Life beyond Radford

Last updated 6.04.2018

Shirley Campbell

Lives Canberra, Australia
Number of years at Radford 15 years
Year began to teach/work at Radford 1984
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What’s your most endearing memory of Radford?

Girls hockey/netball tour to England in January 1999
I always enjoyed being involved in the cocurricular program and for a period of time managed the netball cocurricular program. Girls from Years 9-12 were in the tour group and it is a truism that you really get to know students outside the classroom. One of the group was Caitlin Purnell who was about to begin Year 12. Caitlin was a bit of a rebel and had not been considered for leadership positions. She came into her own on this trip. Later she wrote me a marvellous letter of thanks, so poignant now in memory as she died only a few years later from bowel cancer. She was inspirational on her journey through her treatment and helped many others facing adversity.

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

Jock Mackinnon. He was an inspired choice as Foundation Principal. He was wise, warm, experienced and funny. He and Elizabeth were amazingly generous in their hospitality to the foundation staff. From the outset Jock valued the role of the library in the school and this support continued with subsequent principals after he retired. In the 1990s, when government schools in Canberra were withdrawing teacher librarians from their libraries, there were no cutbacks in library resourcing at Radford.

What is unique about Radford?

Many parents of students attending in the early years of Radford were first time users of independent school education. They didn’t come with preconceived ideas of what an independent school would be like. So the school was able to build its own ethos without being weighed down by tradition. The college motto sums up this ethos completely.

Where are you now?