A comment on his practice teaching report that he was “good with a difficult class” redirected Y from a future in hospitality to a long and successful career in education. The son of two primary school teachers, he attended high school in suburban Adelaide and wanted to attend university and leave home at the end of high school. The Teachers’ College Scholarship, unlike the Commonwealth Scholarship he also won, paid a living allowance. He was amongst the last cohort to benefit from the Teachers’ College Scholarships designed to encourage final year school students into teaching.
By the time he finished his Dip Ed, the demand for teachers was lessening and the scholarship scheme had been curtailed. Although the Education Department honoured the commitment to train, they no longer guaranteed work and no longer enforced their bond. Y had taken an extra year to finish because of an eye operation. He was offered a country placement but under no obligation to take it. He was, by this time, in a committed long-term relationship and his partner worked in the city. He therefore turned down the appointment and got work as a waiter and restaurant manager for two years.