Louise crossley's Blog

November 17, 2011

Lollipop Whistle’s Woes: introducing Lottie

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Picture book raising awarness from the grassroots

By Louise Crossley


School Crossing Safety has never been more fun to learn

Joining forces with School Crossing Victoria for school crossing safety has been incredibly rewarding.


Not only have I got the satisfaction of knowing I am part of an initiative that will keep children safer and teach them valuable rules, but I have also had a fabulous time creating characters like the talking Whistles.


‘Lollipop Whistle’s Woes: introducing Lottie’ was created with the finacial and moral support of School Crossings Victoria. The book is part of a school crossing safety initiative to raise crossing awareness from the grassroots. As well as being educational, this story book will delight young readers with its talking Whistle and the friendships that develop among the characters.  Lottie the lollipop lady is not only a character in the book but also a mascot designed by School Crossings Victoria to promote the school crossing safety message to primary schools across Victoria.


Lottie, Hamish and Whistle all agree that school crossing safety rules are important.

Luckily, Hamish is fluent in the language of Whistle and spends much of his time trying to teach his friends.
Lottie the lollipop lady and Whistle himself join Hamish in teaching ‘Whistle’ to crossing users.

Soon everyone discovers that the language of safety is necessary and a lot of fun to learn.

School Crossings Victoria and 16 Victorian Councils and organisations came together to fund this book.
Clearly, all feel its necessary to address school crossing safety.
This picture book is a fun and educational way to teach our children how to stay safe when going to
and coming from school.

October 13, 2010

School Crossing Supervisor of the Year Award 2010

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By Louise Crossley



School Crossing Supervisor of the Year Award

From Left: State Winner Tracy Sinclair, Sonya Durdin and Dreena Lawrence. Photograph by David Crossley


No and no, is the answer, if you think lollipop people are just in it for pocket money or fresh air.

School Crossing Supervisors are committed members of the work force who are as diligent in their work practice as any other conscientious employee.  How do I know this?   Lucky for me, I was cordially invited to the very first School Crossing Supervisor of the Year Award held on the 8th of October in Noble Park, where I heard for myself of the work commitment practiced by these ultraistic soldiers of the road.

The Awards night was held to acknowledge the efforts of lollipop people across Victoria and to recognise exceptional supervisors.  This year’s state winner was Tracy Sinclair from the region of Casey. “I love this…working with my children everyday…it’s the best job in the world,” she said when she received her framed certificate and glass trophy.  Other winners of the night were: Elaine George from Brimbank, Alan Brealey from Darebin, Barbara East from Maroondah, Shirley Molloy from Knox, Marie Tickner from Warrnabool and Patrica Menzies from Benalla.  The candidates were nominated by their region and voted for by their school community.

To see the pride and appreciation in these people’s faces when they spoke of their job truly brought tears to my eyes. It was an honour to break bread with an authentic organisation that believes in traditional values – good work ethic, team work, commitment, and an honest day’s work.

Without a doubt, the night would not have happened without School Crossings Victoria Chairperson Dreena Lawrence-Gray and Casey’s School Crossing Coordinator Sonya Durdin; they were responsible for sourcing sponsorship and for coordinating the evening. Both women are committed to raising public awareness about school crossing supervisor’s right to respect.

It’s clear that School Crossings Victoria is a beacon of hope for lollipop people across the state, who rest assure knowing that their road safety concerns are shared, and their significant work practices awarded.


School Crossing Supervisor of the Year Award 2010

Winners of the Night. Photograph by David Crossley.


September 26, 2010


Filed under: Uncategorized — by louisecrossley @ 7:27 am
Horn of Africa Program

Louise Crossley and her students. Photograph by Zaklina Santrac


“Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much the heart can hold.”  – Zelda Fitzgerald

And yet, many attempt to measure, even the oblivious, how much a life is worth.

Are we more valuable if we are leaders, scholars, prodigies?   Do we have more to offer if we communicate well, earn more, fail less?

These are the questions I ask myself everyday.  And everyday I realise that the scales we use to weigh these things are broken.


