Foundation Student Shares Family History

June Turner (1943) at her book launch in 2019

Principal Jennifer Oaten was delighted to host a celebration in honour of June Shenton Turner this week. June was a foundation student of the College in 1938 and has recently published a book titled, The Shentons: A Family of Consequence in Western Australia.

June was born in Perth and raised in Applecross where she attended Applecross Primary School and then later Santa Maria College from 1938 to 1943. She credits Sister Mary Claude for encouraging her passion for literature and writing.

June trained as a nurse at The Perth Children’s Hospital and Royal Perth Hospital. Her nursing career took her to Sydney, Melbourne and then to London where she was a staff nurse at Hammersmith Hospital.

While in England she met her husband, Jeff. They were married in Melbourne but returned to Jeff’s farm in Sussex where their two sons were born.

In 1956, Jeff joined the colonial service in Northern Rhodesia, which became Zambia in 1964. Jeff’s first posting was principal of an agricultural training school on a remote bush station and it was there that their daughter was born.

The family lived in a number of places in Zambia before returning to the UK in 1969. In 1989 June and Jeff retired to Shenton Park, which was only appropriate!

Principal Jennifer Oaten is presented the book by Libby Danckert

Upon returning to Perth, June became involved as a volunteer at the Royal West Australian Historical Society. She also began to write the early history of the Shenton family. It was an endeavour that took her 30 years.

The book focuses on the first generation of the Shenton family to arrive at the Swan River Colony. It describes their lives from 1829 to 1871. The achievements of this generation included setting up the first pharmacy in Perth, missionary work through the Wesleyan Church, building the iconic mill in South Perth, exploration, the birth of the press as well as participation in South Perth’s early local government.

The book was launched in November 2019. Since then June has moved to Sydney to be with family. It was her friend, Libby Danckert (Low, 1982), who presented a copy of the book to Jennifer Oaten. June joined the presentation via Teams.

The celebration was also attended by the College’s Leadership Team on behalf of staff and Year 10 students Alice Handcock, Niamh Smithies, Jessica Mucciacciaro, and Abbey Sullivan, on behalf of our students.

Jennifer Oaten said she was delighted to receive The Shentons: A Family of Consequence in Western Australia. She thanked June and assured her the book would have pride of place in the College’s library for years to come.

June Shenton Turner (1943) and Libby Danckert (Low, 1982)
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