While most well-known for his writing, Colin Thiele was also a successful and dedicated educator.
Following the end of World War 2, Colin quickly returned to teaching. After a short, introductory stint at Unley High School, Colin and his new wife Rhonda relocated to Port Lincoln on the Eyre Peninsula where he taught English. Colin wrote and developed many resources to use with his students such as radio plays, verse and even a Geography textbook when he grew frustrated with the available teaching materials.
Geography textbook written by Colin Thiele in 1952
In 1957, Colin Thiele became a lecturer in English at the Wattle Park Teachers College, a predecessor to the University of South Australia. He received the Fulbright Scholarship in 1958 to study teacher education and continued to lecture until 1963.
Handbook from the Wattle Park Teachers College, 1959
After a short time as Vice Principal of the College in 1964 he became the Principal from 1965 to 1972. When the Teachers College became the Murray Park College of Advanced Education in 1973, Colin served as Principal before becoming Director of the renamed Wattle Park Teachers Centre in 1974, where he remained until his retirement in 1980.
Colin with students at Mount Barker Primary School
Throughout his time teaching the teachers, Colin Thiele's literary works were used in many classrooms around Australia. Colin visited many schools and received acknowledgements from schools and students for his work and contributions. Schools continue to use his works today.
The University of South Australia conferred an honorary doctorate degree to Colin Thiele in 1999 in honour of his contributions to both the University and to the development of teacher education in Australia.
Video of Colin Thiele receiving his honorary Doctorate from the University of South Australia in 1999. Speech given by Kym Adey.
Academic dress worn by Colin Thiele at the 1999 Graduation ceremony where he received his honorary Doctorate
The University also named the Library at its Magill Campus - the former site of the Murray Park College of Advanced Education - the Colin Thiele Library in 2000.