Sister Judith Redden

Principal May 1983 – April 2013

In 1958, Judith Redden came to St Aloysius College from Star of the Sea Convent, Henley Beach. In 1959 she was made Head Prefect, captain of St Anne’s and Sports Captain of her new school. In the years following school, Judith trained as a teacher and was eventually appointed to a school in Alice Springs. Judith joined the Mercy Sisters in 1963 and was known as Sr Mary Justin.

Sr Judith taught at SAC for several years prior to being appointed principal of Star of the Sea in 1970, a position she held until the end of 1974. After much study that led to the award of a Master of Education from Flinders University, a Master’s degree from London University, together with a Graduate Diploma of Education Administration from Adelaide CAE, as well as involvement in a whole range of aspects of Catholic education, Sr Judith was appointed principal of SAC, a position she held for thirty years until her retirement in 2013.

Sr Judith’s tenure was marked by the implementation of an ambitious building plan and the continuing refurbishment of existing facilities. Reception to year four classes were reintroduced and a language centre was established. Among the major projects undertaken during this time must be counted the school swimming pool, the expansion of the school library, the tram barn project that resulted in the construction of the Judith Redden Centre, the association with Montessori Schools, the McAuley Auditorium and the Year 12 Centre.

(Sr Judith Redden, St Aloysius College Archives)
(Sr Judith Redden, St Aloysius College Archives)

In 1989, Sr Judith began the school’s International Student program. SAC was one of the first to do so in South Australia. This program became most successful and was beneficial to the large numbers of girls from overseas who took advantage of it, and in so many ways to SAC itself.

During her years as principal, Sr Judith was part of numerous organisations including her membership of the Commonwealth Schools Commission from 1986 until 1988.

Less obvious features of Sr Judith’s principalship have been her encouragement of the growing student involvement in activities associated with social justice and its support of the outreach of Mercy Works, with particular respect to the mission to Argentina. The school, as she departed from it, was and remains strongly multicultural, with a mix of students who would be regarded as advantaged and many others who are less so.

Sr Judith’s contribution to education, in particular to education in Catholic schools, was recognised in the Year 2002 Honours list when she was awarded an Order of Australia for services to indigenous education. Sr Judith Redden is now Dr Redden, having in 2019, completed her Doctorate of Education at Flinders University.

By Neville Stapleton
Archivist, St Aloysius College, 2020