Described by her colleagues as a sincere, caring and giving woman, Ms Lyall is well-liked and appreciated among students and staff at St Joseph’s.
She started volunteering at the school in 2005 when her granddaughters were students. She wanted them to feel like they had someone available to help if they needed it, as both of their parents worked.
But she says her connection to St Joseph’s goes back further than her granddaughter’s attendance.
“My grandmother, the girls’ great-great-grandmother, was a boarder at Lochinvar in the early 1900s, so our connection to Joey’s goes way back,” she says.
After her granddaughters finished school, Ms Lyall stayed on as a volunteer at the school, helping out whenever she can.
“The staff are always welcoming and make what could be mundane into a pleasant day,” she says. “There is always plenty to do and talk about.”
Tania Cullity, food operations manager at St Joseph’s and the person responsible for Ms Lyall’s nomination, says “Gael is always ready and willing to assist whenever she is available”.
“If we are short of volunteers, she will put her hand up if she is available,” Ms Cullity says.
“She is a caring, sincere, tireless and enthusiastic person. She personifies all of our Josephite values. What more could we ask for in our school community?”
Of her nomination, Ms Lyall says: “It is an honour to be recognised by the school, as I have not done anything special. It’s easy to do things for the ones we love.”