Memories from Danebank Anglican School for Girls in the late 1980s

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Interviewee: Petty Heather
Date: 28 May 2018
Subject: Education in St George/ School Memories
Interviewer: Birgit Heilmann
Transcript: Hurstville Museum and Gallery staff

For further details regarding this recording, you can find the recording in the Georges River Libraries Catalogue under Memories from Danebank Anglican School for Girls in the late 1980s.


Petty Heather [PH]
Birgit Heilmann [BH]



This is an oral history interview with Petty Heather on the 28 of May 2018 and this is for education stories from St George project and the interviewer is Birgit Heilmann for Hurstville Museum and Gallery. Thanks for agreeing to this interview.

Thank you for having me.

Biographical questions

[00:31] I just want to ask some personal information. Can you just please state your full name and which suburb you currently live in?

So my name is Petty Heather and I currently live in Hurstville. When I went to school it was Petty Litsas, so my married name is Heather.

Can you tell me what year you were born?

I was born in 1976.

Where were you born?

I was actually born in Darlinghurst, so I was born in Sydney, but I was born in Darlinghurst, which was St Margaret’s Hospital.

Did you grow up in Darlinghurst?

I lived in Camperdown for a couple of years, which is down near the city. When I was in year two, I moved to Hurstville with my family, so I think I was in second grade when I moved to Hurstville.

[01:28] Can you tell me a little bit about you family situation back then?

I have a sister who is four and a half years older than me. Her name is Matina. Um and she was a little bit older in school. She went to Danebank as well. I have a mum and a dad still living in Hurstville. We used to own a takeaway shop in Camperdown on the main road, on Parramatta Road. So I went to a little school called Camperdown Demonstration School, it wasn’t even a public school. It was a school that was not very big on education more on social interaction (laughs) and then we moved to Hurstville when my parents sold that and took up different occupations at the time and then settled into Hurstville and no one moved from where they are. I actually moved a street away from where I grew up. I bought a house and I built one about twelve years ago and my sister lives four doors down, oh wow, so we’re all in a couple of streets of each other.

[02:27] That’s great. My parents in Germany also live not far from my grandparents.

It is very European. It’s a very European trait to have all your family living in close proximity, so it was good. It was good. It was the best thing my parents did for us to move us to Hurstville and back then it wasn’t as developed as it is now obviously, so —

[02:50] So what year would you have moved

So I moved in 1983, I think it was, 83/84 and I moved to start school at Beverly Hills Public School, which is the big school on the corner of Stony Creek Road and King George’s Road, so it was good. Best thing that they did. It was very good.

[03:12] Laughs. Before we start talking about school, just talk a bit about your current situation with your family.

Ok. I am the mother of a gorgeous eleven year old boy. He is the light of my life. He is such a good little boy. I currently work at Suncorp which is one of the big banks. I head up the change, wealth change area. Which is every time the government changes legislation for superannuation, I take all the legislation and all the regulatory change and the regulatory reporting to things like the ATO and the government, and I implement the change through the business.

I also look after a team in India. of quite a few people, so I have spent eleven months of the last probably two and a half years in India. Looking after my team there and implementing all the changes for the company, so I work long hours, and look after my son. I currently head up the alumni at Danebank, so I’m the President of the Old Girl’s Association as well, so from a social perspective still actively involved in the school (laughing). So that’s my current situation. I have a good mum and dad and my sister and they all help me look after my little boy, so – busy.

[04:40] Yeah great. And time flies.

Time flies but happily busy

Beverly Hills Public School

[04:48] So you just already said that you started school here in Hurstville in Beverly Hills.


[04:57] What memories do you have from your school life like then?

So Beverly Hills Public School, again it was a good little school even though it was set on massive premises, so you had this smallish school on a very wide lot of land. So there was always lots of, you know, time to play and lots of kids around I think, if I remember correctly. The memories that I have of Beverly Hills, they’re very good actually, but it was a very simple school, so very base rooms. You know the demountables where there not actual class rooms in buildings. They’re the portable ones. So the school was made up of a main building of bricks and mortar, so the old old school probably from the early 1900s but then they’d added a whole lot of demountables to it. I remember that I had very fond memories of one of my teachers. And I still have good memories of him, but then I remember I had some nightmares about this teacher as well, so it just depends. As I got older, the work got a bit harder. I just remember thinking that I was going to Danebank.

I was being primed from when I was about in Year four um to go to Danebank because my sister was already there, so – look school was good for me. I was a good student. I do remember being teased quite a lot cause I was very conscientious, so I had my little glasses, so I remember the boys teasing me cause they all knew I was heading off to Danebank, so they always used to say oh you’re going to a private school you think you’re better than everybody else. There was lots of teasing going on towards the last couple of years of school, but I still have fond memories of it. My family was in a very middle class socio-economic arena, so they weren’t wealthy and they weren’t not wealthy. It was just comfortable if that makes sense. There were good memories in there. Lots of learning. There are a couple of interesting memories I had. But starting there was good. And coming from Camperdown which was very um different in their approach to learning. Their learning was very group oriented. Not one on one. Going into Beverly Hills I do remember the teachers spending a lot of extra time with us when we needed help. Especially since he knew we were going to another school where we needed to excel and probably catch up with some stuff, so—

[07:35] How big were the classes back then?

