autumn 2012
Dear Ruyton Community,
The Old Ruytonians’ Association has had a successful
year, holding numerous events to strengthen the
ORA member base and broaden its reputation.
Following last year’s bursary, and in the midst of
School building projects over the state, the ORA
began to work on their newest building project,The
Old Ruytonians’ Heritage Trail.The Heritage Trail will
be a walking trail that encapsulates the history of
Ruyton and it will be unveiled in Term 4 over some
scones, jam and champagne!
In 2011 the ORA hosted a networking breakfast
function, the annual reunions and a Year Level
Representative Breakfast.The networking breakfast
was well attended by both Old Ruytonians and
Ruyton parents.We were fortunate to have Robyn
Treyvaud discussing the fashionable topic of
and how it affects children and teenagers of
today. Robyn is an international speaker and her
address certainly left parents thinking. Due to its
success we hope to welcome Robyn back to the
School for future presentations.
The ORA held its annual Cocktail Party for the Last
Year Leavers which was an enjoyable evening.We
also held the annual 1930s,‘40s and ‘50s leavers’
lunch at Ruyton which was well attended and
enjoyed by all. I would like to thank the 2012 School
Co-Captains, Lucy Green and Charlotte Inge, those
providing the entertainment, and the organisers,
who all contributed to a very successful afternoon.
In 2012 the ORA will be hosting a presidents’ lunch,
intended to include all presidents over the life of the
Old Ruytonians’ Association.We also hope to begin
an annual ‘Women of Ruyton’ presentation, where
Old Ruytonians will have the opportunity to speak
about their life and career to inspire other ex and
current Ruytonians.
To keep in touch with our community, we have
created the ORAdvisor, a newsletter to connect Old
Ruytonians and keep them up to date with events.
There will be a business listing and opportunities for
Old Ruytonians to write in and contribute to the
newsletter.The newsletter is due out in Terms 1 and 3
so make sure you watch out for it in your inbox or
On a financial note, the ORA are saving to
accumulate sufficient assets to provide a bursary for
a Senior student from interest earned. As schools’
fees rise and our event participation extends, we
emphasise the need for continued donations and
member joining fees.The ORA relies solely on these
contributions and we thank all those who have
Last, but not least, the committee would like to
thank Mrs Marilyn Rouhard (Development Co-
ordinator, Community) and Ms Linda Douglas
Principal) for their support for the Association.Their
contribution and hard work is highly valued.
I wish all a happy and safe year and look forward to
an event-filled 2012.
Ms Caroline Jarrett,
ORA President
At Ruyton in the ‘50s and ‘60s
Joan Gough
affectionately known to her students as Gougher –
pronounced gopher) was a legend and her art
room was a very special place. Joan encouraged an
unconventional atmosphere and worked to
accommodate students from all streams and
different classes.The art room was enriched with
variety and this benefitted everyone, as such lively
and intelligent discussion took place.The structure
was informal and Art History was absorbed from the
discussion and the books lying around.These were
large folio books on artists such as Klee, Picasso and
Itten, small pocket editions on individual artists and
the latest editions of Studio and Art and Australia
magazines. In this era girls were being educated to be
ladies, before ‘Women’s Liberation’ and Joan with her
amazing example encouraged the girls to think and
to see a wider world view. Her style of teaching
inspired and encouraged creative thought. Her
sharing of her experiences of teaching in the Hobart
Mental Hospital, and her engagement as a Quaker
with political issues, created a great understanding
and respect.We were made to feel special and
different. And it is not surprising Joan was so often
asked to attend the School re-unions.
This art room was in an old Victorian House across
the oval where some of the teachers lived.The studio
was small, with none of the facilities you would
expect today.There was great excitement when
permission was granted and materials provided for
a mural to be painted on the wall. However, this room
soon after became a storage room and the veranda of
the house became the art studio. It was a little larger,
with better light but no heating. A two-bar radiator
was the sole source of heat and Joan, in her fur coat,
sat with her legs so close they became a mottled red.
Her fashionable Spanish court shoe with the little
strap across the ankle always delighted us.These
glamorous shoes gave her an added excuse not to
walk up to the staff room for morning tea or lunch.
She was never one for exercise or sport.Tea was kept
in the room so Joan could stay and teach throughout
lunch time and also conduct the ‘Extra Art Classes’.
I do remember she was reprimanded for not
attending staff meetings. She enjoyed being defiant.
Joan’s isolation did not stop her making great friends
among the staff and loving the School. Special friends
of hers were Mrs Muriel Maxwell, Mrs Joyce Excell,
Mrs CharlieWilkins and Mrs Di Berold. She valued
having a circle of women friends of all ages.
Joan’s teaching methods were very
at that
time. Classically trained in painting and with
extensive educational training, Joan worked briefly
with Mr Hirchfield Mack who had taught with
Mr Paul Klee at the Bauhaus. Her positive
encouragement of experimentation and problem
solving were very much part of that heritage.
As the art room was so small, only painting, drawing
and mono printing were practised.We purchased our
materials in the studio and the bill went home with
the School fees.We usedWinsor and Newton Artist
quality oils,Talens gouache, large boxes of Sakura Oil
Pastels, Pelican Inks and the occasional bottle of nail
polish. If you were without inspiration you were
encouraged to get going, and the work would tell you
what to do.
Joan anonymously supported art by offering art
prizes at Speech Night.This is a tradition she
continued after leaving Ruyton.
Since 1979 she continued to run her Studio Gallery
in South Yarra, joined the NGV Gallery Guides, was
involved with the Contemporary Art Society and then,
in 1989, formed Contemporary Art Australia. She lived
a long and fruitful life committed to art. Both the
Ruyton community and the members of the groups
that followed her have been enriched by her vision,
wit and enthusiasm.We remember her fondly.
Ms Louise Foletta
Louise Foletta was taught by Joan at Ruyton from
Grade 6 in ‘56 to Matric in ’62. She teaches and
practises art much in Joan’s style, continuing her
Old Ruytonians’ Association
Joan Gough 1918–2012, Ruyton teacher 1954–1979
This photo of Joan was taken in March 2000 at the desk of the
Salamanca Gallery where she had a retrospective of her work
and the CAA had an exhibition
Form to Essence’.
Vanessa Gough – A Proud Ruytonian 1950–2011
Vanessa Gough
commenced Ruyton in 1955 in Year 1
and completed Year 12 in 1968. As a School House
official for Bromby House Vanessa contributed
enormously to the Ruyton Community and showed
her leadership capabilities and love for life. Following
her departure from Ruyton,Vanessa joined the Old
Ruytonians’ Association. She became President for a
period of time and served on the committee, up until
the time she passed away in December 2011. Vanessa
will be warmly remembered by the Old Ruytonians
Association for her effort and input into building the
association into the thriving organisation it is today.
She will be remembered fondly.
Ms Caroline Jarrett,
ORA President, on behalf of the
Old Ruytonians’ Association
House Officials in 1968.Vanessa is 2nd from the bottom left