Wendy Rainbird


Wendy Rainbird

Class of 1959


Wendy has spent 24 years volunteering to protect the environment.

Wendy (nee Westcott: Class of 1959) spent twenty-five years teaching, initially at Secondary and Tertiary levels, and then for many years at Primary levels. On retirement from teaching, she was invited to join the Boards of a number of organisations about living healthily and sustainably.

Wendy was invited to be the National Council of Women’s Environment Adviser in the Australian Capital Territory, at a time when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was issuing reports. She wrote succinct reports for the NCW, and not long afterwards was nominated to be the NCW Australia Environment Adviser. For two terms over six years, she reported to members around Australia on a range of environmental and global issues, including working with Queensland to protect the Great Barrier Reef. On the basis of her work she was invited to go to Izmir in Turkey to nominate for the position of Environment Advisor to the International Council of Women.

“When I was elected Environment and Habitat Advisor to the International Council of Women, there were representatives from all around the world. It has been very interesting meeting with them and hearing about the work of their National Councils and the United Nations Organisations.” Her role on the National Council saw Wendy produce reports on a range of environmental and global issues such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s evidence on increased global land and sea temperatures and protecting the Great Barrier Reef. “I believe that having a voice, researching to put forward a good case and seeing the results of these efforts are without a doubt the most rewarding aspect of my work.”

Wendy has also spent twenty-four years volunteering for ParkCare, a community program for people interested in protecting the environment in the nature reserves around Canberra. Recently, she was awarded the ACT Individual Landcare Award for her contributions over many years. “Anyone can become a Parkcarer – enthusiasm is all you need. Activities include seed collection, plant propagation, tree planting, erosion control and water quality monitoring,” says Wendy.

A variety of other environmental roles have kept Wendy busy and she is currently part of the Human Ecology Forum at the Australian National University. “Each week we meet to discuss the relationship between humans and their natural, social and built environments, it’s extremely interesting.” It will come as no surprise that Wendy’s favourite subject at Camberwell Girls was geography. She was the first student to receive First Class Honours in the subject, and Wendy also graduated as Dux of School.

“Mrs Alston was a wonderful teacher. I liked the holistic way she taught. In many ways, she inspired me to go on to study geography and to later teach geography – as well as lead professional development sessions in the subject too.” A natural thirst for the outdoors and adventure, Wendy enjoys travel and exploring new destinations. She has a love for beautiful places and recently wrote a book titled, ‘Sense of Beauty’ to share her joy and love of the world.

“I don’t have a favourite place as each place has its own special quality”. Congratulations Wendy – you are a true inspiration and we are very proud to call you a Camberwell Girls grammarian.


Discover more on a School tour