Amy Bongiorno speaks to Marion Hughes, a past staff member (1989-2017) and author of adventure travel and psychological thriller novels.

Bongiorno Amy 2022



How did you find the transition from Padua College?

Retiring and no longer being part of the Padua teaching community after 28 years as an educator took quite some adjustment.

What did you love about your career choice in the teaching profession?

Teaching was enriching, although not without its challenges. I began my career as an English teacher and constantly looked to stimulate my students to enhance their love of literacy. However, it was not until I became involved in Padua's Special Programs Department that I found my niche. Working alongside a dedicated team of teachers and support staff to bring out the best in students across a wide range of abilities was the most satisfying part of my career.

What were the challenges of your profession?

A lack of government funding and resources to cover the broad spectrum of student needs and the amount of time taken away from one-on-one teaching time for paperwork.

What or who had the most significant influence on your career?

During my early years at Padua Rosebud Campus, Mick McLoughlin (dec), Frank Colcott and Kerri Garrard were a significant influence.

If you were to sum up what your time at Padua taught you, what would it be?

The importance of community spirit, tolerance, compassion, and reaching out to those in need.

What advice would you give to a student that is in their finishing years at Padua?

Always believe in yourself. Never give up on your dreams but don’t be afraid to try different pathways if things don’t work out.

When you look back at your time at Padua, what are your overriding memories?

Community spirit, sharing the celebrations and successes, and collaborating in the not-so-good times.

What do you do in your spare time for fun?

Adventure travel and writing psychological thriller novels. My first, ‘The Von Mueller Deception’, was published in 2017 and I have since been working on a trilogy titled 'The Dark Illusion.' The first two in the series, 'Watch Your Back' and ‘I'm Back’, were published in 2021 and 2022 respectively, and are available at Rosebud Book Barn, Peterson's Bookstore, Hastings and Belgrave Book Barn, as well as online stores and as an eBook. Book three, titled 'The Girl in The Background,' will be published in 2023.

What challenges have you encountered personally or professionally in your career?

Personal loss and three years of Covid.

What is one of the highlights of your life so far?

The most recent highlight is getting my novels published.

Padua College

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