NOTES: Reading about the untimely death of Laverton School Principal, Trish Antulov, in The West today took me back several decades and reminded me of my own experience in that role. I thought about the many years she must have labored long and tirelessly to deal with issues of race and gender as effectively as she clearly did to achieve the recognition and appreciation she received both before and after her death.
That could have been me, I thought, if I had not caved in to the similar pressures and accepted an early retirement settlement back in 1985 organized for me by WA Teachers’ Union Rep, Bill Latter. It sent me rummaging amongst boxes of old papers and diaries to find things I had, not so much forgotten, as determinedly put behind me.
I’m glad I just boxed them all up and didn’t burn them in my rage at losing my job and career. I’ve had a great new life since then, but now I’m needing a new challenge in my declining years. Learning how to transpose old script for editing and weaving into a story line is the next step. I’m surprised that I was writing ‘pomes’ way back then – I guess it helped me get through some dark days of dealing with issues of ‘racism’ and ‘sexism’ as we now call them. Though we didn’t use those terms back then.
Last night I watched Shareena Clanton on ABC’s Q & A as she made an impassioned plea for her people to be heard; I wondered what one could do to help now when we seem no further forward than back in 1984 when the world was drawn here by Australia’s America’s Cup triumph. So much could have been achieved with the magic of our ancient history. I can remember how optimistic I was about that and with help of officers from the WA Aboriginal Education Department like Lyn Sherwood, pictured below here to the right of me……..