Michael Norman had revived the morale of the school, built a dedicated staff, boosted numbers and improved the property and infrastructure. But with health problems in 1971 he had to step down from the now-burgeoning school.

With a background in science, Rev Charles Leigh Speedy came to Kingswood College with impressive academic qualifications and experience.

He’d previously taught at Scotch College and had also been a lay chaplain in the late 1950s at Collingwood Technical College, completing a Bachelor of Divinity in 1961.

Accepted into the Methodist ministry in 1963, he was about to move into a parish when he was invited to become headmaster of Launceston’s (Tasmania) Methodist Ladies College – a position he held until his appointment to Kingswood College.

Speedy was the perfect successor to Norman. His skills, strengths – and talents – were important for an expanding school.

As well as outstanding academic and theological qualifications, he was also a fine musician and accomplished sportsman.

Building on the foundations he inherited, Speedy strengthened the curriculum, built rapport and confidence within his staff, and facilitated growth and development through major capital works.

Speedy believed in inclusion and opportunity for all students and he was a strong advocate of Kingswood College’s ethos to include students from disadvantaged backgrounds and to enhance its reputation as a caring school.

He also ensured that there were opportunities for staff to spend time with individual students through camps and excursions which were an important part of the school program.

Significantly, it was Speedy who was responsible for the eventual reintroduction of coeducation. While Michael Norman had investigated the possibility with the school council, he’d left Kingswood College before any decision was made.

Speedy believed strongly in the value of co-education and when the decision was made in 1972 to introduce it at a senior school level, he ensured the issue was addressed for the whole school.

A co-education committee was organised and in November 1974 it made recommendation that girls be accepted at primary school level from 1977.

This was one of the many significant milestones made during Speedy’s productive stewardship.

Dick Cotter writes in Farmers, Ringmaster and Builders:

‘Both Norman and Speedy brought talents to Kingswood which were crucial to survival and progress. They shared with Walker a deep concern for youth and education and were equally as capable of bold and imaginative thinking and decision making …’.


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