Heathdale flower 31st May 2022

Heathdale's Generational Story

Christine Hingston, known to students now as Mrs Hingston, was our first 'Original' who did her schooling at Heathdale from Prep right through to Year 12. Now, she is a teacher here and her three daughters are also students. As we continue celebrating our 40th Anniversary, discover more about Christine's Heathdale story.

Heathdale flower

Meet Christine Hingston, our first Heathdale 'Original'. Christine was one of the four Preps that started school in Heathdale's opening year in 1982 and stayed until she finished Year 12 in 1993. Flashing forward, Christine has been known to students as Mrs Hingston since she started teaching at the College in 2002.

Christine loved school. Even when she was sick, she would lie to her mum because she never wanted to miss a day. She has many fond memories, like playing Champion Shuffleboard and competing against older students. "The older students would look out for us, like when they would stop playing footy to let the young ones through." Christine says that she loved all her subjects, with Maths and Science being particular favourites, and would have chosen to be at school all the time if possible!

During her time at Heathdale, Christine was blessed to cross paths with hard-working, faithful teachers that touched her life significantly. Mrs Milne was her teacher during Year 2-3 and during that time, she inspired Christine to become a teacher herself one day. Christine’s class found out that Mrs Milne was leaving the College at a presentation night, and she remembers the whole class crying; Mrs Mine was well loved indeed.

Mrs Nihill was another standout teacher who Christine had for Science in Year 7-8. Christine got braces around the end of Year 8 and recalls how on a day out for the last day of school, she was feeling particularly miserable in the cold weather and Mrs Nile gave Christine her jacket to wear. "She was a wonderful teacher and showed that extra level of care."

Additionally, despite Christine's love for Maths and Science, one of her Secondary teachers, Mr Rolls, recommended she study English and History. She laughed and said no way, but during university, she did end up swapping over to English and History. "He must have known me better than I knew myself."

Christine reflects on how students had a great appreciation for what they had at Heathdale because they witnessed first-hand the efforts of the community that brought everything to life. She has vivid memories of the days before maintenance, cleaners and other luxuries our students now experience. She recalls helping her father sand down and paint new desks, the school holiday roster for people to come in and water trees, helping to clean classrooms together at the end of the day and cleaning windows at the end of the year, conducting emu parades to pick up rubbish, participating in a walk-a-thon to raise money for a basketball court, and more. "It's just what everyone did to help out. There was an incredible sense of community."

As a teacher at Heathdale, Christine can share her faith with her students through devotions and weaving in the gospel throughout her classes, like highlighting God as the Creator when studying astronomy or comparing how novel characters treat one another with how Jesus would treat them.

"It's vital for us to be a light so that students can come here and hear the truth of the Good News. Never more than now has it been more important; this is an incredible place of outreach and Christian education."

The continuously unfolding Heathdale story is made up of thousands of threads, each representing a different individual who has participated in and contributed to our College community since the very beginning. The Hingston family's story is a wonderful example of this, as Christine's three daughters, Sara, Olivia and Georgia, are also planted in this same soil; rather poetically, Olivia set to graduate Year 12 this year, 40 years after her mother begun Prep at the school and 20 years after she came on staff as a teacher.

As we celebrate Heathdale's 40th Anniversary, we honour the individuals and families who have made the College all that it is today, and trust God that He will continue to flourish this community for years to come.