Redcliffe Pier

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A PLACE AT LAST

In January 1962, I was offered a place at teacher's college at last after trying for 3 years to be accepted. However, it wasn't an ordinary teacher's college. It was called, "The Australian School of Pacific Administration" (ASOPA) and it had a colourful history:
In 1941 It was an Army Education Service teaching soldiers. After the war it became the Army School of Intelligence. In 1945 it was the School of Civil Affairs training officers for the Australian New Guinea Unit. All this had been done at the Duntroon Military College in Canberra but in 1946 it became a civil institution and it moved to Sydney and was renamed 'The Australian School of Pacific Administration."(ASOPA). It was a place to train people to help in the administration of the Northern Territory, Papua /New Guinea and other Pacific Islands. My brother went there in 1956 to train as a Patrol Officer for P/NG. In 1954 teachers were being trained for service in the territories. At first teacher training was done at Bathurst Teachers College but in 1958 it moved to ASOPA.
The school was housed in a collection of old army barracks buildings from the Second World War.

The Library


It didn't matter that the buildings were old because the setting was fabulous. The school was located near Mosman on Middle Head, a headland jutting out into Port Jackson also known as Sydney Harbour. The view from the lecture rooms and the lawn was beautiful.

Even though I lived in Sydney, I lived a long way to the south of the city and Mosman was on the northern side of the harbour. It took me 2 hours to travel by train and ferry or bus to get to college. So I moved into an apartment with my brother, David, sister in law, Ann and new baby, Michael. David was on a year's study leave from Papua/New Guinea. He was at ASOPA too learning to be a District Officer.

The apartment block was an ugly sixties box but it had a nice view over Manly another north Sydney beach suburb.

Beside the academic study we had to do weeks of Practice Teaching, I was very nervous my first time in front of a class.

I had great fun socialising in the evenings with the students at beach parties in walking distance from the school. We had come from all corners of Australia and most of us were living in apartments or boarding away from home. I was lucky to go home on weekends but most of the others couldn't return home until holiday/vacation time.

Even lecturer's joined in the fun. I remember that mug. We had to make them from Bamboo in woodwork lessons. (Just in case we were posted to a jungle village where there weren't any shops to buy mugs hee hee)


My mum and dad were happy that I was studying to be a teacher. They had encouraged me to apply to go to P/NG even though it meant me leaving home for at least 3 years and living in another country. My dad had to sign an expensive bond contract which stated that I had to give 3 years service to the Australian Govt in P/NG to pay for the training.

I was happy. At last I was at teacher's college . I didn't particularly want to go to P/NG but if it meant I had to do that to become a teacher well so be it. I may as well try to enjoy it. I treated it like a new adventure and a new life. And so it was!



23 comments:

  1. you were very adventurous for your cause Diane and all was worth it.

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  2. I admire your tenacity. You must have had a calling!

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  3. Good to read you stuck with the idea of being a teacher, many would have been put off.
    Love the photos, you a lucky to have them.

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  4. I would have had trouble paying attention to lectures with that beautiful view you had. I really like the mug you made.

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  5. you have an adventurous spirit. i love the big grin on your face - and the big mug from bamboo, too!!!

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  6. Hi Diane, What a wonderful story and treasured photos,thank you for sharing them and swinging by blog.

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  7. Great adventure -- how lucky your girls are that you are getting it all in writing. And thanks for sharing your story with the rest of us too!

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  8. Wow, Diane, what a fascinating post. I love the views from the school and from your brother's apartment. And weren't you just the cutest thing in the 60s, all set to make dishes out of wood, just in case.
    The beach party photo takes me back to the 60s, when we all thought we were independent but had no idea just how very independent young people were going to become in the future.
    K

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  9. What a lovely part of your life Diane, and the adventures just keep coming :)

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  10. Wow it does sound like it would had been an adventure, when we are young we are often more up to adventure, some of us lose that as we get older

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  11. I am glad you stuck with teaching. And what an adventure you have had, loved the photos. The shot of you holding the mug is one of my favorites. I also love the view of the harbor. Thanks for sharing, have a happy week!

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  12. Yes it's a magnificent location and just imagine how much the land would be worth now !!
    Love your Mum's Edna Everage style glasses.

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  13. Hi Diane, I love reading your story… You looked so happy --and I'm sure you were proud to be studying to be a teacher. Sounds like your parents were pleased also.. Great set of photos.

    Had a nice service for Dad Adams yesterday --and got to see many old friends and family members. We also enjoyed a family lunch together. Dad is in a better place now… Thanks be to God.
    Hugs
    Betsy

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  14. I like seeing how life was with these photos...nice

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  15. Exciting times! Great spot to study, it must have been fun and challenging.

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  16. That must have been a very nice time in your life ! But at the same time you had a hard way to become a teacher !
    I like the "Army School of Intelligence" I think if we still had this today, it would be overcrowded by young soldiers to learn some "Intelligence" lol !

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  17. Great that you were accepted and some lovely photos. Love the one of your parents. Have a good Christmas Diane

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  18. WHAT A wonderful post this is Diane! How wonderful to have been a teacher and what fun it looked like you had in school. also looks as if you were in a beautiful spot. It is alot of fun looking back on those days isn't it, and all of the fun that we had. Do you still keep in touch wiht some of your fellow students? How exciting that you are going to be in Texas next year. I would love to meet you when you come. Where exactly are you going to be coming to.???

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  19. oh, diane, i really like the mug that you made.


    and i have to say that you have such an adventurous mind!

    big hugs~

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  20. What an interesting way to become a teacher. I'm so glad you finally were able to get into a school and fulfill your dream. Good on you for persevering!

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  21. It is so enjoyable to look back on your life with you, Diane. I'm glad you stuck with it to become a dedicated teacher.

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  22. What wonderful memories captured in photos. Oh yes, what an adventure you were about to embark on. :-) The college and your apartment really did have lovely water views.

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