Oh that’s a good question. They weren’t as big as – I think they’re – if I remember correctly cause I did take a photo out and have a look. I think that they would have been about 22, 23 children per class back then, which varies to now in some of the schools where you are looking at 30 plus, 35 kids per class, so it is very different to what it is now.Yeah, I’ve got my school photos which I took out and had a look at so — Um as a result of this interview I was trying to figure out you know what memories I had from there.

[08:10] It is quite interesting. We had all the primary schools coming. I just learned that they are not taking any books with them anymore because they are storing them at school, so was this the same when you went?

No, we had books for everything back then.

[08:29] And you had to bring it from home?

And we had to bring it from home, cause a lot of the work was done at home with your homework as well and then you had to take them back and that wasn’t just primary school, high school was worse. I remember taking – you know you have this little bag and you have this little year 7, 8, 9 massive amounts of books. I suppose you’re right it would probably look very different now especially with computers and the like, so. No, we didn’t have any luxuries like that we had books and I went to Greek school at Beverly Hills so after school there were Greek classes. I should have said that my background is of Greek background so we had extra books for Greek school, so yeah it wasn’t the same as it is now, definitely not. It was a lot simpler though. (laughs). A lot simpler.

[09:18] And do you remember Beverly Hills did they have a school canteen? Or what would you eat for lunch? Would you bring it in? Or would they have canteen running—?

So they definitely had a canteen but nothing again like what I see now. Most of our lunches were brought in [from home]. If we were going to the canteen, I used to love the canteen especially at primary school age. If you were going to the canteen you would bring pocket money. It was more to buy something to supplement what you already had. They did have the brown paper bags. You used to write your lunch order on the brown paper bags. Definitely, I had a lunch order every Friday. It was my allowance day, so I used to write up a brown lunch order and put it in. They had a basket and someone in the class would have to take the basket over to the canteen with all the lunch order money in it and then the lunch orders would come back from the canteen to the class room, so you could pick up your lunch order before you went to lunch. So that was on a Friday. The food was also very different from what I can see that kids are having now.

[10:22] Can you explain the difference?

I think there was a lot of, you know, little bags. The chips and chocolate bars and things like that. Now everything is very extra prep. There’s fruit bowls and lasagne and all this other stuff. We had your basic sandwiches and meat pies and sausage rolls for lunch, and now kids are getting gourmet food. The canteen is probably a lot bigger business these days in schools than it was before and then you have all these socially conscious people who are trying to make sure that the food in the canteen now is, you know, ten times healthier than what it has ever been, but it’s all the same really. So very different. If you forgot your lunch you kind of went without. If you didn’t have breakfast you kind of went without as well. So again very different, so—

[11:17] Yeah that’s quite interesting how all these things change.

Yeah they do.

[11:29] What games would you play in breaks and recess time?

So it got progressively more mature in the games from when we were younger. So when hopscotch, hopscotch is, I remember very clearly playing hopscotch. Handball, so way back. Do you remember what handball is? Do you remember what that is? No? (laughs)

[11:51] I mean I know handball as a sport is. But it might mean something different.

So we would have a square on the ground and there would be four…It would be cut into quarters and you’d have to you know versus two people, so there would be four people playing. Um so you’d have to try and get it over into their quadrant and right back without it getting out of the lines. I know very simple games. There was no technology when I went to primary school, so you didn’t really have, you know, computers and games and a whole lot of other pieces. So um what else did we play? We played chasing. Like I said there was a very large playground um. We played like cubby house, so at one end of the school I remember that there was this massive tree and people used to pretend that it was like a fortress, which is silly. And that’s why I said, as we got older progressively… [we played more mature games] I remember the girls, playing with the girls and the boys playing with the boys, as we were younger and then as we got older progressively the girls wanted to play with the boys more, (laughs) so I don’t think that’s changed over time.

[12:57] And did the boys let you play?

Not really. And the boys that we had at school weren’t very culturally,- there was quite a few boys that thought that girls belonged in a certain place and boys belonged in a certain place and they were superior. You’re talking about a long time ago. Twenty, thirty years ago, so the mentality of boys and girls interacting has probably changed a bit, so from way back then. The boys thought they were better than us all the time. So, it’s all good.

[13:35] Um and you said that some boys were teasing because you went to a private school, so were you one of the only students there going to a private? Can you explain a little bit what the ending of going to primary school?

It’s actually interesting you asked me that because as I was thinking about this interview I was thinking what are the key things that I remember about probably the last two years [of primary school, PH]. I was the only one who was going to a private school out of my whole year, or I think there were two. In Year six there were two classes for year six back then, so there would easily have been about 50, 55 kids and I remember my teacher, [Mr Walst, PH]. I had applied to go St George Girl’s High, which is a selective school and Danebank. Danebank was a given. I’d already been accepted because my sister was there and St George was because my parents thought maybe from a selective school perspective. Um I remember my teacher giving me extra lessons after school, so he could train me up for the the selective school interview process and then the test that I had to do, so I think kids weren’t very impressed about the fact that I got extra treatment there and then like I said my parents weren’t very wealthy.

So we had, and this is a good memory, we had a little Datsun, so a little beat up car that my mum used to drive us to school, a blue one. Every day she used to drive us to school and back um and because of the way the school was you actually had to go into the premises, so all the kids got to see you being dropped off in the mornings. Um so they used to tease me. I remember very clearly being teased about the fact that my mum was driving me in a Datsun to school and the kids used to say ‘oh you are going to a private school and you’re being driven in a Datsun. What are people going to think of you? Your mum should own a Mercedes or a BMW, —You know, I knew that my parents were working very hard to send me to the school, so it was hurtful. I remember it being hurtful.

