She trained as a teacher at Newcastle Teachers College, where she was a champion athlete (picture), and taught at Canley Vale in the western suburbs of Sydney and in England before transferring to the Territory of Papua and New Guinea Education Service in 1959.
Then TPNG director of education, GT Roscoe, identified that the new E-Course six-month training program for expatriate teachers based in Rabaul required an expert to lecture in Infant Method – “a little weakness we can overcome by posting a stronger, more experienced person to Rabaul,” he said.
Greta Hard was that person and she lectured at Malaguna from the First E-Course through to the Fourth.
She arrived at Rabaul on 31 October 1960, her 28th birthday, having been recruited from Kerema Girls Boarding School.
In 1963, following her E-Course assignment, she returned to Kerema, teaching at the Primary T School for a short time, before transferring to the Department of Agriculture, Stock and Fisheries to organise the Farm Training Program.
Greta served in Wewak, then Popondetta and Port Moresby before returning to Australia in 1974.
Until 1991, she was a part-time teacher and librarian at Morisset Primary School in NSW, teaching Visual Arts one day a week and participating in the annual Talented Children’s Arts Camp.
When writing my history of the 14 E-Courses held in TPNG between 1960 and 1972, I wrote to Greta Hard to obtain her opinion on the four courses on which she had been a lecturer.
She replied very fully and pertinently and I greatly appreciated the time she took to write to me.
Greta was highly regarded by the E-Course trainees I approached. She was an excellent teacher and a demanding but understanding lecturer. She expected the best from each trainee and left no one in any doubt of the importance of her discipline.
Greta had a positive influence on the trainees, who, on completion of their courses, were transferred to districts throughout the then Territory.
Through her work at the Rabaul Teachers College, Malaguna, she contributed greatly to TPNG education.
Bernard W Houston was a member of the Seventh E-Course