Jim and Jillian Dellit established this website to bring together their various endeavours, to engage with and contribute to the educational community and educational delivery. Jillian is continuing this work both in her own right, and to keep faith with Jim's life, 1947-2014, and their productive partnership 1970-2014.

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February 20

Conversations with Baby Boomer Teachers: Profile No.19 posted by Jillian in Biography, Education reform, History of Education

V grew up and attended High School in Country South Australia. Her parents had secondary education. Her father grew up on the family farm and her mother had been a housekeeper in a school boarding house before marrying. Her father developed polio in the 1950s. V’s older sister ran the farm and her other sister trained as a nurse. Their mother had dreams that V would marry into the local gentry. V went to school at four and a half as part of a community bid to keep the local primary school open. To stay open, the school needed to average 14 enrolments over the year. By starting school early, V pushed up the average attendance enough to keep the school open a bit longer.  It did close, nevertheless, and the children, including V, were bussed to the next town for school. Before it closed an inspector came to the school and was impressed by V’s reading ability.

At High School she was a good student and did well at the Intermediate Certificate., V’s Physics and Chemistry teacher recognized her ability, got to know her parents and argued for her to become a teacher. She explained about teaching scholarships and encouraged them to allow V to apply. This they did and V set off the following year to an Independent Girls’ boarding school in Adelaide.

In some ways this was a disaster. V was physically ill and homesick.  The school did not support her ability in Science subjects and did not help her manage either the transition nor her time there.  She was good at sport, which provided both an outlet and acceptance. She was, however, poorly prepared for university.

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December 23

Conversations with Baby Boomer Teachers: Profile 18 posted by Jillian in Biography, History of Education

T had two daughters, aged 4 and 7, when her marriage broke up. She was devastated. This was outside the experience of anyone in her family and she had no models to draw on. She found a place to rent in the outer Adelaide Hills.

On leaving school in 1967 she had done the first year of an Arts degree at the University of NSW, but had been unmotivated as well as ill, and did not sit her exams. She was very fortunate that academic staff were concerned for her future wellbeing and arranged for the university to issue a letter to the effect she had withdrawn from the course due to illness without a failure being recorded. She then worked in the private sector as an office manager for a company of geologists and geophysicists, learning typing and doing some study in Geology at the University of Sydney at night.  All these skills she used in later work.

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November 24

Conversations with Baby Boomer Teachers: Profile No.17 posted by Jillian in Biography, History of Education

When she completed the HSC at a School on the North Coast of NSW, S desperately wanted to travel overseas. However, she was offered a Teachers’ College Scholarship and, after considerable deliberation, decided to accept this offer as it would provide her with independence and long term financial security.

Growing up on the Gold Coast allowed her to develop strong swimming skills both in the surf and in the pool. She spent hundreds of hours training in an ocean, salt-water swimming pool before goggles and caps were common. The Gold Coast also offered her the opportunity to participate in numerous sporting codes. School and Association Competition allowed her to further develop her skills and she played a range of competitive sports including Netball, Soccer, Softball, Athletics and Hockey. She was well co-ordinated and, although her childhood dream was to be an Air Hostess, she decided to specialise in a career in Sport and Physical Education. She considered joining the Forces but the scholarship to teach was offered and she chose to train as a Physical Education Teacher. She was offered a three year training scholarship at Sydney Teachers’ College and, with a home made fruit cake and all her possessions in one suitcase, drove to Sydney with a family friend.

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October 29

Conversations with Baby Boomer Teachers: Profile 16 posted by Jillian in Biography, Education reform, History of Education

P grew up in a small community in rural South Australia. It proved to be a complex childhood with events necessitating her leaving the community at the age of nine to board in a nearby town. Her new school – and her Monday to Friday home for four years – was a convent of Josephite nuns who ran a two-classroom school and cared for ten boarders.

The strong and caring role models of the nuns – and their consistent message of education, life choices and opportunities for women have influenced her ever since. The nuns lived by the philosophy of Mary Mackillop – a rule of service and social justice in a family and community context. The consistent narrative was one of opportunity – for women and girls, but also for anyone disadvantaged. Their fundamental message of ‘if you see a need, do something about it’ has been P’s guiding principle in life.

