to the best of her ability that come from varied cultures. It is important to Jak to make them feel a part of the school community. To give families a sense of belonging.
I’m not the only person who thinks she’s the bomb in 2020: Jak attracted the attention of the Australian Government with her tireless volunteer work. On Australia day she was recognised and given an award for her outstanding achievements.
Passionate about our environment, she works collectively towards reducing our carbon footprint, advocating recycling by educating children, parents, and peers. Jak was the initial organiser for cans for change within the school. With every cent going straight back to the school.
Jak is an outstanding pillar of the community, kind, giving, empathetic, a shoulder to lean on and we are so very fortunate to have her. A big thank you, Jak, for your tenacious efforts and selfless acts that have made a difference to so many children and their families. Our community has a hero, and we are so much better off with you in it.