Posted in Our heritage
Heather McDonald OAM, who opened three hospital schools in Brisbane, has been praying for SU QLD ministries for 70 years!
For 43 years, Heather McDonald worked as a teacher, venturing into all sorts of classrooms across Queensland — from hospital wards to one-teacher schools in the Darling Downs.
“I trained as a primary school teacher, but was a jack of all trades. I was the principal at Brisbane’s Royal Children’s Hospital for nearly 25 years,” says Heather, now 90. She went on to open schools in three other Brisbane hospitals — The Mater in 1963, Prince Charles in 1966 and Ipswich in 1975.
For her services to education, Heather received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 1984. Displaying her humility, she says she was “shocked” to receive the honour.
Heather has received Scripture Union bible reading notes since the 1940s, and still supports SU QLD as a prayer partner. “My first contact with the Crusaders Union [now SU QLD] was in 1938, when I was a boarder at Moreton Bay Girls High School,” she says.
Heather attended her first SU QLD camp in January 1945, sleeping in tents at a campsite in Closeburn. “We didn’t have cars or buses to get there. We went up on the train to Closeburn, and were taken to the campsite on the back of open cattle trucks, over unmade roads, and across open paddocks. How times have changed!”
She led various girls’ camps and ran Drawing Room Meetings at Kelvin Grove and Enoggera. “When I reflect about SU QLD, I’m reminded that ‘from little things, big things grow’.
Ormond Porter was SU QLD’s first paid worker in 1944 — previously volunteers did the work. And look at SU QLD now…”
Today, SU QLD employs more than 600 chaplains in over 800 schools across the state, and runs more than 100 camps every year for children and young people.
Thank you for your generous support. Whether you’ve only recently joined the SU QLD family, or have been a part of it for more than 70 years, your contribution does make a difference. Thank you!