Family Teachers

Heather Robson

I am the 3xgreat-granddaughter of Thomas and Ann Stone. My line is as follows: Edward Stone and Christianna Foster; Thomas Stone and Georgina Grimmett; Edgar Ridley Stone and Ethel Evelyn Davies, Dorothy Jean Stone and Alan Raymond Pratt, Heather Robson (nee Pratt) .

I am a retired Primary School teacher. I attended Tetoora Road and Bona Vista Primary Schools and Warragul High School in West Gippsland, Victoria.

My teacher training took place at Ballarat Teachers’ College (Diploma of Teaching – Primary) and Coburg Teachers’ College (Bachelor of Education).

Schools that I taught at include Coburg East Primary, Croydon West Primary, Coburg North Primary, Pascoe Vale North Primary and Bacchus Marsh Primary.

I retired from teaching in 2011 to help look after my mother, who was unwell.

My sister, Lynette Watson (nee Pratt) was also a Primary School teacher. She attended the same school as myself and trained at the Burwood Teachers’ College. Lynette taught in the north east suburbs of Melbourne.

Margaret Therese Carter

My lineage is (1) Thomas and Ann Stone, (2) Joseph and Margaret Stone (nee Foster), (3) Thomas and Margaret Alford (nee Stone), (4) George and Ruby Isobel Hare (nee Alford), (5) John Norman Blackmore and Ella May Blackmore (nee Hare).

I was born in Alice Springs, NT in 1951 and grew up on a gold mine out of Tennant Creek. After completing primary school in Tennant Creek I went to Cabra Dominican College in Adelaide for 5 years. Following Year 12 I went to Wattle Park Teachers’ College. My first teaching appointment was to Tennant Creek Area School in 1971 where I spent 2 years. I then transferred to Nhulunbuy Area School and then Stuart Park Primary in Darwin.

Unfortunately, Darwin was largely destroyed by Cyclone Tracy in 1974 so I spent 6 months travelling overseas. When I returned to Australia in mid 1975 there was very little accommodation in Darwin so I was posted to Gilles Plains Primary School in Adelaide. I also completed my Bachelor of Education in 1976.

I am a true Territorian and I was keen to return to the Territory so I applied to return to Darwin and I was appointed to Darwin Primary School in 1977 where I spent 6 years in the roles of Senior teacher, Assistant Principal and Acting Principal.

I also met my first husband, Charles Carter, in 1977 as he had flown up from Melbourne for a long weekend. We were married in Fiji at the end of the year.

Over the next 33 years I taught at Leanyer Primary, Driver Primary and Moil Primary, mostly teaching Years 6 and 7 and as the Senior Teacher for Upper Primary. I was also Assistant Principal and Acting Principal in those schools.

My teaching career spanned 40 years with 19 of those years spent in Senior Roles. In the last few years I enjoyed a role as a Master Teacher mentoring other staff. I also spent 12 months as an Advisory Teacher for Commonwealth Programs travelling to remote Indigenous communities assisting schools with submissions for extra funding to improve outcomes in the bush.

I retired from teaching in 2011 after spending most of 2010 caring for my husband who had cancer. Not long after his death I had coffee with a friend whose wife died not long after Charlie. He was from Perth originally but came to the NT in 1972 so we had a lot of mutual friends. We were married at Eagle’s Nest near Sheffield, Tasmania in October, 2012. Peter has retired from the Public Service after being CEO for several Government Departments, including Mines and Energy and Primary Industries and the Development Corporation.

The Deputy Director of Education spoke at my farewell when I retired and acknowledged that there were only a handful of Territory born and bred teachers who have had such long and distinguished careers.

Frances Anne McCoy (nee Little)

I am the oldest of 6 children of Royce Redfern Little and Margaret Graham (nee Winn). My lineage is through Edward Albert Stone and Mary Maud Nicholas. My grandmother was Dorothy Shelbourne Stone, part of the family who remained in Queensland when the remainder moved to WA.

Many in this family branch each generation have been educators, starting with itinerant teaching in remote country schools in Queensland following WW1.

In my father’s generation, Uncle Don ( Donald Francis Little) was working in the NSW and SA governments as a university lecturer. Uncle Arthur (Arthur Ernest Little) was both a primary School teacher and a Teacher librarian in addition to working his farm at Caboolture, Uncle Max (Maxwell Stone Little) was both a carpenter and a Secondary manual arts teacher. My mother (Margaret Graham Little ( nee Winn) was a teacher at Weipa where she met and married my father, Royce Redfern Little in 1951.

In our generation within our own family, all 4 girls have been educators at different times. My career spanned 40 years including working in schools in Brisbane, a year’s exchange in Manitoba, Canada and a year as Acting Principal at Lockhart River School up in Cape York. My classes spanned from pre-prep (in Lockhart River) to primary classroom, secondary PE and Maths, and 20 years as a Primary PE teacher. My career finished with 10 years in both Deputy Principal and Acting Principal roles mostly at West End in Brisbane.

My sister Gerry (Geraldine Margaret) was an educator for students at risk in Timaru High School (New Zealand) during the 1990s.

