Barbara was born in Shanghai in 1932 and spent much of her childhood in China and Hong Kong, being schooled within the English education system. She remembers that her childhood and schooling experiences were ‘not typical, but it has allowed me to, I think, get used to a whole range of different people; it doesn’t throw me’. Barb completed her Leaving Certificate in Perth and then studied for an Arts Degree, with a double major in English and Psychology, followed by a teaching qualification. Barb’s first teaching appointment was at Girdlestone Girls’ High School in Perth. She describes it as a ‘stretched out primary school’, as teachers tended to teach a range of subjects similar to primary teachers. In the mid 1950s Barb moved to Malaysia with her husband and spent thirteen years teaching there and in Singapore, before moving back to Perth in 1969. On her return she taught in a School for the Deaf in Cottesloe for a short time, working extensively with the parents to support them in teaching their children. She then decided to move into the Guidance area in schools and did a year of training at Swanbourne High School in 1971. After completing a Counselling Psychology course at WA Institute of Technology, Barb taught at another School for the Deaf, this time in a Guidance capacity. She moved to Chidley Education Centre, ‘a remedial centre for children in remote areas’, and then to Kwinana High School. After her three years at Kwinana, Barb applied for a promotion to senior education officer, which involved managing and coordinating guidance officers in the area. She then moved on to a position as district guidance officer, secondary services, in the south-east region. Barb reflects on the many issues related to gender, class and migration that she confronted in her various roles. And she talks about the collegiality within the Guidance area, remembering that ‘because we were a branch, we formed a very tight unit … I could ring thirty people up to get some help and say tell me what you think about this … which means that we’re exchanging ideas and so on all the time’. She also remembers that many people were engaged in the wider psychology sphere, reading journals and ‘wanting to do something different’.