oral history group initials

Oral history group, release Number 6.
We can still remember. Girls at school 1912-1934
Release date 2014.

Interviewers: Suzy Chandler, Lis Christensen, Prue Gill, Marian Letcher, Mary Lush & Sue Woolley
Musicians: Susan Breen Clarke, Anna Clarke, Sandy Price & Fintona girls
Sound editor: Mary Lush
Producers: Lis Christensen & Mary Lush
Financial supporters: Tourmont Inc & an anonymous donor

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The lives and schooling of girls circa 1920s

girls on campGirls and staff at Mount Buffalo. Photo: Gunn family

This recording tells a story about particular women in a particular time, a time when non-government schools were the only source of full secondary education to university entrance level in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne.

The women whose voices are heard between them attended one-teacher country schools, State schools, dame schools and private schools. They have in common the fact that at least some of their schooling was at Fintona. They talk of their schooling in all of these places, but particularly at Fintona.

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The interviewees and interviewers in the Releases below have agreed to their work being made available, but the Releases remain subject to copyright. Users must not do, permit or authorise any act that infringes this copyright. For example you must not reproduce the Releases, publish the Releases, perform the Releases in public, communicate the Releases to the public, make an adaptation of the Releases, enter into a commercial rental arrangement in respect of the Releases or authorise a third party to do any of those things. You must not at any time do, permit or authorise any act that infringes the Moral Rights in the Releases. For example you must not treat the Releases in a derogatory manner, falsely attribute the Releases or fail to attribute the Releases to the author or performer.

This Release should be cited as: Christensen L & Lush M, producers (2014). We can still remember. Girls at school 1912-1934. Oral History Group Release 6, http://www.fintonahistory.com.au

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Option 1. Entire recording
Size: 68 MB
Duration: 1 hour 2 minutes

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Option 2. Individual tracks:

Track 1 Introduction 1:30

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Track 2 The family backgrounds of the girls and their friends 8:38 Chandler, Christensen, Forrest, Gabb, Gayford, Gill, Gough, Gunn, Letcher, Lush, Reilly, Scales, Simpson, Wassard, Wilcox

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Track 3 – Primary schooling 7:16
Chandler, Christensen, Gabb, Gilbert, Gill, Gough, Gunn, Letcher, Lush, Scales, Wilcox

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Track 4 Fresh air and exercise 5:21
Catchlove, Chandler, Forrest, Gabb, Gayford, Gill, Gilbert, Gough, Gunn, Letcher. Lush, Parker, Reilly, Scales, Simpson, Wilcox

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Track 5, Lessons 9:09
All

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Track 6, On the conduct of women and on discipline 7:41
Catchlove, Chandler, Forrest, Gabb, Gill, Goldsworthy, Gough, Gunn, Letcher, Lush, Scales, Reilly

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Track 7 Annual events 4:59
Corbett, Forrest, Gill, Gunn, Letcher, Lush, Parker, Wilcox, Woolley

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Track 8 Boundaries 5:49
Catchlove, Forrest, Gayford, Gough, Letcher, Lush, Parker, Reilly, Wilcox

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Track 9 World events 7:42
Catchlove, Gabb, Gayford, Gill, Gough, Gunn, Letcher, Lush, Reilly, Wilcox

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Track 10 Summing up 4:45
Catchlove, Chandler, Forrest, Gayford, Gilbert, Gough, Lush

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Additional notes

Fintona is a girls' school in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. It is one of a number of non-government schools still operating today that were founded over 100 years ago by formidable women. These interviewees, aged at the time of interview between their late 80s and 103, were the last generation of girls to be taught at Fintona while it was still owned by its main founder, Miss Annie Hughston.

In compiling this recording we have not selected only those memories that cast the school, or the girls, in the best light. Rather we have tried to convey something of the range of the girls' lives and experiences. We have inserted some information about the context of the times to guard against foreseeable misinterpretations by the listeners.

We thank the interviewees for their generosity, particularly when recalling unhappy or difficult times. Listeners wanting more information are referred to the interviews listed below which are held in the oral history archive at Fintona. The year following each name is the year they left Fintona.

Interviewee

Interview number

Wassard (Aase) 1921

16

Corbett (Yolande) née Birch 1927

12

Gunn (Jean) née Rose 1930

13

Catchlove (Joan) née Fussell 1931

26

Forrest (Leigh) née Gregory 1932

21

Gayford (Fay) néeMackrell 1933

25

Gabb (Joan) née Hallam 1934

31

Scales (Dora) née Goudie 1936

14 & 30

Simpson (Gwen) neé Mackrell 1936

50

Gough (Majorie) née Trott 1936

24

Parker (Diana) née Matthews 1936

40

Gilbert (Merle) née Goldsworthy 1937

32

Wilcox (Jean) née Anderson 1937

33

Reilly (Hope) 1937

35

Historical detail

Those unfamiliar with the details of the history of Fintona may be confused by the mentions of Miss Cunningham. Margaret Cunningham began teaching at Fintona in 1929, and bought Fintona from Miss Hughston at the end of 1934. In the period of this recording she was a house mistress and science teacher.
.
Full secondary education in State run schools arrived in the eastern suburbs in the mid 1950s when Box Hill Boys High and Camberwell High held their first matriculation classes.*

For information about examination failure rates and changes in the philosophy of teaching see McCalman (1993).**

*McCalman J (1993). Journeyings. The biography of a middle-class generation 1920-1990. Melbourne University Press, p 114
**Ibid pp 119-128