Life beyond Radford

Last updated 9.05.2018

Dianne Stuart

Lives Bangalow, Australia
Number of years at Radford 6 years
Year began to teach/work at Radford 1986
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What does life look like for you now?

Living Just a few km out of Bangalow in the NSW far north coast - a wonderful part of Australia - family nearby - children and grandchildren in Brisbane just two minutes away from each other. Friends easy to make in this welcoming and vibrant community of Bangalow. Tennis, gardening, walking, granny duties and travel. Plenty of stimulating social and cultural interaction.
Regular contact and adventures with long standing Canberra friends - local and overseas walking/cycling/ kayaking trips.

Di was Head of Geography and Asian Studies for 5 five years while she was at Radford. Di also started Radford’s participation in the NSW Law Society Mock Trial competition. She was a strong supporter of the House System. and was a Wandoo House teacher.

Dianne was also involved in the deliberations in 1987 for establishing the prefect system, house colours, and special awards.

What’s your most endearing memory of Radford?

Many of both….

Most endearing- the strong friendships established and maintained with both staff and students. Such a supportive community and first-hand experience of students maintaining these friendships long after leaving school.

I have an enduring memory of year 12 students son the Central Australia field trip supporting a student who experienced a severe bout of vertigo when climbing down from St Mary’s Mount in WiIpena Pound July 1989.

Happiest – interaction with my Year 11 - 12 Tutor group – 11 DS 1989 and 12 DS 1990. An evening meal for 11 DS at our place at the start of Term 1 to get them bonding as a group.

Convincing Jock McKinnon that Geography needed to be taught both outside the classroom as well as in it. His concern was that his teachers worked hard enough during term time and needed a break. However, he finally relented and we held the inaugural vacation excursion to Central Australia, Ranger Uranium Mine and Kakadu in 1989. Lesley Pitt, Vera Lucas, John Pendall and myself.

1990 – geography excursion to South Island of NZ – Lesley Pitt, John Fulcher and myself.

Local combined faculty field trips – Geography/Science. Kosciusko - Charlotte’s pass to Thredbo geomorphology trips.

Craziest - Tony Kildea and myself conducting a clandestine ballroom dancing session with Year 12 in the JB Millar Hall in place of yet another ASAT practice.

Helping Lesley Pitt with her Musicals.

Swimming Carnivals - Wandoo House - rivalry with Jo Ring - Garnett House teacher
Kate Molinari rising to my challenge of entering as many events as she could to get points for the house.

Compulsory morning teas - attended by all staff, except those on PGD.

Who or what left the greatest impression on you during time at Radford?

Jock Mc Kinnon - Sound and pragmatic policies and practices implemented in those early years and the support they received from parents - eg Belconnen Mall was off limits after school to uniformed Radford students. Rational behind the policy was explained – generating acceptance from both parents and students.

Commitment of staff – the work load was constant and huge but we all just got on with it.

Lesley Pitt’s incredible ability to obtain students’ respect, loyalty and friendship - she was a strict but fair disciplinarian, who was able to get the best out of every student. I first worked with her at Lyneham High and she, Brenda Lander and Phil Stroh all followed me to Radford over the next couple of years.

The high academic and social standards set and achieved by the College.

When you think of your time at Radford, what are you most grateful for?

Long standing friendships, overall commitment of staff and students to the college and each other - very few exceptions. Fun times, great students, professionally challenging but hugely rewarding. Graeme Wigg taking Susannah back into Semester 2 of year 10, along with her French billet. We had reluctantly taken Susannah away at the end of year 7 back to Girls Grammar, as my new job necessitated a lot of travel away from Canberra. Girls Grammar was closer to the Stuart grandparents and she could cycle to her after school activities.

What is unique about Radford?

Generosity of spirit – commitment to the overall development of students – encouragement and support of the individual. Many of Susannah’s Girl Grammar friends followed her to Radford in Year 11 - eg Kate Stoeckel, Maya Barnett, Sophie Chadwick. Many other examples of students who moved to Radford and thrived there.

Where are you now?