When former teacher Ruby Riach OAM came back to Dubbo for good in 2005, she had already accomplished so much in her chosen profession, including becoming one of the most distinguished educators in Australia.
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She is now an amazing and indefatigable 96-year-old stalwart, who has been honoured by the Australian National Museum of Education.
It comes as no surprise that Ms Riach is still actively engaged in many community activities that benefits from her vast knowledge and skills in education.
Ms Riach born at Narromine in 1926 says her most memorable moments as a teacher was mentoring numerous students on the many facets of home economics from when she started at Warren Primary School.
She taught geography, bookkeeping, arts and craft, needlework and other special education subjects after graduating at Sydney Teachers' College in 1945.
Retiring with a job title as principal lecturer and associate professor, Ms Riach said being a teacher and later helping shape the educational system in the country has been the most rewarding career of her life.
"I've spent much of my time teaching and doing things in the community and in a nutshell, for most of my teaching life I've known teachers were highly respected members of the community," she said.
"The community respected them for what they do, but I feel that's all gone now, they're not respected the way they used to be."
When Ms Riach turned 60 she was serving head of the Sydney Teacher's College, now called the Sydney College of Advanced Education, where she worked for the last 30 years of her career with the Department of Education.
It was at this time she had to retire.
"That was a [retirement] regulation then you retire at 60 unfortunately but they got rid of it several years later so others stayed longer," Miss Riach said.
"If I had more time I could be involved in other professional education organisations so I did work with the National Council of Women Australia, the National Trust and a lot of work in the community."
When Ms Riach was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 1996 in the late Queen Elizabeth's Birthday Honours List, for her "service to education as a teacher and administrator" it included recognition for her "enormous service" with the formation of the Australian College of Education, and work as ACE honorary secretary for seven years.
Ms Riach told the Daily Liberal the ACE was "still existing and currently undergoing changes that's needed" and that if she had more time on her hands and no mobility concerns, she would continue to be "involved in the professional organisation".
"I was very busy even after retiring, so I certainly did continue working. I find working in education very satisfying and the only reason I would not be involved is because my mobility deteriorated, beyond my feet standing for a long time," Ms Riach said.
"[Mobility] restricts what I can do but I can still read well with good eyesight, I can hear, I can speak and I still have my driver's license but it's restricted."
Ms Riach never married and never had children so when her younger sister Ida, also a teacher who never married, became ill with breast cancer in early 2000, Ms Riach left her Chatswood home in Sydney to head back to Dubbo.
"So I looked after Ida until she was well enough to get back home from the hospital after a mastectomy ... I didn't have a close family member living in Sydney so I thought it was probably time to leave.
"Ida was an authority in native plants so we planted trees and shrubs [on a property we both own situated along Mayfield Road]. We had a big shed, a concrete tank for our water supply. She planted many unusual native trees and shrubs ... I planted a Jacaranda tree I brought here from Chatswood."
When her sister passed away, Miss Riach settled at the Orana Gardens Retirement Village, and continued on her work with the Home Economics Institute of Australia, of which she was a founding member when it was established more than 65 years ago now known as the Home Economics Association of Australia.
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