After almost 40 years of support staff service to Bendigo Senior Secondary College, Ruth Miller has logged off her school computer for the last time. Ruth was first appointed to BSSC in 1977 – well before photocopiers and computers were used in school administration and teaching. Hers has been a journey through technological innovation, school organisation and changed facilities spanning four decades.

Ruth came to Bendigo High School in 1977 when her husband, Jim, was transferred to a new job in Bendigo. Her appointment as a Teacher Aide saw her in charge of manually typing newsletters and exams (among other things) on wax stencils and braving the Gestetner and offset printers to produce documents and publications for teachers and administration alike. Her skills, commitment to detail and excellence, and her calm and helpful manner saw her quickly moved to general office duties.

Ruth was an early adopter of computer technology in BSSC’s general office, at first, using a cast-off word processor from the Business Administration class. She laid the foundation for significant changes in the tools and systems which are used in school administrative work today.

Achievement and success in an occupation don’t occur by accident. Ruth often spent hours of hard work trying new ideas, and her expertise and willingness to be involved was often recognised by staff.

“I enjoyed being a guest speaker in Office Administration classes, where I spoke about both the technology and learning processes that students had available to them, and I explained the role of a person working in office administration,” she said.

Throughout her long career, Ruth contributed the views of support staff to many college committees including Facilities and Occupational Health and Safety committees.

“I started at Bendigo HS just as Bendigo secondary education was being reorganised into one Senior and five Junior secondary schools,” she said. “That was an exciting and challenging time for our college which has had our name changed to the Senior High School and then Senior Secondary College.”

Always willing to take on new challenges, Ruth also pioneered the administration of the Bendigo Campus of the Victorian School of Languages over and above her normal duties.

During the nineties Ruth’s provision of secretarial support to the Principal team saw her organising many international visitors and conferences as BSSC and other Navigator schools lead the state in introducing information technology into teaching and learning and administration.

In 2001 her professionalism and excellence was recognised by the Council of International Schools.

“I was delighted to be invited to act as secretary to the team undertaking international accreditation at Carey Grammar,” she explained.

As a passionate member of staff at BHS and BSSC Ruth was involved in the setting up of the college Alumni organisation – Old Gold.

“Her skills in creating the data base of past staff and students enabled the Alumni committee to reach members and to run successful 90th Anniversary and Centenary celebrations for the college,” Human Resources Coordinator, Bev Miller said.

Ruth’s talents and efforts have helped the college achieve excellence in many areas, and for forty years have modelled the college values of respect, optimism and learning.