spring 2012
A Ruyton Treasure
For 16 years, Mrs Sharon Kernick has been a familiar
constant for most of the Ruyton community.
Sharon’s love affair with Ruyton began in 1996 and
although her primary role was to monitor late
student arrivals and absentees, Sharon quickly
developed strong and lasting relationships with
staff and students alike. Girls were always thrilled
whenever Sharon covered their class, if the subject
teacher was away, and she had a certain knack of
making even grounds duty a pleasant experience
for the girls.
Staff were similarly drawn to Sharon’s warm and friendly nature. In her, we always
knew that we had a friend and confidante. She remained a highly professional
colleague who could be relied upon to point us in the right direction, having an
innate sense of ‘what was going on’ in the School.
In her time at Ruyton, Sharon has witnessed hundreds of girls pass through the
School and worked under three Principals. She has consistently supported the Arts
and enjoyed countless musicals and drama presentations. Girls have valued her
attendance at the Senior Formal and Valedictory Dinners year after year. Such is
their affection for Sharon that they voted her ‘Ruyton’s #1 Mum’.
Now in retirement, Sharon intends to divide her time between family in Melbourne
and her holiday house at Anglesea. She is also enjoying a more relaxed pace of life
with plenty of travel.
There are few in the Ruyton community who can remember a Ruyton without
Sharon, and while we wish her the utmost happiness in her retirement, we are left
with a tinge of sadness as we adjust to School days without her.
Miss Michelle Raatjes,
Senior School teacher, Humanities
Literary Achievements
Aiming for the Skies
Ms Fay Marles, the author of the
Aiming for the Skies,
President of the Board at Ruyton
from April 1997 to May 2002.
Throughout her life, Ms Marles has
acted with compassion and
conviction, and is a fantastic role
model for our girls as someone who
has made a difference in the
education of girls.
In her book Ms Marles explores the
influences that helped to shape her
outlook and interests. She discusses
the importance of her family
background and her schooling at
Ruyton, moving on to experiences
as an undergraduate at the University of Melbourne in the 1940s,
where she was one of Manning Clark’s first students. She reflects on
the evolution of social work as a profession in Australia, describing
her work as a social worker in Brisbane in the 1950s, and then as a
lecturer in social work at the University of Melbourne in the 1970s.
Importantly, she touches on the challenges of balancing her career,
and postgraduate study as a mature-age student, with her role as a
wife and mother of four children.
Her growing interest in women’s issues and Indigenous affairs had
a marked impact on her career path. She became the first Victorian
Commissioner for Equal Opportunity, and had an instrumental role
to play in the landmark case that resulted in Ansett employing its
first female pilot.
In 2001 Ms Marles was installed as the first female Chancellor of the
University of Melbourne in its 150-year history. Ms Marles has served
on the boards of many institutions and in 1986 became a Member of
the Order of Australia in recognition of her public service, particularly
in the field of social welfare. Ms Marles has always had a firm belief
in the value of education.With her commitment to justice and
women’s issues her guidance to the Ruyton Board has been
Aiming for the Skies
is widely available in book stores in Australia and
also available online.
Journeys in Gifted Education
Always listen to yourself, Peekay. It is
better to be wrong than simply to
follow convention. If you are wrong, no
matter, you have learned something
and you will grow stronger. If you are
right, you have taken another step
towards a fulfilling life.’The Power of
by Bryce Courtney.
So begins the chapter by Miss LeeWills
and Dr PattyWallace-Smith in the
recently published book,
Journeys in
Gifted Education
by Dr Yvonne Perret
and MissWills. MissWills has certainly
taken many steps to ensure that our
gifted and talented children do enjoy
the prospect of a fulfilled life.
Has anyone ever spoken to the children about their needs?’
was a
question MissWills asked at the very start of her quest to build an
Enrichment Centre at Ruyton for Gifted and Talented children. It was
an obvious question, but not one which had been asked before. Former
Principal, Ms Prue Gillies, and former Head of Senior School, Ms
Jennifer Nicholls, were both passionate about research in the area of
Gifted and Talented children and encouraged MissWills to rationalise
a programme across the School.
The area of Gifted and Talented children has led to MissWills and
Dr Perret compiling a collection of articles from other professionals, as
well as contributing themselves.
Journeys in Gifted Education
affords a
fascinating insight into the professional journeys taken by individuals
who have made outstanding contributions within the field of gifted
education across a number of different countries and within rural and
urban settings. The passion exhibited by each of the contributors is
evident in their quest to make a difference in the lives of children. It is
a book of value with powerful messages for students, student
teachers, practitioners, parents and anyone interested in the education
of gifted children.
The book is available from the National Association for Able Children
in Education (NACE) by emailing: journeysingiftededucation@nace.
co.uk or telephoning 00 11 44 1235 828280
If there is one message MissWills would like to get across as a result of
all her research into the Gifted and Talented area it is to listen carefully
to what the child is saying and help them realise their dreams.