But I also remember feeling very excited that I got the opportunity to go to a school like that ‘cause I remember my sister and a lot of my cousins, so probably about five of my other girl cousins had already been through the school, so I genuinely wanted to go, so the teasing was interesting and it was mainly from the boys, so that’s, again I’m not sure how that would differ to today’s society. I’m sure teasing still exist, but just for different types things. If that’s the worst that they could get now, I’d be happy my son was going through that, because I think the teasing is a little bit more sophisticated these days.

Danebank Anglican School for Girls

[16:18] So let’s talk about life at Danebank. What do you remember from the first day of school there?

I can actually. I got to do a pre-attendance day, so in November before, so in sixth grade um I got to go to Danebank to do an orientation and I remember meeting a young lady who was so confident that I just thought, wow. She had been at Danebank since kindergarten and she is now still one of my closest friends and I remember thinking, you know, we got to wear hats and gloves and it was a very traditional school back then, so we had a nice English Summer hat and you had grey gloves, so it was all very lady like and a tie and —

[17:15] What else did you wear?

The uniform was a green one. It was white and green check, but a very thin check. It was very different to the current uniform now. It was very traditional, so I think and I laugh about this, there must of been one uniform company that used to go right, that school will have green, that school will have blue that school will have red and we’ll just do the same pattern for all of them. (laughs) So the uniform was a very simple one when I started. In Summer it was just a tunic, so a white and green checked tunic. You had to wear a hat to school. You had to wear a hat on the way home from school. You weren’t allowed to go into the shops if you were wearing your school uniform. So even if you wanted to go shopping in the afternoon that was a big no no. Even if you were with your parents that was a big no no. Um I know that sounds weird but they…Yeah.. It was very disciplined, very strict kind of school. The gloves were worn in winter. The winter uniform, again, was a tunic with a grey shirt. It was not very attractive. With a green uniform and a green tie, so. The uniform from Year 7 to 10 differed from the one for Year 11 and 12.

So you had your junior uniform and you had your senior one. On the first day I remember thinking wow I get to wear this uniform. I remember thinking how nervous I was because I’d come from a very different environment. There were lots of girls that had already been there from kindergarten through to year 6, so I remember feeling that I was coming in a bit behind everybody. But there were lots of other girls who were coming in as well. And I was a little bit different. My mum had always raised me to be more – I can’t explain it – she wanted me to be more English than she wanted me to have the Greek side of things, so she was very big on educating at home and talking to us and we watched things like Pride and Prejudice growing up and read Jane Eyre and all the Jane Austen novels- It was a very different background so, I was meeting other girls who were similar and some different backgrounds as well. It was good. I was excited. I remember being excited. I remember being excited that my sister and my cousins were there and I knew someone that was older than me and I felt a little bit special, so interesting.

[19:39] It has some advantages if you already have a sister there.

Yeah I think so.

[19:43] But also maybe disadvantages?

Yeah absolutely. Absolutely, I probably shouldn’t say this, but my sister was — We’re very different people, so I was always very straight laced and studious and she is very outgoing and sporty, so every time something would happen someone would come and go ‘your sister she’s on top of the roof on the tennis court’ or ‘your sister’ and I was thinking my gosh. So we had very different personalities, so yes very — You’re right advantageous and then sometimes challenging as well cause I think the first year that I was at Danebank I probably got in a little bit of trouble because I used to go to my sister all the time when something happened and the teacher said that you probably try and resolve things on your own, so you’re right. You are very correct. Sometimes not as advantageous as what you would think.

[20:40] What school bag did you have? Did you get a school bag? Was this with the uniform?

You had to have the Danebank School bag. It was green. It was a backpack. It was massive. It was heavy. And I understand why after I saw the amount of books that we had to carry, so I remember it had this wooden base on the bottom, so it actually stood on its own, so it was a square base and the backpack was just large. And it had a logo on it of the school, so you actually literally had to buy everything that the school had. I remember trying to carry [it]. So you get a locker for your school books, but the locker is a very slim, very slim locker (laughs) and you just literally have books on top of books on top of books. So there were books for every lesson in year seven. Geography, biology, you got to do everything. Um a bible, it was a Christian school, so it was very heavily focused on Christian studies as well.

And you didn’t get a choice of bag. And even the way you covered your books had to be very distinct. You had a Danebank diary that they gave you, so it was a diary with all the different things that you had to do during the week. Then your timetable was in the front. It was green. It had the logo on it and even with your folders you had to make sure that they weren’t outlandishly coloured. You weren’t allowed to wear jewellery to school. Your hair had to be tied up if it was longer than your shoulder, even touching your shoulder. The ribbon that you had to have had to be green, so there was a lot of rules around how your appearance in accordance with school.

[22:37] And how high, what socks did you have?

So, um, we had short white socks with black shoes that matched the white in the uniform. But the uniform had to be knee length and below. So you weren’t allowed to have your uniform above [your knees]. Your sports uniform, similarly, was a Danebank uniform, so it was a white polo shirt with a Danebank flame. There was a logo on it, and then you had a green short skirt like those netball-type skirts – which I wasn’t very impressed with because I was a voluptuous young lady – so I wasn’t stick-figured to wear those kinds of skirts, but that’s okay. Um, what else did we have? Everything was very prescriptive. So at the start of the year you had a list of things that you had to go and buy.

[23:26] What happened if, for example you forgot something to wear, what was the punishment or restriction?

