autumn 2013
As a School community, we enjoy hearing about the adventures
of our former students. At the reunion in Canberra in June 2012
our Principal, Ms Douglas, was pleased to meet with Ms Gail
Ford (Fairfoul ’57) who also taught at Ruyton in the 1960s.
Gail has recently published a book, The Lure of Russia, which
describes her near-annual visits to Russia over a period of 20
years. Gail provides an insight into Russian life at a time of
momentous political and economic change during the fall of
communism. As she, together with the school students whom
she led on many of these visits, was billeted with families, she
was able to witness first-hand changes that occurred in Russian
culture, in particular the arts, music and literature. Her
snapshots include a glimpse inside the palaces of the Tsars and
into the churches, as well as meeting soldiers and officials face
to face. The book, which received a commendation in the 2011
ACT book of the Year awards, has been praised by many in academia.
Dr Krill Nourzhanov, Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Arab and
Islamic Studies at the Australian National University, said
It [the book] belongs to an exceedingly rare genre which combines
scholarly rigour with a warm personal touch, and is replete with
acute observations and glorious vignettes.’The book was published
by Citrus Press in 2010 and is available in the School Library.
The Lure of Russia
Past, Present and Future
A tribute to Mrs Kathy Galt
There are teachers who burst into
school life with great force, energy
and commitment, making it instantly
apparent that their presence will
make a difference. Such a person was
Kathy Galt, who began her journey at
Ruyton 29 years ago. Kathy was
appointed to a full-time position by
Miss McRae in what was then Home
Economics, and her students at that
time affectionately referred to her as
No salt Galt!’
She was also a Year 9/10
Level Co-ordinator (in an era when
there was no administrative support,
she capably managed a very
demanding role and immediately
demonstrated the efficiency that became her signature trait). It soon
became clear that, as well as teaching, her interests lay in counselling,
pastoral care and career advice. Kathy quickly became aWoman for All
Seasons in her roles as the combined Year 9/10 Co-ordinator, then Year
Level Co-ordinator and finally Ruyton’s Careers and Course
Counsellor. In almost three decades at Ruyton, Kathy’s skilled devotion
to her students’ well-being never wavered.
Whenever Kathy was seen around the School, she was at full stretch,
organising a thousand things simultaneously. She arranged outings,
Form groups, buses and visits to the universities for Information Days.
She ran Careers Nights with her characteristic flair, drawing on past
students from all walks of life to share their experiences. Supported by
her expert and informed guidance, students were able to make the
best decisions for their courses for university and the workforce.
She had the most extraordinary understanding of the students, their
interests, capacities and skills. After Senior girls traversed the arcane
ways of course selection, there was the frenetic process of Change of
Preference to be negotiated. Kathy was always there and surrendered
countless evenings and weekends to her School duties, always
available, ever helpful.
Last year she took on the added responsibility of Year 12 Level Co-
ordinator, helping students with their various issues, including their
indecision about what to wear to the School Formal. To enhance her
already formidable knowledge of Careers Counselling, she attended
professional learning conferences on a regular basis. Her
organisation of Work Experience was legendary – she drew on a
remarkable range of contacts and skilfully placed each girl in a
suitable area of interest.When awards for achievement were
allocated at Speech Night, it was always Kathy who was consulted for
that extra piece of information that completed the picture of the
student. Behind the scenes, she offered transport for many years to
Miss McRae to Speech Night after her retirement from Ruyton.
Nothing was ever too much trouble for Kathy, no one was overlooked
and she was surprised when anyone thought this was remarkable.
Kathy’s capable, professional and kind nature was obvious to all. She
helped her colleagues as well as all of her students, and was always
there to assist in countless ways. The kind of insight she had into
Ruyton life was only gained through long years of communication
and through knowing people intimately. She knew the Ruyton
community - births, deaths, marriages, successes, and the intricate
tapestry of a school – in a way that no one does. This sort of archival
knowledge gained through a life of caring and dedication is
remarkable. Kathy’s presence will truly be missed – we all wish Kathy
every happiness and fulfilment in the years to come with her
husband Ian and children Fiona, David and Felicity.
Mrs Di Berold,
Senior School English teacher
Keep in Touch
Update your details online
Old Ruytonians can now update their contact
details online at
click on the Old Ruytonians’ page.
Keep in touch with former School friends,
reconnect with old friends and receive
information about what is going on in the
Ruyton community.
For further information regarding reunions and
upcoming alumni events, please contact Ruyton’s
Development Co-ordinator of Community, Mrs
Marilyn Rouhard, at the Development Office on
03 9290 9335.
Staff Editor: Mrs Elizabeth Beattie, Development
Co-ordinator, Communications
If you have any articles or updates you would like
to submit to be considered for publication please
or post to
Selbourne Road, Kew Vic 3101. Please mark all
correspondence for the attention of the Ruyton
Reporter Editor – Mrs Elizabeth Beattie.