R first heard about the option of teacher training on the deck of the SS Troubridge on the way to Kangaroo Island on a holiday in South Australia in 1970. She had grown up and attended school in Queensland. In 1966, her matriculation year, her parents moved to South Australia and she attended Adelaide Girls’ High School where she made friendships that survived her family’s return to Queensland a year later – and eventually resulted in the discussion on the Troubridge.
Back in Queensland, R repeated her matriculation year and, in 1968, went on to Queensland University, where she did a wide range of subjects with no specific goal in mind. In 1970 she visited South Australia again and learned, from one of her Adelaide High School friends, that the South Australian government was looking for teachers. The following Tuesday she visited the South Australian Education Department and on Thursday began teaching at Elizabeth High School.