Celebrating International Day of Education at BallyCara with Residents

Today is International Day of Education. This year’s theme is ‘Learning for Lasting Peace’. We interviewed Residents Russell and Ruth Briggs on their history of education and peace as they are both trailblazers in this field.

They have made an incredible impact on the education industry. It is hard to measure the impact they have had and the lives they have surely changed and positively influenced.  

Russell was a teacher for three years in New South Wales before he and Ruth moved to Papua New Guinea to teach at Awaba High School in the Western Provence next to the Aramia River.

They lived in Papua New Guinea for 22 years and in that time got married and had 3 children. Of the 22 years they were there, Russell worked at the High School for 15 of them and was Headmaster for 10. He oversaw 450 students with 350 of them boarding at the school all year long. It was a very diverse school. At one point there were seven nationalities amongst the staffing team, 48 different languages spoken by the students, with the students coming from ten different provinces.

Students were committed to learning. Graduates from the school went on to become Teachers, Nurses, Doctors, Lawyers, Pilots, Politicians, amongst other incredible professions. Because of the hard work of Russell and his teaching staff, Awaba High School was awarded as one of the best High Schools in the country.  

One of Russell’s greatest accomplishments as Headmaster was impacting the students through education and the Christian Faith. Most of the students came from primary schools led by missionaries and were taught the gospel. Many of the students had a direct relationship with God before entering High School.

Despite the fact that the students had 48 different languages amongst them, Russell believes they were able to have peace at the school because they had a relationship with the Prince of Peace himself, God. That is what true peace means to both Ruth and Russell.

We are so grateful to have Ruth and Russell in our Village bringing with them their knowledge and passion for education and God.

Make sure you tell a teacher you know today how much you appreciate them!

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Acknowledgment of Country

BallyCara acknowledges the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land on which our residences are located and we pay our respect to their Elders past, present and emerging. We extend that respect to the Traditional Owners across this country where we live, work and play.


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