In Their Words: Dr Phillipa Greig

Head of Accounting, Dr Phillipa Greig, has long had a love of learning. Phillipa is constantly looking for ways to improve as a teacher and likes to challenge herself by setting goals in her professional and personal life.

I’ve always had an affinity for learning—I think that’s why I love teaching. I have a quest for knowledge and as a teacher I’m constantly looking for new and better ways to teach. No two cohorts are the same, which means you’re always adapting your teaching methods.

I’m also a goal-setter; I always have been. In fact, I remember setting a goal to become a teacher when I was only 10 years old, and here I am today nearing forty years in the education industry.

When I started teaching you weren’t able to specialise. I was what they called a commercial teacher, meaning I taught several disciplines. Accounting was by far my favourite subject.

To learn more about Accounting, I enrolled to study a Bachelor of Business majoring in Accounting at university. I later went on to undertake my doctorate at Queensland University of Technology, completing a case study of Accounting in the Queensland senior secondary school curriculum.

Now I’m working closely with my subject association to provide support to other Accounting teachers in Queensland as they navigate the new senior assessment system. Although I’m probably nearing the end of my career, it really doesn’t feel like that—there’s still so much I want to achieve. I think I’ll repurpose myself and start writing textbooks again! I’ve written and contributed to six texts since 1995, along with other online resources, but I’m sure the new system will result in a need for new resources.

My daughters often joke that my third and fourth children are my phone and laptop. I’m always working on something but it doesn’t feel like work—I really do love what I do, and I enjoy contributing to my field.

My daughters, Aishlin and Ciaran, were Grammar girls. I actually taught both of them, which is very unusual—but I was the only Accounting teacher at BGGS at the time. As a Girls Grammar parent, I noticed that the BGGS spirit shines through students in different ways.

My eldest daughter, Aishlin, developed great resilience during her time at the School—the leadership and teamwork skills I witness her use today were built during her time at BGGS, in particular through playing sport and captaining the Athletics team. Ciaran was more interested in music, but even she would talk about the ways in which an orchestra required individual musicians to come together to produce a body of work. They both have a strong work ethic and exude the wonderful qualities of Grammar women.

I must admit it was quite an adjustment when the girls graduated. No one prepares you for the loss you feel. It sounds silly but I really enjoyed the routine of meeting them at the car each afternoon and discussing our days together on the way home. I did however have more time for myself without their co-curricular activities!

I’ve been a parkrunner since 2012. My sister was the one who encouraged me to join and I’ve now done more than 300 runs. I had never run 5kms prior to parkrun, but it really was just a matter of starting—I’d run then walk, run then walk, and then I’d try to improve my time each week. I’m past all of that now, and these days I run more for the social aspect.

I actually run with a BGGS old girl—she’s always been a runner so it took me almost 18 months to be able to run with her while maintaining a conversation. Now it’s a lovely way to catch up; we talk about everything, including how to solve the world’s problems, while we run!

Last year, to celebrate my 60th birthday, I decided to complete six 10km charity runs. I was preparing for the Antipodeans Abroad trip to Peru in December, so it was wonderful training. My husband and I also did a walk through the Cotswolds in the June/July holidays last year. I thought it was going to be a scenic stroll through the countryside, but I could not have been more wrong—the uphills and down dales were very challenging, but I finished the walk feeling well prepared for our hike in South America.

Whether it’s completing a walk such as this, contributing to a new textbook, or finding new ways to engage our girls in learning, I always feel the same satisfaction in achieving something I’ve set my mind to do. It’s a wonderful recognition of your efforts—Nil Sine Labore!