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June 26

Conversations with Baby Boomer Teachers: Profile 15 posted by Jillian in Biography, History of Education

Q probably decided to be a teacher because teachers were the only female role models she had.  As she grew up, she formed a view that education could make a big difference to individuals and to the world. She saw education as a way to influence the future. This derived, she thinks, from both her own experience of education and from the role models she saw.

She was very fortunate; she had terrific teachers. They impressed her both in what they taught and in the beliefs to which they adhered. She knew no other professional women, and grew up without knowing any university educated women outside of school. She is sure many of the women who taught her would not today be teachers. They would have perceived themselves as having fewer choices of career than women of their background would today.

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May 29

Conversations with Baby Boomer Teachers: Profile 14 posted by Jillian in Biography, History of Education

Like many of her generation, O was the first of her family to go to university. She came from a family that did not have much money. She attended Walford Girls’ Grammar on a scholarship and knew from an early age she wanted to go to university. She liked school and had, with one exception, good teachers.

In her Intermediate Certificate year she was awarded a Teachers’ College Scholarship to stay at school for a further two years. Walford had an annual trip to Tasmania for senior students, and O wanted to go. Her parents told her that if she used her Teachers’ College Scholarship money – and took upon herself the risk of having to pay it back if she didn’t end up teaching – she could go. She didn’t hesitate.

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May 18

Conversations with Baby Boomer Teachers: Profile 13 posted by Jillian in Biography, History of Education

N followed her two older sisters to Woodville High School in Adelaide. Her mother enrolled her in the Commercial stream following the common wisdom that if you can type you will always have a job. Port Adelaide Girls High would have been closer, but it had, according to her mother, a bit of a reputation, and she feared her girls would get pregnant if they went there.

Her father was a wharf labourer, which, at that time, meant no security. Men presented for work each day and were assigned to unload or load ships on a needs basis. The insecurity meant her mother worked to maintain cash flow. Her father was keen for the children to join the workforce to contribute to the family income and security. Her two older sisters left school at 14 to work and contribute.

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May 3

Conversations with Baby Boomer Teachers: Profile 12 posted by Jillian in Biography, History of Education

M entered teaching almost accidentally. She and her sisters attended Vermont Girls’ Technical High School. M was 4 years behind her sisters. It was a time of change and energy. Her teachers were young, bright and committed. They switched her on to learning and creating change. All things seemed possible. M, for example, was able to convince the Principal to support attendance at Vietnam Moratorium marches.

The school, rather than her family, was the strong and deciding influence. Music and Arts were strong and encouraged at Year 12 and students were asked what they wanted to do. Mr Olssen, her Year 12 class teacher, had a lasting influence as did the model presented by the Headmistress.  With 17 girls in her matriculation year there was plenty of attention and personalisation.

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April 12

Conversations with Baby Boomer Teachers: Profile 11 posted by Jillian in Biography, History of Education

L was the son of hard-working Italian migrants with a very successful market garden business. He attended St Joseph’s Primary School and St Michael’s College in Adelaide and cannot remember a time when he did not want to be a teacher. He credits this to the Josephite nuns and the environment they created at the school. His parents, neither of whom were literate, encouraged their children to progress as far as they could in both education and business. His mother, in particular, wanted education for her children.  L obliged by taking up teaching.  His brothers continued in the family business and then set up successful businesses of their own. One sister began in banking and moved to Public Service management. Another trained and worked as a teacher after a start as a teacher-aide.

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March 30

Conversations with Baby Boomer Teachers: Profile 10 posted by Jillian in Biography, History of Education

H was living in a small far north town in South Australia when she did her Leaving Certificate.  She wanted to leave home and be independent. She also wanted to be a doctor, but, with 2 younger brothers and her parents’ modest income, she knew that was out of reach. A teaching scholarship for her Leaving year provided the means for her to achieve her goal of independence.
Unlike the other two girls in her year who had Teaching Scholarships, she did not do Leaving Honours. Instead, she took her Teachers’ College Scholarship and left home at 16, taking up her place in the Infant Teacher training institution on Currie Street in Adelaide and boarding at Miethke House on Dequetteville Terrace. Because she had not done Leaving Honours she was required to do an IQ test to confirm entry to University.

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