You get a warning – you get a warning. If you did it a second or third time you’d get a detention. Now detention comprised back then of staying half an hour to forty five minutes after school and doing something that the teacher deemed fit for what your punishment was gonna be in accordance with what you had done. So if it was as simple as forgetting – gone are the days – you couldn’t really ring your parents and say bring them up, there wasn’t something like a mobile phone, and there was no mobile phones. Um, and (sighs) I remember that if you needed something from your family, you’d literally have to go without for the day. Um, or go to the office and if you had a good relationship with the ladies in the office they would either let you sneak a phone call or tell you if they could get you something to wear they would and if not you just had to go without for that day. The canteen ladies were very good. If you forgot your lunch, I remember them being very good. They used to do little IOU’s and you’d just have to bring the money the next day. So they were very – they were very nurturing. It’s a very, very nurturing school. So it was good that way.

[24:40] Okay I’m just astounded that you couldn’t go into the shops with your uniform –


Did you try to go?

No ‘cause you’d get a detention if you were caught. So it’s interesting because – it’s interesting how you put parameters around children and then when they grow up, you think it’s not just a big deal, is it? Going into a shop. When I went into Year 12, I became a prefect. So, you were actually allowed to go and do rounds of the shopping centre after school to see if there were any other girls there. So I thought I was like the best thing in the world (laughs) cause for like five years you weren’t allowed to go into the shops with your uniform, so I thought it was fabulous. But do you know what I mean? It was something as simple as – taking away the right to go into a shop after school, but it’s not – you can be astounded at it but it’s pretty much the school rules. Behaviour on buses, behaviour on trains, all, reportable. So, people were encouraged in the community to report poor behaviour. Which is why they didn’t really want people going into shops and, you know, spending money and –

[25:50] You can recognise the school.

100%. Absolutely. So…

[25:53] But this has changed now, because you see so many kids –

Yeah. But so much has changed. Like now, and I know this sounds silly, they don’t have to wear hats.It was a simple – it was a simple item of clothing for us that had a totally different significance for us. It was, part of the uniform. You had to wear it. If you forgot it you got in trouble. You weren’t allowed to go out of the school without one. You had to borrow a hat – if you forgot it, you had to go to the lost – the clothing department and see if they could lend you a hat and then you had to bring it back the next day. So now all of that’s changed. The girls –

[26:27] Do you know when this had changed?

Yes, I do. The school had a… I can get you the date – but the school had a changeover of school uniform… probably about five years after I left… maybe, maybe three, four, five, around that time. So I would’ve said around 98, 99, I think there was a change. Now I can check the date on that but, — So they changed the uniform. Firstly, they got rid of that hat and then they’ve changed the uniform again since then, which was, I think last year or the year before, they changed it again into a different colour set as well. So they’ve [the school] kinda gone away from the bottle green to a more watermelon and green colour. So you see that light pink shirt that they’re wearing, ours were always grey. So our shirts were grey and theirs are pink. So, they’ve changed, I suppose the style of the school. But definitely, one of fears of, you know there was a fear of God in you that if you didn’t have, you know, you weren’t allowed to wear nail polish.

So, nails had to be clean, no makeup, no jewellery, everything was very plain. It was literally aligning everybody, so everyone had the same… you know, you were starting off on the same base as the girl next to you. So if you’re all not wearing makeup, or if you’all – if all of your clothes were the same length, if all of your shoes were the same colour, if all your backpacks are the same, (laughs) you kinda standardising the way the world looks. So, you know, it actually was a little bit of a relief to go to Danebank because you’ve gone from a school with boys in it, where they’re picking on everything about you, and, you know, where you’ve come from and what you look like, and, are you skinny, are you fat.- You go into a school where, yes there is a difference in the way the girls interact, but it’s one less thing to worry about in terms of education verses, you know, social aspect of the school life. So, I was quite happy about it – not everyone was, but I was quite happy about it.

[28:24] Yeah, I’ve looked at the school website and they state that Danebank Girls express a strong sense of belonging to their friends and to their school. So that’s kind of a nice sentence.

It’s amazing –

Can you explain what this means in reality school life?

Yeah (sighs), I can. I think, um, I say this all the time: once a Danebank Girl, always a Danebank Girl – you can’t take it out of you. The school is like a community. It’s not one of those – it’s probably a… it’s not like a PLC or an MLC [bigger Girl Schools; PH] where it’s so big that you get lost in some of the numbers side of things. The school is very nurturing… um, the girls are taught to respect one another; you may not come from the same background, you may not have the same views, but there’s that respect element of the school, which is constantly being, um, I suppose, encouraged by the teachers…and the way they’re doing things. You belong to a community, is how I see Danebank and I know that people think that I’m a bit crazy because I’m so passionate about it but lots of the girls that went to the school – you either embraced the opportunities you got or you didn’t want to be there. One of the two. But the large percentage of the girls embraced the opportunities. So I think, in terms of friends and teachers, they’re very big on Pastoral care.

So, like I said, when we were talking originally, when you, um, go into Year 7, you get a Form Patron that sees 15 you through to year 12. They become like a second mother when you’re at school, if you have issues, if there’s something that’s not working, you can approach that teacher. They have support staff that you can approach as well. There’s just so many lements of the encouragement that they give you. So, again, one of the things that I liked about going to Danebank was that it was never about being THE best, it was about being YOUR best. So making sure that each girl, you know I wasn’t as academic as other girls so I wasn’t in your, you know, top 90s or anything like that, but I was smart enough, and I did things like debating and I was a prefect and I, got to do something called young achievers when I was there. It’s a program that they have where you engage with other schools within the area when you’re about in Year 11, and you build a company with the support of an external – like a proper external company.

