It was with great sadness that we learned that history teacher, Ms Ann Hardy, died in an accident while on holiday in Thailand. She was one of a group of special teachers at my children’s high school. She had tremendous rapport with the students and her energy enlivened the school. Last year she was a finalist for the NEiTA 2012 ASG Inspirational Teaching Awards.
The principal of Killarney Heights High School, Ms Kim Jackson, wrote the following obituary for Ms Hardy which I reprint with permission.
As term 4 began at Killarney Heights High School we were shocked to hear that Mrs Ann Hardy and her husband Dr Carlos Hardy had been in a motor bike accident in Thailand. This shock turned to grief upon hearing last Friday that Mrs Hardy had passed away. To those who knew and loved her she was a bright and vibrant person who set high standards for herself and others. She was a very dedicated, passionate and committed educator and was very involved in the corporate life of Killarney Heights High School.Ann returned to teaching and came to Killarney Heights High when her family moved back from Canberra to Sydney. During her time in Canberra, Ann worked as a public servant and later ran her own Human Resource management business. It was this diversity of life experience that added to the insights that Ann was able to bring to her teaching and to improving school and systems management within her realms of influence.
My personal memories with Ann were the times that we shared travelling with students and staff, first in 2008 when she and her daughter Gabby participated in the first study tour to France. It was wonderful to share her historical knowledge as we toured the Normandy ‘D day’ landing sites and watch her continue to expand her resource material for use at school.
In 2012 Ann organised the first KHHS friendship tour to China. This built upon her own interest in Chinese language and culture, which she had studied at University as part of her undergraduate work. She appreciated the great historical and cultural sites but was keen for our students to improve their cultural understanding that could be put to good use back home in Australia. Ann had a global view of education. She recognised that there was so much more to learn beyond the classroom and that everyone needs an open mind to embrace what the world has to offer.
In 2013 Ann and Carlos joined Anne McLean and myself in visiting our sister school in Hiroshima. This was Ann’s first trip to Japan and one which she enjoyed very much. She had a great affinity with Asia and always eyed a new learning opportunity for herself and was always willing to share her knowledge with others, particularly young people with inquiring minds.
Ann Hardy will be remembered as an outstanding educator, who always took time to support extra learning opportunities for her students, whether through history activities, as a teacher mentor, Prefects and Student Leadership Coordinator, Model United Nations Assembly Teams Coordinator, assisting with Mock trial Teams and as Supervisor of Female Students. Her radiant smile and positive ‘can do’ attitude will be greatly missed by us all.
As her daughter Gabby said, her mother died “in the land of smiles”.
Our sincere condolences go out to her husband Carlos and her children James, Adam and Gabby.