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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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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March 10

Conversations with Baby Boomer Teachers: Profile 9 posted by Jillian in Biography, History of Education

Religion played an enormous role in how J ended up teaching. J was born into a Seventh Day Adventist Family. His father was a thinking man within a narrow framework. His mother was intuitive, warm but no academic. His elder brother was bright and excelled at school. He saw himself as the also-ran.

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February 22

Conversations with Baby Boomer Teachers: Profile 8 posted by Jillian in Biography, History of Education

K grew up in Sydney and went to a selective boys’ high school. As he remembers it, his choices at the end of high school were to go to Sydney Teachers’ College or talk to a friend of his uncle who worked at the Sydney Morning Herald about a job in journalism. He had qualified for university, but did not have a Commonwealth Scholarship. he had no pathway mapped, so taking the Teachers’ College Scholarship was a no-brainer.

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February 7

Conversations with Baby Boomer Teachers: Profile 7 posted by Jillian in Uncategorized

The way things fell out when G finished secondary school resulted in her entry into teacher training. She had not anticipated doing so well. When she won a Commonwealth Scholarship she could go to any university in Australia, with her university fees paid.

She had always loved learning. This thirst for finding out about how things worked gained momentum through her Primary and Secondary years. She loved literature and history. She has strong memories of the delight she felt in learning Ancient History. Her teacher was the Principal of the small rural Queensland school. He was often away for the lesson and his small group of students went to the library and researched the topic – a de facto research-based learning approach which had good results.

From a Queensland farming family, she was the only one of five children to go beyond Grade 10. Very few of her 58 cousins went beyond Grade 10. About 5 had some kind of tertiary training. The options she considered open to her were teaching or as a Deaconess in the Lutheran Church – and service in either Hermannsburg or Papua New Guinea. The move towards universal secondary education took, she observed, an extra generation in the country. Her mother used to say G had been “picked up on the road” – so different was she to her siblings.

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