It is confirmed each time I teach my English class.  I watch the children, who have challenges of their own, support each other and share what they can do.  While some bright kids tire of supporting their less able peers, these kids take pleasure in sharing their limited knowledge with their friends.

So I continue my experiment and still wonder why we need a scale at all.  Isn’t it enough to explore our own essence and strive to reach our full potential?  This to me would would give our world a collective mix of skills and a human race at its peek.

May 25, 2010

Children with learning difficulties

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Strugglers teach; the shoe fits. Clipart-for-free

by Louise Crossley
11th of May 2010


Fairy tales  – Cinderella, Three Little Pigs – are fictional right?

Sometimes, our definition of struggling learners is a fairy tale too.

In Cinderella’s resilience and the three little pig’s support for each other, I see struggling learners .  In expecting these children to learn conventional curriculum, I see a story that is destined to end unhappily ever after.

When parents are told that their child learns slower than other children, it can be difficult.  If only they see what I see – not academically challenged victims but protagonists, who can teach us about patience, selflessness, emotional purity and a whole new genre of intelligence, if we are willing to learn.

When are we going to realise that intelligence needs redefining?

Remarkable people don’t have to think quickly and understand and remember everything.  How many Einstein’s, Edison’s, Mozart’s and Churchill’s (all had learning difficulties) will it take before we believe?

We have it wrong by expecting good stories to solve every complication.  It’s more captivating when the heroes endure their limitations, accept who they are and succeed in their own right.  Think movies like: I am Sam, Driving in Cars with Boys and The Blind Side.

Perhaps it’s up to struggling learner to demonstrate the true meaning of intelligence.  After all, philosophers and geniuses have been giving us their opinions about the human brain and how to measure it for over 140 years.  Sure, they have come up with all sorts of theories and ideas about what defines intelligence and what constitutes it – all very interesting.

But I for one think it’s time we turn the page.

April 27, 2010

Michael Hyde

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Hyde within a photo but never from crows, photograph by Shannon Hyde


Hide from Crows? Not Hyde

LOUISE CROSSLEY 17th April 2010
Are crows likable? Considering murder, is the collective noun for these birds, maybe not?
Still, writer and teacher Michael Hyde thinks they’re intriguing. After writing a number of  books to convey his love of sport, Hyde has written the  short story Sacred Crows, to reflects his love of these birds,  and to underpins their  impressive skills.
Hyde is fascinated by these creatures for their intelligence and long memories, which he depicts in Sacred Crows, a story about a bully and a boy named Terry who is obsessed ‘about crows and how clever they were, (and) how they had memories like elephants.’ Ironically, the story ends with the bully being killed by a murder of crows.
To me, these are not gentile creatures, and yet to Hyde they are spiritual.
“Trekking with Gabriel (Hyde’s wife) in misty, spiritual places I came across crows,” he said.
Perhaps, as a survivor of cancer he can relate to their strength and resilience, “They could float but they also are survivors,” he said.
Hyde’s attraction to these birds is contagious. I too, find myself appreciating their qualities and I am intrigued by their habits. This unassuming bird is clever enough to make its own tools, nurturing enough to protect its own and relentless enough to seek revenge.


March 22, 2010


Filed under: Uncategorized — by louisecrossley @ 5:35 am

Ella’s Handbag, carries more than a purse and keys…

On the surface, Ella’s Handbag is a simple story that reflects the quiet crusade of a little Tom boy – who happens to love handbags.  She spends her time getting dirty and filling her handbag with all sorts of ‘messy’ things.  To her mother’s horror, Ella prefers to carry her granddad’s false teeth and left-over spaghetti, to muffins and maths books.

Below the surface, this award winning picture book underpins struggling learners and their search for self efficacy.  Ella’s Handbag is full of symbols; from the handbag that is a symbol of memory, to the orchid that symbolises fatherhood (in China). Ella’s Handbag is being distributed to most Catholic and Independent Primary Schools in Victoria this school term and copies are available to borrow at Sydenham, Caroline Springs and St Albans libraries.  To purchase Ella’s Handbag or for more information contact Louise Crossley at louise.crossley@live.vu.edu.au.

Ella’s Handbag

Hello world!

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