They sponsor a group of kids and you go there after school and you build a product and you learn the life cycle of marketing, and sales, and technology, and then you try and sell it, like at Westfield’s and, you know what I mean? There’s so many opportunities they give you…, it’s interesting to see how the shift has happened, though, with Danbank in terms of the opportunities. Because when was as at school, they were still very largely female opportunity type stuff. So, arts, textiles, sports, but now you’ve got things like dragon boating and, like cooking, and all of that. We never had anything like this. The facilities weren’t as good when I was at school. Obviously they’ve evolved massively, but it was a good community school. It was, it was really, helpful in building a girls’ confidence to know that she doesn’t have to be the best, she just has to be the best at what she can, and that girls can do… pretty much what other people can do as well, so, you weren’t restrained by being female. They’re very female empowering. Not male bashing, just female empowering. ‘Cause there’s a big difference, I think.

[32:15] While you were at Danebank, did you have any other friends from, who did go to different schools, and then could see how they were being taught differently? Did you experience any – ‘oh that’s different to what we do at Danebank’?

So I think, um – being Greek, and back then, very different now, um, I didn’t have a lot of external friends, as such, but I had a lot of family. So, there were lots of cousins and god sisters and, you know, big Greek community so you can see quite clearly how other kids were going to different schools. A lot of – um, the people in our family actually went to public schools apart from the schools, most of them went through Danebank. The difference in the teaching, I think, was the care, I think the difference in the teaching was the classroom size. So when we were at Danebank the classrooms were no bigger than 18-20 people in a class. And the opportunities. So, we had a lot of sporting opportunities, there were lots of extra curricular opportunities – Danebank had a drama club. So you can in plays, they participated in things like this with lots of art galleries, um, a lot of the public schools didn’t have the provisions in terms of facilities to support, um, the extra curricular stuff that Danebank could.

So, in saying that, I think that if a child’s going to learn, they are going to learn it at whatever school if they’re naturally bright. I think they learn so, some of my close friends may not have gone to Danebank but they excelled at what they were doing. I think it’s the development of the – social and confidence and extra curricular stuff, the cultural stuff that Danebank are very big on, that definitely wasn’t present from a public school perspective. So I’m not saying ones better or worse, I was given an opportunity, I took that, but you can definitely see the difference in, and the difference in care was – and discipline. You know, we had to have all these rules to live by, in terms of appearance and behaviour, that not necessarily the public schools enforced, so… Like I said, not good, not bad. Just different.

[34:42] And can you remember any particular teachers you were really fond of, or were really particular good?

At Danebank? Oh lots of them (speaking fondly)! Yeah (laughs). Like I said, I think it’s, I think it’s the community. The teachers, um, the principal knew everybody’s name. She was there for a large period at that time. I won’t say favorites because this is going on record and I might get in trouble for it when people read it so – no, just joking (laughs). My first teacher was a male – my role call teacher. His name was Mr Watton (spelling?). and I was scared as anything of him cause he was very stern, I thought back then. Um, he’s still at Dankebank, so I don’t think he’s very stern now cause it’s very different when you become an adult (laughs) but when you’re in year 7, and this male teacher is being very stern with you, you’re like ‘oh my goodness’. So, um, I never wanted to get in trouble so I always used to listen. So he was a geography teacher back then. And very good at it as well. Um, you kind of form a bond, like I said, my form patron, her name was Ms Middleton. She is now Mrs Hartley. And just when I left school, she had Alison. So that’s the young lady that you’re going to talk to. She wasn’t pregnant – she wasn’t even married when I left school. So, or she’d just been around that time. So, again, she became like a second mum, was always there when we had issues.

Um, I was subjected to a little bit of teasing as well in the first probably, first year of Danebank. Um, not something I’ve spoken about openly before but having the Greek background, I think all the other Greek girls in the year thought I was gonna, you could see little groups forming, if that makes sense. All the Greek girls sat together, all the, um, I won’t say Chinese, I’d say Asian girls sat together. You had little pockets of people everywhere, like happens everywhere. But I was quite a free spirit, so I didn’t really wanna sit with any group. So I used to go and be friends with all the girls. I hung out a lot with more the Anglo’s, like the Australian girls. I was punished for it by the Greek girls. They started a club against me. So, I remember having to – and I was one of those good girls that didn’t want to cause trouble. So I remember having to go and sit in the vice principals office – she’s passed away but her name was Mrs Rickards – who by the way was the historian at Danebank before she passed away. So after she finished at school, they asked her to go back and she kept the archives at Danebank.

So there’s lots of material there if you want any copies of stuff, I can try and see. Um, but I remember sitting in her office thinking, I can remember the feeling now, I was mortified. I thought I was going to get in trouble because I didn’t want to participate in a club with these girls and actually they got in trouble for forming some sort of club so it was quite quickly disbanded post that. So, I guess they dealt with things quite quickly when they saw things that were happening. And my mum never really wanted to, um, get involved in the school life. Again, very different to now where parents are in the teachers’ faces. My mum used to say to me when I’d go home, deal with it yourself. Try and resolve it. So, big resilience teacher my mother. So, yeah, so do I remember teachers Mr Watton, Ms Middleton whose now Ms Hartley. Um, the principle was Ms Birdge, who’s lovely. Shes retired and we have a beautiful principle named Marianne Davis now. Um, there are – , I still keep in contact with my year 7 maths teacher, Ms Underwood. And, again, it’s interesting how your relationship changes with teachers once you leave school to when you’re there. I still can’t call them by their first names. At all. I don’t know – you’re, you’re nodding your head, is that the case for you as well or –?

