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Page 16 February 2017
The graduation of Sam Garton from Cabra
Dominican College last year marked the
end of her parents’ 43-year association
with Catholic education in South Australia.
Beverley and Paul Garton parented four
boys who all attended Catholic schools
and then adopted a further seven children
with special needs, including Sam who
was born with Spina bifida.
While Year 12 was difficult, according to
Sam it was nowhere near as tough as Year
11 when she spent much of the year in
hospital with daily physiotherapy sessions
following complications from a routine
surgery. She lost the use of her right
arm and hand and when she eventually
returned to school she found it much more
difficult to get around the Cumberland Park
“I was much more dependent on other
people. It was hard and things would take
longer and I would get tired, so by the time
I came home I would have a cry because
everything was just so hard.
“My teachers were great though and really
understanding,” Sam said, adding she felt
“particularly lucky” to have a “wonderful
home room teacher” for the past three
years who “greatly encouraged and
supported” her especially when she was
feeling down, as did the coordinator of the
Due to her mobility issues Sam undertook
most of her Year 12 studies in the school’s
St Mary’s Unit, even though the purchase
of an electric wheelchair helped her claim
back some independence.
Reflecting on more than four decades’
of having children in Catholic schools,
Beverley said it was sad to see it end after
being involved with canteen, Parents and
Friends, hearing reading in the early years,
helping out with excursions and coaching
“Our faith is very important to us and we
wanted for all of our kids when they went
to school for that faith to be strengthened,
and hoped the schools would reinforce
what we try to teach them at home,” she
Paul said while there had been endless
hours of driving the children to school, it
had been worth it.
“We’ve been really pleased with Cabra, it’s
been fantastic, particularly the St Mary’s
Unit and the principal of the school (Brian
Schumacher) who is a great role model for
the students. You really feel the Dominican
spirit at the school is very strong.”
And while school drop-offs may have
finished, the Gartons will still have plenty
of driving to get 18-year-old Sam to her
various commitments. This year she plans
to do volunteer administrative work two
mornings a week at St Mary’s and one day
at Barkuma. She will fill in the rest of her
time doing a music and arts program with
Tutti arts organisation.
Caring for others is a common thread in
Taku Chikandiwa’s life.
In 2016 he not only successfully
completed his Year 12 studies at St
Columba College, but also worked at
Trevu House Aged Care at Gawler East,
as a way of saving money to support his
dream of studying nursing.
“I wanted to help my dad raise my
university fees since it is very expensive
to study in Australia as an international
student,” he explained.
Unfortunately, he didn’t quite meet his
target and in 2017 will undertake the less
costly option of a diploma of nursing at
TAFE SA, with plans to eventually advance
to a bachelor of nursing at UniSA.
Originally from Zimbabwe, Taku and his
younger brother joined their father in
Australia in 2015.
While it had been difficult to juggle his
work in aged care with his studies, Taku
was grateful for the life lessons it had
“From helping the older people I learned
patience, respect and understanding –
and also to control my emotions because
some old people are discriminating,” he
In Year 12 Taku studied mathematics
applications, scientific studies, geography,
religious education and English pathways.
His study in English on the use of
language in his workplace earned him an
Considering the big change from his
previous school system, Taku said he was
“very pleased” with his results.
“Year 12 is a year of hard work and a huge
commitment, but the balance between
study and life is essential. You must know
yourself well and set your own goals... and
don’t compare your marks/results to those
of your friends.”
St Columba teacher Maureen McCarthy
described Taku as a “remarkably
resourceful young man” who had a “bright
Miss Fran Stanley’s long association with
Emmaus Catholic School came to an end
late last year when she retired as chaplain
of the school that she also taught at from
the day it opened in 1994.
Fran was born in Scotland and grew up
in Glasgow where she completed her
Diploma in the Practice of Teaching at
Notre Dame College of Education in 1970.
Her 46-year teaching career commenced
at St Saviour’s Primary School in Scotland
and continued at Lumsden Residential
School and the Notre Dame Adolescent
Unit in Scotland before she followed her
sister and brother-in-law to Australia, with
her mother, in 1984.
Her first positions in Australia were the
Adelaide Children’s Hospital Family Centre
and the Adelaide Area Behaviour Support
Centre, both reflecting her passion
for children and families experiencing
challenges or difficulty. In 1991, Fran took
up a teaching position at Antonio School
at Morphett Vale where she worked for
three years before winning a position as
an inaugural staff member at the then new
Emmaus Catholic School.
Principal at the time, Greg Simon, said
what he liked about Fran was “her
enthusiasm for almost everything and her
unquestionable faith commitment”.
She taught junior primary and in 2000
also took on the religious education
After 14 years as teacher and REC, Fran
resigned from Emmaus in December 2007,
only to take up the role of chaplain at
Emmaus in January 2008. In this role, Fran
spent nine years being a positive presence
in the school by providing pastoral care to
students and their families, giving general
and personal advice, comforting students,
staff and families and much more.
During her time at Emmaus, Fran worked
alongside three principals, two deputy
principals, more than 100 staff members
and approximately 800 students. Emmaus
principal Catherine Gurr said Fran would
be remembered for “the work she did
among us” but more importantly “for the
person that she is”.
Her favourite quote ‘you are not made
by God...you are made of God’ (Julian
of Norwich) was “never truer” than in
Fran’s case, said Mrs Gurr. “In Fran we
came to know something more of God’s
End of an era for Gartons
NEW CHALLENGE: The Gartons are ready for Sam’s next venture.
By Lindy McNamara
Taku pursues career caring for others
Farewell Miss Stanley
COLLEAGUES: Fran Stanley (fourth from left) is pictured with principals and
deputies who she worked with during her 23 years at Emmaus, from left: Greg
Simon, Anne Kay, Catherine Gurr, Anne Donnelly and Gary Pascoe.
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