Q2 hated school. She grew up in NSW in a household that included her widowed grandmother and a godmother (step-daughter of her grandmother) who lived around the corner. Until Q2 was 5, these two taught her sewing and domestic skills in a nurturing, supportive, extended family environment. She had the run of the two houses. Her mother had been eligible to go to a selective high school, but her parents couldn’t afford to send her. Both her parents wanted her to be well educated.
School, she quickly decided, was not for her. She ran away again and again, getting herself through the main shopping centre of Bankstown to her home on the opposite side of the town to the school, on the borderline of the zone for the next school.
Two incidents in her first couple of weeks at school remain in her memory. On a day, after she had had an injection, a boy pushed her into a tree, hurting her injected arm. The teacher she complained to told her not to be a dibber-dobber. On another occasion she wore a small brooch to school that her father had bought her from a visit to Botany. She lost the brooch in the playground. The teacher from whom she sought help told her she should never have brought it to school and it was her own fault, providing no help to find it.
She decided then that she would become a teacher in order to be fair and kind to students. The resolve never wavered.