Former Corporate Procurement Director for St Helena Government, Dr Corinda Essex has recently retired from her post.
Dr Essex’s career has spanned over 42 years, beginning with a teaching role in 1971 in where she progressed to co-coordinating Environmental Studies in the Middle School Sector after serving as a Senior Teacher at the Secondary Selective School until its closure.
In the early 1990s, Dr Essex represented the Half Tree Hollow Constituency as an Elected Member of Legislative Council and remained with the Education Department as Pastoral Head (Lower School) and Assistant Education Officer.
During her term in the UK from 1995 as St Helena’s Government Representative, Dr Essex’ work was formally commended in the House of Commons by Sir Nicholas Bonsor, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.
On her return to St Helena, Dr Essex was promoted to the post of Education Officer (Training, Special Educational Needs and Resources) which she held until her appointment as Chief Development Officer in 1999.
As Chief Development Officer/Director of Corporate Procurement, Dr Essex chaired the European Union Monitoring Committee relating to St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, as well as chairing/serving on a number of Working Groups relating to her portfolio. As Territorial Authorising Officer in relation to the European Union she formed part of the delegation representing St Helena and her sister Islands at EU/OCT Forums and headed the delegation in 2006.
From 1998, Dr Essex took on several significant acting roles within SHG which included Acting Chief Education Officer, Acting Head of Public Works and Services Department, Acting Financial Secretary and Acting Chief Secretary.
She has served on numerous boards and committees, including the Boards of St Helena Line, St Helena Development Agency and, St Helena Fisheries Corporation, the most recent being the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of which she remains a member and St Helena Government Air Access Core Group.
Alongside her commitment towards SHG, Dr Essex has been heavily involved in the island’s community, serving as a Ranger Guide Leader for 8 years, becoming a member of the National Amateur Sports Association of St Helena and Jamestown Rifle Club Committee for several years, as well as being a member of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards Committee.
On her time working within Government, Dr Essex commented:
“I thoroughly enjoyed all my varied roles within St Helena Government. Although there were moments of disappointment, hurt and frustration which are inevitable in a long career, these were far out-weighed by the highlights such as seeing most of my students achieve excellent results; raising the international profile of St Helena and opening new employment opportunities when we had lost British citizenship and unemployment was escalating; turning PWSD around following a management crisis; working with the European Union to obtain funding for St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha and writing associated programming documents which met EU requirements, thus enabling St Helena to be ahead of other Overseas Territories in the approval processes and last, but by no means least, leading Government business in Legislative Council Sessions when acting as Chief Secretary.
“I have been privileged to lead hard working, dedicated teams committed to developing their professional skills and meeting SHG’s key objectives. Many obtained internationally recognised qualifications that are testimony of their ability and competence. I will always remember and value their support, input and expertise.
I will also recall with deep appreciation the positive working relationship that was maintained with Legislative Councillors and with those involved in various project working groups.”
Gilly Francis, Deputy Chief Secretary commented:
“Dr Essex has made positive contributions to the Public Service in the many roles that she has held during her 42 years in office. On behalf of SHG I extend thanks and appreciation to Dr Essex for her hard work, commitment and dedication throughout her time and wish her well for the future.”
3 September 2013