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Ours was the year that was: 1962-63

Bill Welbourne et al

On a sultry sunny February day in 1962, a group of aspiring Cadet Education Officers squeezed into an old army mess hall at Middle Head for an introduction to what would prove a life changing experience. We were a different bunch, and therein lies one of the truisms of the whole ASOPA adventure - we were individuals. We came from far and wide across Australia, PNG and Nauru. Some were escaping home, others were into unsuccessful sorties in academe, a number were plain bored with public service life. There were those filled with religious zeal, others who genuinely thought teaching had appeal while some were hard pressed to explain why they were there at all. The common sentiment was the comfort of being 'the best paid cadets in Australia' - though our PNG colleagues much later shocked us with the news that they were paid half of what the rest of us received.


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