[38:50] Yeah, thinking its going back into this role. It’s still also when you go back, visiting my family in Germany, and then you’re in your parents’ house and you’re the child again (laughs).

That’s right. And you could be 40 and you’re still the child (laughs). And, um, (laughs) isn’t that interesting that that’s everywhere? I still, do this day, I, as part of my role with the Old Girls at Danebank, I have to attend, or I’m invited to attend a end of year function, where there are some teachers there who are still there that taught me. And it doesn’t matter what I do mentally to try and call them by their first names, it’s probably never going to happen. So, cause, I literally regress back into my (laughs) – back into my high school days and I think ‘oh, it’s a respect thing’. So, very interesting, don’t you think? So yes, there was good teachers, good memories, um, lots of challenges as well, but yeah, good memories, challenges. I got more confident as I went through to year 8 and year 9. I started not caring as much about what girls were doing and more trying to focus, cause I think they throw so much at you at a school level, you don’t really have time to think about, um – -, I was reflecting on the fact that there was no technology.

[40:10] Yeah I was wondering if you could explain more about what the equipment was?

So the equipment was very – (scoffs) it’s interesting cause when I told people I was doing this at work, they were like ‘oh my goodness, what were you using back then?’. So, um, we had the slide instead of powerpoint presentations and like on the computer with projectors, we had those old projectors where you had a slide and you had to turn it and the slide went to the next slide and you had to keep putting slides in. Um, and if anyone took photos of things, we did it on a projector slide. We had overhead projectors as well. You remember those? Where you had to put the clear transparent piece (laughing) on the top? And you had to print it out and then you could draw on it and then erase it, it was, um, and that’s how far back we’re going. We had overhead projectors. What else did we have? So I was thinking about the fact that we didn’t even have – at the moment Danebank has a slide – like a card access. So when you go into school, you swipe your card and it registers that you’re there. We had roll call. So we had Mr Watton sitting at the front of the table going dat, dat, you know, here, yep, yep. And you had to be at roll call, it was like the first ten minutes of the morning. So, you couldn’t be late for that. Um, and if you missed roll call, you got an absent mark against your name.

And then you had to go home and get a note from the teacher, um — Phone calls. There was no way of – you know now, with Alexander – my little boy – if he’s going to be absent, you log onto the app, you tell him he’s absent, they send you an email confirming it, done. Was always a ring to the teacher and you had to get through to the right person, um – equipment. So we, when I was in year 8 and year 9 we started something called computer awareness. And that wasn’t even – and you didn’t even get to really use computers. They had a computer, and we all stood around it, and we all looked at what the teacher was doing. Um, but we didn’t have computers of our own at the start of my, my, you know, year 7 and 8 and year 9. They had computers, kind of, by the time I was gone. They had computer awareness and again it wasn’t real– I saw the teacher that taught me computer awareness in year 7 and year 8 about three weeks ago and I said ‘oh I remember when we were doing computers’ and she said ‘you didn’t do any computer work’, she goes, ‘I was just educating you on what a computer was and the pieces’ and that’s an assumed thing now at school, that’s not even a discussion point. You just know what a computer is. You didn’t have to learn what hardware and software and stuff was.

Whereas we did computer awareness, which had a slant around what is, you know, what does a computer look like and how does it work and stuff. So it’s interesting. It is. Very. (Pause) Now I’m feeling old (laughter). That’s terrible!

[43:01] I mean, the classrooms, I think, also have changed over time. They have got specific desks, or corners where you can retreat and book reading corners and all these things.

Everything has become so – (sighs) so about mindfulness and, you know, reflection, and, you know, time space to, you know, sit out and think and – there was none of that. So when I was at school, the rooms were bare, we had cold brick walls, um, in most of the rooms that we had. Obviously, even the chemistry labs and the biology labs were, you know, the higher up desks with the stools as opposed to seats. Everything was wooden, the stools were wooden with steel legs. All the equipment was, it was, not old, but it was aged. It was, you know, you imagine a chemistry lab of old, you know, professors are in and stuff like that. That’s the kind of rooms we had. We had all the equipment we needed, and towards the end of the time that I was at Danebank is when they started to redevelop thinks. So, my year was one of the first years – Danebank bought Yarramundi, which is now on the corner of Queen Street and, I don’t know if it’s Park Road or the Avenue, which one it is; It’s the big white house that’s now some sort of medical centre. Um, back then, it was, um, was the old boarding house. So the girls at Danebank – that’s where the boarders used to live. And then they used to walk up to the school and do their lessons in the school. So it’s actually designed internally like a boarding house. So rooms for all the girls, a big dining room downstairs, um, when boarding stopped at Danebank –

[45:05] Do you know why this stopped

No, I can find out if you’d like. But definitely, if you put that down, I’ll definitely find out. When the uniform changed, I’ll find out, and when the boarding school stopped, because to get some tales of the boarders, and there are some very interesting boarders that we’ve had. One of the boarders that we had is now the Mayor of Moree and she is a laugh in terms of her – she is fantastic. The story she tells about boarding is very interesting. Um, it was a boarding school, they converted it into a year 12 study centre, so my year 12, which was 1993, was the first year they used Yarramundi as a study centre. That’s when we started getting things like rooms to break out, a common room for kitchen, and a computer room which had like two computers in it. So ‘93 was when we started getting all of our own stuff, so again, it was an interesting process. We’d have to have all the main pieces at the school, and then all our classes and the teachers had to walk down between classes, and remembering your classes were 40 minutes at a time we literally were walking up and down the road on a continuous basis. It was very interesting.

