en-us Inspired by Yarra

Marianne Pelz (nee Wakefield)

YOG 1982

Councillor, East Gippsland Shire Council

“You need to be prepared to stand up and be a leader – something I learnt at School”

Over the past fifty years Yarra has inspired students to pursue their own individual passions and interests, wherever their path takes them. Yarra Old Grammarian, Marianne Pelz (nee Wakefield), class of 1982, shares her story of life after Yarra, where she has enjoyed careers in fashion design, the television industry, in her family’s transport business. Marianne now serves her local community as a Councillor in Orbost, country Victoria and was Mayor of East Gippsland for 2015-2016.

After Marianne left Yarra she spent three years in Geelong studying Fashion Design at The Gordon Institute. One of her first jobs was working as a patternmaker for a well-known surf brand. Her fashion career continued designing bridal wear and then working in the ABC Television wardrobe department – a job that took her on location around Victoria.

Marianne married her husband and left Melbourne to settle in Orbost. She has three children and became an active member of her community, initially through her involvement with her children’s little athletics and pony club.

“I founded a stocks and shares group for women, as well as a community development group for the Orbost community, and worked with the local Aboriginal ladies (the Moodgji clan) on enterprise manufacturing. Before I knew it I was lending a hand on different committees – this helped build the foundation of a future in local politics”.

Marianne says that community work requires being able to create bonds with people from different walks of life, skills that developed while she was at Yarra.

Marianne juggles her role as councillor with book keeping for the family’s sixteen-truck transport business.

“Besides having a lot of empathy, you need to be prepared to say what you think. Over the years I have learnt that the more you put in, the more opportunities there are to develop yourself”.

Marianne’s career journey shows how Yarra gives our students the confidence to achieve.


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