Giselle Coates

Co-op manager closes book on campus life

After spending more than two decades inspiring and nurturing the minds of staff and students on the Central Coast campus, Giselle Coates is retiring for a new adventure.

Giselle was one of the first staff to work from the Ourimbah campus, opening its first Co-op Bookshop more than 23 years ago in a demountable building. Now the Co-op Bookshop is at the heart of campus life and that sense of community was celebrated at a Farewell Morning Tea hosted by the campus community for Giselle, earlier this month.

Campus story-teller and librarian, Julie Mundy Taylor, was one of Giselle’s close colleagues and friends who spoke at her farewell. She fondly remembered working with Giselle to organise literature festivals featuring local writers and authors that attracted hundreds of local book lovers to the Central Coast campus. “Giselle believes in the power of books and literature to change lives and is so motivated in sharing that passion with the campus community,” Julie said. “I actually can’t imagine what the campus will be like without Giselle being here to inspire and encourage each of us in our own academic and personal journeys. But I am excited for you my friend, for your next phase in live, and am thankful that I know where you live!”

Emeritus Professor Lyndall Ryan spoke warmly of the support offered by Giselle to academics like herself, wanting to pen a novel or text. “A lot of staff and students from this campus have become authors because of your support Giselle, and I know that I would not have been able to write my own without your being in the background, helping to motivate me. That is why I and so many others chose to launch their books here at the Co-op.”

Giselle is leaving the bookstore to help her son and UON Alumnus Tim Silverwood. Tim is the co-founder of the clean beach initiative, Take 3, and is spearheading the nationwide ‘Kick It’ campaign to introduce subsidised aluminium can recycling across Australia. “I am excited about beginning a new chapter in my life but am honoured to have been involved in the lives of so many of you,” Giselle said. “I have made a lifetime of friends during my time here and certainly will be back visiting from time to time. I leave with confidence knowing that the Co-op will continue to provide the services that it is renowned for and, with the changing structure of ‘bookselling’, will diversify and provide you (campus staff and students) with an exciting retail environment.”

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