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Rica's first posting after gaining her teaching qualification was Aurora School. Located between Cranbrook and Kojonup, she opened the one-teacher school to an enrolment of ten children and boarded with a local family sharing a bedroom with three of her pupils. To overcome the isolation, she purchased and learnt to ride a motorcycle.

The next appointment was at Youngs Siding, located between Denmark and Albany, another one-teacher school with 32 students. The township boasted the relative luxury of a store and connection to the railway line, and Rica, while boarding with a local family, had her own room. It was at Youngs Siding she decided she would attempt her A certificate in teaching and chose as her optional subject research on the native orchids that were so abundant in the district.

I used to go bush there quite a lot, and you had to go a fair way because it was all under cultivation for potatoes, but along the side of the roads there was bush. If I went far enough I'd get to the cliffs and the heathlands that led out to the cliffs. And once I got to the cliffs, I knew it was close because you would hear the thunder rumbling, and the rumbling of thunder in winter time down there. On a spring day, I'd walk out, on a weekend, out to the cliffs and there'd be this beautiful blue lace flower, just masses of it, a beautiful blue and beautiful fresh green. There was the beautiful blue ocean, a different blue, and the beautiful blue sky, and it was just a wonderful sensation just to go out and look and see the bush there. (Battye Library, OH 2526, p. 76)



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