Shirley's Sweet 16 Story

Portrait of Barbara
I lived in Como, Perth, WA with my mother, father two older brothers and a younger sister.

I was very religious as a child and felt I had calling to be a missionary doctor in Africa. My parents had high expectations of me, as I was clever. And then fell in love at 14 and married at 18. So instead of training as a doctor I trained as a nurse for a year.

My husband was a teacher working with remote aboriginal communities. We opened a school at Nullagine in the desert of the Pilbara and I had my first opportunity to teach. I hadn’t trained as a teacher and was terrified I wasn’t doing it well. An inspector was sent to assess me and he said, “I have to tell you this is the best classroom in my district I’ve ever been in”.

We went on to be voluntary missionaries educators in Papua New Guinea for 9 years with 4 young children.

Current role; International technical advisor in gender violence, education and governance. Managing Director, SRIA Rwanda Ltd. Prof Shirley Randell AO, PhD

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