E-Courser blogs account of Aussie life
In the beginning: the story of an ASOPA pioneer

School’s philosophy turned war orientation to welfare

In the first issue of Vortex magazine, published in 1962 as an initiative of the ASOPA Class of 1962-63, Principal Charles Rowley reflected on the educational philosophy that had underpinned the School’s early years.

Charlesrowley2 “Nearly all the students of the early fifties were ex-servicemen. Many had served in the Australian New Guinea Administrative Unit, which controlled the destinies of New Guineans during the war; it had been concerned mainly with winning the war, and welfare was secondary. Thus in our courses we tried to provoke students to re-think conclusions which they had formed of the proper role of the Australians in New Guinea.

“Though most of them were mature men, this chance to get them thinking in the ‘long course’ (then a solid two years) seems to have paid off. For they had been well chosen; and their work was of high standard.

“Some of them came with reluctance into studies which, according to the accusations of some of the older ‘practical’ men of the Pacific, were guided by a group of impractical ‘long-haired theorists’; but for a long time now they have been basing routine day-to-day decisions on principles which it was necessary to emphasise ten years ago.”


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