[46:40] So when you were at Danebank you would still be driven by your mum?

That’s right, Yes. I’m such a —

[46:45] Until the end?

I don’t know if it was laziness, I don’t think it was. My mum was somewhat overprotective, so she would drop me off and then come and pick me up. I did a lot of extracurricular activities though so a lot of the classes, like the extra stuff I did, I did speech lessons, and drama and singing, bell ringing – Danebank has a bell ringing team. Have you ever seen a group of bell ringers?

[47:12] What’s this?

I should get you some footage. The little they’re actually hand held bells, they come up with songs, and obviously they’re like notes and music and you have to play the bells, it’s very interesting. Yes. I will get you some footage on the Danebank [bell ringers] – they’re fantastic. We used to go around and do things like weddings, and church services – (laughs)

[47:31] And this would be an extra curriculum after school?

After school. If you wanted to be on the team you had to practise. If you wanted to be on any sporting team you had to practise. If you wanted to do drama there was always a production going on so there was always rehearsals so, you know, my mum would be picking me up at like 6 o’ clock and then going home and doing homework and the like. So yes my mother drove me. The school was like, five, six, seven streets away so that’s pretty bad actually, but that’s ok. (Laughs) That’s terrible, now that I think about it. In saying that, would I let my child walk to school by himself? Mmm – I’m a little bit I don’t know. I tell you something funny. About school. My mum was very particular, which is why she sent us to Danebank.

I remember in year 7 I forgot to make my bed in the morning. So she had dropped me off at school, she had come back, so she went home, so she saw that my bed was unmade, because she was always very ‘you know you need to learn to be disciplined’, she came back, she came into the middle of the playground, she parked her car and came into the playground, and said ‘You! Get in the car!’ Without – you know, this is how different schooling is now. If you were to go to school now and try to get your kid out of school there’d be all this paperwork and stuff to sign. She literally came into the playground, pointed at me with a death stare, put me in the car, took me home, made me make my bed and then brought me back. These days, that would be unheard of, that someone could literally get access into the school.

[49:00] So school had already started?

Yeah yeah. We hadn’t started to class. We were just sitting around talking in the morning and we used to go in and if you could get in early enough you could sit around and catch up with your friends and have a chat. She literally came and got me. But you just think about the schools now and the discipline around, you know, strangers on the premises and you have to do all these police checks to be in a school and all that -it’s very interesting. I will never forget that day in my life. Needless to say I have never not made my bed, even now, afterwards. The things that we remember, right? So –(sigh)

[49:38] Can you remember your last – your graduation time?

Yeah my graduation time was really happy but really sad as well. Um I was always the organiser of things at school, I still am. So I organised the year 12 formal, which was the dance after the graduation, I organised the year 10 one. I did the school magazine, so we all had to contribute, as a year, to the magazine. I used to do the collation for our year. So that time, year 12, was really happy, but really I was very proud of moving on, but really sad, because you know I think you either like school a lot or you don’t, and I was one of those people that really enjoyed going to school, I loved the girls there, back then I wasn’t big on change so I quite – I was a bit scared, I was very sheltered at Danebank at that time, it was a different time of life I think, um, hadn’t had boys around so I was a little bit worried about having to go off to university, little bit excited as well, as you are. But being in a girls environment – I’m not sure back then it prepared you for what was coming, so, we had a graduation service, like a valedictory service, we had a year 12 muck up day, so I don’t know if they do those anymore –

[50:57] [interjects] Yeah tell me about those – they are not doing them often

Awww yeah it was terrible. So – the year before mine had done something really naughty so they were in the process of rethinking whether or not they were going to allow it. They had put lots of bad stuff in the pool, because there was a pool that was outside, a little bird bath we used to call it. The pool was known as the ‘bird bath at 23 Danebank’, because it literally would have been half the size of that area over there. Now, they’ve got a 25 metre pool, and a gymnasium, we had none of that. So the year before, the boys had put dye and jelly in the pool and it set overnight, so that wasn’t very good. We were a little bit tamer, so we dressed up in our pyjamas, which is sad, really sad, to be honest, in hindsight. And because we were never allowed to go into Westfields we all went into Westfield and had breakfast in our pyjamas.

We put on a play for the rest of the school where we – I’ve got footage of that as well, so that’s funny, um – where we treated some of the teachers as if they were on a stand, in a court room, so we had a court session with them where we found them guilty of doing different things (laughs). The school let us do a play, we had a video, so we’d done a video for the school, where we’d tried to get into some nightclubs and a whole lot of other stuff, that’s part of the video, and we kept getting rejected from different places. It’s very silly, we just did really silly stuff. We put up a banner on the Captain Cook Bridge and took footage of that, so that was interesting. There’s little silly things that we did, I think we were very tame. I think other years before had done some pretty destructive type of stuff, we weren’t a destructive year, I think we just wanted to have some freedom and have some fun. So we stayed in our pyjamas for quite a while during the school day,that was interesting. We did our play.

