Richard Horsfield

Click on an image for a larger view

It has been really interesting to read the bios over the last few months and after my original early comment on the errant elephant - which did not include Hansen Yee, I have a photo with him looking on - decided I should add to them with a brief outline of my doings since NSBHS.

Did a Science (Maths and Physics) degree at Sydney, then Dip Ed at Sydney Teachers' College where I met my wife Helen as she was completing her Physical Education Diploma. We married in 1966 after me going into the army (1st call-up) and getting out on medical grounds - slipped disc from baseball pitching. Later on I realised how naive most of us were then and now remain very thankful that I did not go to Vietnam and have to kill other people, with some understanding for those who did and had to.

Helen and I lived and taught in Singleton, an army town!, for four years until I was seconded to the Education School at UNSW to start their BSC(Ed) and Dip Ed programs when Alexander Mackie TC passed them on. In Singleton we got pretty fully involved with the small local Baptist church and did some teaching to Aboriginal young people training in a college out of town, our first daughter Wendy was born here in 1968.

After UNSW and a Masters in Physics followed by a return to teaching (a salutary experience), and a short stint at Sydney Teachers' College lecturing in the Physics Department I went to Cumberland College of Health Sciences to set up all of their Physics and Chemistry programs in the Department of Biological Sciences under Perce Russo. Perce was a great leader who gave real responsibility and real credit where due to his staff - a great model and a rare one in these days of 'executives' who slash and burn with little concern for people. Over this period our other daughters, Jennifer (1970) and Karen (1972) were born and we had eight years in Ryde Presbyterian and then in Gladesville Anglican.

After six months as acting head of department while Perce was on sabbatical (1979) I decided that academic administration was not for me and returned to secondary teaching to spend sixteen years at Barker College as Science Coordinator then Director of Studies then part-time Physics teacher. I suspect a character trait of not really liking seniority has become evident in me!

Left Barker in 1997 to undertake more postgraduate work in the environmental area at Macquarie and, on completion, was asked back by the professor as a Visiting Fellow to the GSE. Some environmental consulting, short course development and other things around the School have occupied me for the last three years.

Most recently we have been blessed with three lovely granddaughters Josephine (nearly 5) and Rebecca (nearly 3) - to Wendy - and Emily (4 months) - to Jennifer - we seem to have lost the blueprint for boys! Karen is expecting at the moment and my money is on another girl.

Helen's dad is Bursill of 'Bursill's Lodge' in Thredbo (only named after him when he sold to Alpine Tours) and we spent many happy holidays in the snow. Now with a house near the Alpine Way our children and their children continue to enjoy the Snowy Mountains - truly magic country - I have walked the northern and main ranges for many years in summer with school groups. We have rounded out our ecumenicism by being regular 'part-time' members of Jindabyne Uniting over the last six or seven years.

Great to read of the variety of things that we of the Class of 61 have done, in the national spotlight or quietly here or overseas; I look forward to renewing friendships and seeing old faces again next week