My sister Sue (Susan Mary) has just retired from Primary teaching, having taught general Primary, Special Needs and retired as a HOD and local area coordinator in that field. Sue has also been an exchange teacher in England.

My youngest sister Lois ( Lois Alison) is still teaching Secondary English in Esperance, but among many other areas of excellence, has also been lecturing and teaching in NSW and has just completed an exchange in England.

I have other cousins from our same family branch who have been or are also teachers.

Sandra Stone

Sandra Gaye Stone (1965 -), daughter of Athol MacGreggor Stone (1938-) and Ada Margaret Stone (nee Church) (1938-)

Sandra Gaye Stone was born in Rochester, Victoria on the 23rd of February 1965, as the third of four daughters to Mac and Ada Stone. Sandra spent her early years primarily in Echuca where she attended her prep year at Echuca Central Primary School before the family moved across the border to N.S.W. to Moama where she completed her prep year and attended Moama Public Primary School until grade 6. Sandra then attended Echuca High School, completing her VCE in 1982.

In 1983 Sandra moved to Melbourne to attend university at what was then known as Melbourne State College, later as Melbourne University. In 1985 she completed her Diploma of Teaching (Primary), later completing her Bachelor of Education (Primary).

She travelled in Europe for a year before returning to Melbourne to begin her teaching career at Altona North Primary School, where she spent two years teaching Art and a Grade 1/2 class.

In 1989 Sandra decided to travel again to London, going via Thailand and Nepal. Upon arriving in London, Sandra took up a teaching position at Kilburn Park Junior School, teaching Grades 3-5.

Sandra returned to Melbourne in 1990 and took up a teaching position at Footscray Primary School where she taught grades 3-6 over the 12 years she was there.

In 2003 Sandra moved to Mackellar Primary School in Delahey and successfully gained a Leading Teacher position in Numeracy and taught grades 5/6. Sandra was then seconded to the Department of Education (Victoria) in 2009 as Numeracy and Literacy specialist for four years, working in the Moonee Ponds network of schools.

After four years with the Department, Sandra returned to a school setting and gained a position as an Assistant Principal at Keilor Primary School where she still works, currently as the Acting Principal. Sandra is a proud education “lifer” who has and still is enjoying working in Melbourne’s multicultural western suburbs.

Winifred May Stone

Winifred May Stone was my maternal grandmother, eldest child of Edward Albert (son of Alfred and Sofia Stone) and Mary Maud Stone (nee Nicholas). She was born at Woodstock on 1 September, 1892.

Winifred attended a number of schools including Woodstock West State School, near the home of her grandparents, Alfred and Sophia Stone as well as Shelbourne State School while spending time with her other grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. George Nicholas of “Etloe”, Shelbourne, Victoria.

Around 1900 the family moved to Gippsland and after completing State School, Winifred enrolled at the University of Melbourne, registered on record as student #7000. She matriculated on 20 March, 1913, possibly in Arts, as she went on to become a general school teacher. Winifred taught in country schools in Victoria before joining her parents in 1917 who had relocated to a dairy farm, “Old Etloe” at Giligulgul, just north of Miles, Queensland. On 1 March, 1918 she became the acting head teacher of the Giligulgul State School, a position she held until 16 September, 1921, a week before she married Thomas James (Harry) Martin. At the time, it was a Government regulation that married women could not be employed in the Public Service.

In 1923 the couple purchased a property at Guluguba which they called “Aliston”. Winifred and Harry became dairy farmers and contended with the harsh elements of the region, the backbreaking work of building up and maintaining farming life where the aid of machinery was a luxury very few could afford. Winifred not only raised 4 children (Ian Craig, Albert Henry, Roderic James and Lois Winifred), she also put in long hours working in the dairy, maintained a vegetable garden and after hours, being highly skilled at several crafts, devised intricate crochet patterns and sold the written instructions to a popular, monthly women’s magazine, “The Women’s Mirror”. What she earned helped supplement the meagre income the farm brought in during the difficult times of the 1930’s and the devastating effects of the Great Depression.

After a number of moves to Wandoan, Logan Village and Coomera the family moved to Mt Morgan. World War II had begun and although Harry was too old to enlist, his trade background as a moulder meant he could obtain employment in the moulding workshop at the Mt Morgan Ltd gold and copper mine. It was here in 1943 that Winifred returned to teaching as the previous ban on married women teaching was lifted; many male teachers had joined up for military service and other wartime activities. The ban was never reinstated after the war.

In 1952 Winifred and Harry saw an opportunity to move to Wondecla near Herberton on the Atherton Tablelands in North Queensland where they ventured into poultry farming at “River Bend”. This proved to be a never ending, constant, 365 days-a-year commitment and with the vagaries of markets and running costs, Winifred secured a teaching position at the Herberton Primary School, providing an income without which the farm would not have survived.

In 1962 the couple sold up and moved to Edge Hill, Cairns, to live in a small house their eldest son, Ian built. Harry died two years later. Winifred died on 22 February, 1971 after suffering a stroke. Winifred taught in schools for nearly 27 years over her lifetime.

Wendy Arthur