The Teacher

Satya Prema Naidu is busier than ever, continuing to tutor VCE science while fully immersing herself in a packed calendar of classes at Lendlease’s Classic Residences Brighton in Victoira.


When I was working full time as a teacher, I never had any time for anything except teaching and looking after my children – a son and a daughter. Once I retired, I was able to focus on all the things I never had time for. I love creating, particularly painting and drawing, and Classic Residences Brighton is one of the best places to explore my love of art.

I moved here five years ago in 2012, with my husband Dr. Bhasker Naidu, a General Practitioner and Anaesthetist. Only 10 months after coming here, he was moved to high care due to his dementia and passed away in 2013. I never feel lonely here though – it’s a wonderful place. Keeping busy makes me happy. I can’t just sit at home and do nothing. I have always been a very active person.

After I retired in 2000, I began tutoring Biology and Psychology to year 11 and 12 VCE students after school hours and on the weekends. I’m 77 years old now and this will be my 48th year of teaching. I’ve been a tutor for 17 years, and have also written 11 books on Biology and General Science for Oxford University Press. My son who lives nearby is a Pharmacist and his three children are all studying medicine at Monash University and my daughter lives in Los Angeles with her husband, who’s a Nephrologist.

Three years ago, I had stents put in my coronary artery, two years ago I had breast cancer and then a knee operation, but despite my health troubles I haven’t let anything stop me. Whatever comes your way you deal with it and get on with your life.

The residents at the village have been like family to me. Having that support makes you feel much happier, you never need to feel isolated.

When I was sick, I wasn’t able to cook, so I’d ring and tell the chef what I wanted. Coming from India, I like spicy food, and the chef always made it for me, which was nice.

I enjoy village life because I’m constantly busy. I have been elected as a member of Classic Residences Brighton Committee for the past five years. I am the Minute Secretary of Entertainment Sub-Committee and am involved in organising speakers, concerts, bus trips and various events. Plus, five years ago I was appointed as the editor of the village monthly newsletter.

I am actively involved in doing decoupage on Tuesdays and Fridays, I attend the choir group on Thursdays, belong to a memoir writing group and the Book Club. I knit and donate money to Classic Knitter’s group. I have recently joined University of the Third Age which holds fortnightly classes at the village on Wednesdays and Thursdays. I also make jewellery, and if anyone needs anything repaired I can help them with that. Everyone keeps telling me I should make it into a business, but it’s not a business, it’s a hobby.

There are about 30 activities you can do here and you can join in with whichever ones you want. We have a pool, so I do hydrotherapy, there’s a gym, a beautician and a kiosk. It’s wonderful – there are so many things here keeping me busy doing what I love to do. The village is the perfect place to support my main goals in life – to be self-reliant, independent, helpful to my fellow residents and to lead a happy and active life. I look forward to every day.

 

Find out more about Classic Residences Brighton.