Finding a passion for art at Wheelers Hill
Barbara Iakovidis (née Georgalis) attended Wheelers Hill Campus from Year 1 (1984) to Year 12 (1995). A member of Holmes House, she received school colours for both music and drama and was awarded the School Prize for Outstanding Musicianship in her final year. She enjoyed her involvement in school musicals, in particular, and says that she has great memories of being involved in the Madrigal Group, orchestra and many other musical groups at Caulfield.
After leaving school, Barbara studied medicine at Monash University, graduating in 2002 and gaining a fellowship in general practice in 2006. She currently works as a general practitioner at the Camberwell Junction Medical Clinic. She is skilled in all areas of general practice and family medicine but has a special interest in women’s health, paediatrics, sexual health and reproductive health.
On her work/home life Barbara comments: “I have a busy career as a general practitioner which has been quite demanding for obvious reasons over the past 18 months. I try to practice what I preach and exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep and spend time doing things I love – connecting with friends, family and participating in musical pursuits.”
She says that: “General Practice is an incredibly rewarding career. I feel really fortunate that my personal values of caring for others aligns so perfectly with my job. People’s stories are so varied and interesting. I love forming long lasting relationships with patients and knowing I have had some impact in improving their quality of life.”
Unfortunately, Barbara has observed a dramatic rise in mental health presentations during the Covid-19 pandemic and finds it very challenging not being able to access specialist mental health services for her patients due to long waiting times.
The Grammarian Singers
Barbara joined the Grammarian Singers when the group was established by former members of the Madrigal Group at Wheelers Hill in 2016 and is currently its Vice-President. She loves being involved in the Singers because the group provides her with the opportunity “to connect with others who have the same passion for music that I do”. She also enjoys reminiscing about shared past experiences with other former Madrigal members.
The last 18 months have been difficult for the Singers because they have not been able to perform or rehearse together. Their aim for 2022, Barbara says, is “to be able to sing in person once again!” “Unfortunately, online choir is just not a possibility so we have had long stretches away from rehearsals. We would love to get back to consistent meetings and to prepare for a concert as soon as possible.”
If you are thinking of joining the Singers Barbara’s advice is: “Do it! We are a diverse group spanning 20 or so years but we have come together as a community in a friendly and non-threatening environment. There is no pressure to sing solo too! It is great being able to explore the creative side of yourself that may have fallen by the wayside as ‘life’ took over.”
Barbara Iakovidis adds: “We would love to encourage more Grammarians to join as occasionally members have had to leave due to changing personal circumstances. We have a great core group but are definitely happy to invite singers in the wider CGS community to contact us if they are interested in joining.”
Barbara is married with two children and in addition to singing enjoys theatre, baking delicious things (coming from a Greek background food is of the utmost importance to her!) and keeping fit and active. Her husband works for Qantas so she hopes that her family will be able to travel again once the pandemic is over. One quirky ability she has is to be able to “remember obscure jingles and song lyrics dating back decades”.
In answer to the question: What’s one thing you wish other people knew about Caulfield?, Barbara comments that while the School always encourages students to fulfil their academic potential, this is not at the expense of doing other activities that enrich their school lives.
Barbara Iakovidis is inspired by “people who live rich and full lives with many interests and passions”. We look forward to her and the Singers being able to perform for us again in 2022.
Interested in hearing more about the Grammarian Singers? Matt Davies, a commerce/law student, is avidly involved and finds it a refreshing way to maintain his love for the art.