This book is of course dedicated to my parents, John and Nancy

- for a man who became headmaster of a school at the age of 26 and who battled to achieve his ideals in increasingly difficult circumstances,

- and a woman who joined him from England at the age of 21 - and who displayed such character and strength in supporting him through thick and thin despite living in conditions she had never experienced before and in such a remote area.

However, it is also dedicated to everyone in Rhodesia at that time, black and white, who worked so desperately hard to try and find some sort of peaceful and relevant answers to the colony’s many problems in the pitifully short time allowed to do so

… and whose efforts have gone largely unrecognised since.


This is Jill Baker’s first book, although she has had numerous articles and critiques published in her life as a journalist in radio, television and travel writing. She had never had any burning desire to write a book until after her father’s death when she felt it was important to document his life.

After playing a role as a tobacco farmer's wife for four years, Jill started life in broadcasting as a compiler of classical music in the record library of the R.B.C. Their daughter Nicky was born in 1971.

Jill moved into a presentation role taking over Music for the Morning and other classical radio, and then television, programmes. She became an anchor television news reader and presented many current affairs and culturally orientated television and radio programmes

She managed the radio section of Blackberry Productions before developing the television and radio production arm of the then Z.R.B.C.

She was also the driving force behind the Z.B.C’s Radio Three - approaching the BBC team responsible for formatting a new broadcasting service after Independence, with her ideas. These were adopted gratefully and she was given the job of carrying them out! Jill then formed her own company working largely in the tourism industry.

She moved to Australia with her family at the end of 1983.



In March 1984, Jill was appointed as Director of the first and still one of Australia’s largest public radio stations. She was with the station for five years before starting her own company offering specialist management consultancy to the tourism industry. She now works in corporate motivation and incentives with her daughter Nicky.

Her parents, John and Nancy, moved to Australia in 1988. They were followed a couple of years later, by brother Richard, his wife Pam and their three children Tessa, Julie and David.

John Hammond died in 1996 and Nancy in February 2007.

Jill is very happily settled in Australia, but confesses that like anyone who has ever lived in Africa, she has those odd, inescapable, moments of yearning for the land of her birth. She has since been instrumental in the establishment of the Zimbabwe Connection trying to help Zimbabweans gain work and visa entry into Australia. In 2005, she was recognised for her work in this area by the award of the Medal of the Order of Australia.