the ruyton reporter
News of Former Students & Staff
Fighting Poverty through Education
This is the motto of St Jude’s School in Tanzania,
East Africa, where past student
Anna Richardson
has recently taken on the role as voluntary Human
Resources Manager. Anna, a former Senior Consultant
at Lonely Planet, visited the school in 2012 while on a
trip to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
When the HR Manager
role came up, my decision was easy, as it is a rare
opportunity that doesn’t come along too often. It is one
that combines the opportunity to further develop my
career but it is also about helping such a wonderful
project at an exciting stage of its development.’
The School of St Jude was founded by Australian Gemma Sisia in 2002 and is a charity-funded school that provides
a free, high-quality primary and secondary education to over 1650 of the poorest, brightest children of Arusha
region,Tanzania.The school, located across three campuses, also provides boarding for 1000 students, and employs
over 450 Tanzanians. Anna oversees these staff members and deals with many staffing issues. She has set up a
HR strategy, policies and processes for the school, and is touched to be involved in the selection process of 150 new
students every year.
The infectiousness of the people is hard to ignore.While there is obvious poverty, people get by
with a simplicity and appreciation for life that I really admire and respect.’
What a wonderful role model for Ruyton
girls as they embark on their community service here at Ruyton!
For more information about how you can help make a difference at St Jude’s go to
click to read the St Jude’s blog (
A nourishing and caring environment
it’s what Ruyton provides
What prepares you for starting your own business?
Or for making bold, brave decisions that may not seem
logical at the time, but you feel it’s just what you have
to do? Much of my career has been informed by the
independence and confidence gained through my years
at Ruyton. Finding myself a subject short in VCE I took
up Human Development, which gave me an insight into
how the body works, facts about health and physical
fitness, and physiological functionality. Professionally,
I have enjoyed a career working in the arts, managing
a commercial gallery, working for national
organisations, including the Biennale of Sydney at ACCA
and as a Board Director of Experimenta Media Arts.
I first dabbled in yoga while studying – I started with
a beginners’ course, which is a typical way to commence
with this esoteric practice. As my career in the arts
became more demanding I found I needed more time
on the mat to manage this stress.
Four years ago, I stepped sideways frommy career to
undertake a yoga teacher-training course and have
been teaching ever since. In 2011, I set up a new yoga
centre in Armadale – Time For Yoga – which is
focused on connecting people to the joys and benefits
of yoga, honouring the traditions presented in a
contemporary context.Thanks to a dear school friend,
Caroline Johnson
’89 –
sadly no longer with
us – see tribute on page
bringing her girls,
Emily and Phoebe, to a
holiday programme, we
are now running
children’s yoga in the
Ruyton Junior School.We
are excited to see how
this programme can
extend as the girls grow
with it, hopefully one day
taking them all the way
through to Year 12.
It’s terrific to come full-circle and to share the life skills
I developed at Ruyton with the younger generation
through this open and accessible course of yoga
and meditation.The positive attitude shown by the
School community to this programme reveals what
a nourishing, caring and forward-thinking environment
Ruyton provides today, just as much as it did when
I was a student.
Phoebe Dougall
ROC revisited
So you thought Ruyton’s outdoor
educational programmes were new?
You imagined that Mr Damian
Harrison was intrepid when he took his group of Duke
of Edinburgh Award Scheme participants to Mount Baw
Baw? Think again! The Ruyton Outdoor Club (ROC) was
active in the 1960s and the girls involved took part in a
National Fitness Bushwalking course,camped and walked
atWilson’s Prom for the weekend and went on a 46 mile
bike ride fromMyrtleford toWhitfield,all under the
enthusiastic direction of Miss Smith. Girls participated in
horse riding,cycling,canoeing and rock-climbing.
To honour these intrepid adventurers we are having a
ROC reunion at Ruyton in early 2014, where participants
can reminisce about their exploits.We may keep the
camping trip for another time! If you were a ROC
member please register your interest by contacting the
Development Co-ordinator, Community, Mrs Marilyn
Rouhard on
or call her
on 9819 2422.
Queen’s Birthday Honours
Ruyton congratulates the following past students
who received awards in the Queen’s birthday honours
this year:
Ms Eleanor Denise
Den) Robin
Nicol ’60)
received a Medal of the
Order of Australia for
service to the protection
of the environment and
conservation of
Indigenous and cultural
heritage. For many
decades Den has been
a consultant, public servant and volunteer in the
protection and conservation of Australia’s natural,
Indigenous and cultural heritage. She has worked in
the Department of Aboriginal Affairs, with Heritage
Tasmania, the Australian Heritage Commission, the
Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation, and has been
a Ministerial Appointee to several environmental
committees. Now retired, she is a post graduate student
in history at the University of Tasmania and a volunteer
under the UTAS/Menzies Research Institute’s Healthy
Brain Project. Ruyton acknowledges Den’s outstanding
work and achievements.
Mrs Margaret Christine
Ingram ’65)
received a Medal of the
Order of Australia for
her service to the
community, particularly
children and youth.
Margaret is Chief
Executive Officer and
inaugural Chairman
of the Children First
Foundation. She was also the General Manager of the
Queen’s Trust for Young Australians, from the early
s to ’99, when it merged with the Australian Youth
Foundation to become the Foundation for Young
Australians.With Margaret’s passionate drive and
determination to help the disadvantaged in the world,
the Children First Foundation has thrived. Along with
daughters Belinda Sharpe (Smith ’91) and Natalie
Langlands (Smith ’94) Ruyton is very proud of
Margaret’s achievements.
Broad mind and big heart
Joan Fitz-Nead AM
is living proof that education is all about broadening the mind and promoting curiosity.
Joan studied as a nurse in general practice and midwifery initially, working in Australia, England and Canada.
She then went on to train as a teacher in Tasmania, specialising in maths and science, and also lectured in health
sciences in Canada. But it was at Nangaree, a high school for girls who had been suspended or expelled from their
current school, where Joan discovered her strong commitment to social justice. She challenged educators about the
issues which brought the girls to the school.This led to positive outcomes still in place in the education system
today. Joan went on to become Head of the School of Child Care Studies at TAFE Tasmania and also chaired the
Alcohol and Drug Dependency Tribunal. Her continued commitment to the principles of social justice saw her
appointed as senior member of the Social Security Appeals Tribunal on her retirement from Sate public service.
She also established the St John’s Park Residents’ Advocacy committee, a model subsequently adopted in other
parts of Tasmania. Further community work has included being a Trustee of the Tasmanian Peace Trust and Co-
founder of the Peace Park inWest Hobart. In 2003 Joan was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia ‘for service
to the community of Tasmania through a range of health, social welfare and educational organisations.’ Not a bad
result from asking the right – and wrong – questions from an early stage!