Subsequent to that we had our valedictory service – which is a formal service- and a tea and our parents got to come and then that night there’s a year 12 dinner, which is at a reception place like Dalton House or somewhere like that. Um, and, people talked to us about leaving school, and the year 12 captain talks, and all different stuff. My year subsequently had a 10 year reunion that I organised and a 20 year reunion that I organised, so I’m the person that keeps everyone in contact, so I’ve started a Facebook page called ‘Class of ‘93’, and then I had to go – and this again, it’s interesting seeing all of this technology retrospectively, because nowadays girls are already connected, so if they get married and stuff it doesn’t matter. When we left school, we had no way of connecting with each other, we had this little booklet that had everyone’s names and addresses in it –

[53:50] [Birgit interjects] A phone book

I know, not even addresses, just phone numbers. So I spent, at the 10 year reunion, I spent the better part of a long time ringing all those numbers and people were like “aw she doesn’t live here anymore” and the parents were like “ah she’s gotten married” and I was like ‘wha…’ and now I’ve managed to find maybe 70 of our hundred and something girls and I’ve got them all on Facebook on a separate page where I keep them up to date on things but again, technology is not our friend at this point in time, because we have to do everything retrospectively, and now it’s a very different place. So, they have phones at school – you’ll talk to Ally [Alison Hartley] and see what a difference Danebank is. You’re allowed to take your phone, you have to put it at the front, but you can use it. We didn’t have email addresses, none of that, like, you automatically get an email address when you go to school now, there’s just so many different things. Like I said, the canteen was pretty good as well back then. The other thing is the facilities are very different to what we had. We had those nice classrooms that I was talking about with no things on the wall, now everything interactive, you know, whiteboards, smartboards, everything is very, very different. (whispers) Very different.

[Birgit laughs]

Oh well, all good.

[55:13] So I guess it’s hard to explain why you’re so passionate about keeping in contact. Can you explain it?

With the school?

[55:21] Yep, what you do with the school reunions, being with – ‘Old girls.’ What drives you to do this?

It’s a good question actually. I’ve thought about it a few times but never come up with an answer I can articulate, but I’ll say this much: I think Danebank was the best thing my parents ever did for me. It may not have given me – you know, Danebank’s the school that allowed you to – or allowed me – I won’t talk about other people – Danebank allowed me to become an independent and confident woman in a society where, when I went out into the workforce, it was very largely dominated by males. So in order to continue to build my career, and be confident in myself, and think that I’m worthy of, you know, good things, I think Danebank instilled that in me. So they basically taught me what resilience looks like. They taught me what self-confidence is, without being overbearing or proud or cocky, you know what I mean? You can be an assertive female without being mean or malicious or trying to push other people out of the way. Danebank nurtured that in me, where they showed me service to others. They’re very big on service to others, and that’s something I think I feel I need to give back to other people, whether it’s back to the school, or back in my personal life, or to my son’s school. I’m involved in lots of things cos I think if someone’s given you an opportunity to be the best version of yourself you need to give back to other people and I’m very big believer in that. And I think that is something that I got from Danebank, so I’m very passionate about Danebank because I think they produce good people.

Not smart girls, and tough girls, or whatever, they just produce good people. They give you the opportunity to do that. Now not everyone’s gonna take that opportunity obviously, but even the girls that I have as friends around from Danebank, are quite confident women in themselves. I don’t know if you put this down but recently had to go through a divorce not through my choosing, through circumstance, um, the fact that I was independent, the fact that I have been brought up in the way that I have, and the fact that Danebank gave me tools and allowed me to go out there and say I’m an independent human being, has held me in good stand to be able to continue through anything that’s been thrown at me. It’s just the way that they’ve taught you to be, you know, you serve other people, um, you don’t hurt other people, you try and be your best at all times, it’ll get paid back in some form. So, that’s tied me back to the school. If I can help, you know, bring other girls out into the same kind of area that I’ve got, um, to work and live by and be good people, I’m okay with that. And even, my son goes to an all boys school and I still think the same thing applies – if I can help other people be better versions of themselves cos I think I’ve been given that opportunity, um, I’m always happy to do stuff like that.

[58:35] That sounds fantastic, really good.

But it’s really true.

(Birgit laughs)

Like, do you know what I mean? If you’ve been given good opportunities, um, I think that you have to do something with that. I’m a big believer in karma as well. You put it out there and you do good stuff and don’t try and hurt other people. I’m a big believer that, you know, that’ll come back to you in a positive light.

Danebank Old Girls Association

[58:57] And so what are you doing in your role as the president of the Old Girls —whats your — can you say organisation or association?

Yes. It’s a non – it’s obviously a non for — so we started, when I joined the Old Girls, they were literally trying to collect membership dollars to be able to give back to the school, or even just survive. Like, sending out letters and trying to keep people in contact with each other. I’ve worked with the school and the committee that I have, and we’ve restructured the way the membership looks like. So, we get a certain amount of money every year from the school, through helping them raise the money, um, and what we do is we have – we offer a scholarship back to the school for a girl, um, an Old Girl, like a daughter of an Old Girl. But not an academic scholarship, because they already have enough of those. We want to do a scholarship where it’s service to others, so we get applicants from the school body, so girls who are in the process of helping others, or serving others, or doing community work, and they can apply for a scholarship.

So, part of their fees are funded. Which is good. We help organise reunions for the older groups. So try and get people in contact with each other, um, we have a function so people can come back to the school and see what the school’s looking like or growing. So once a year every August, every third August of the month there’s a function. So we’re trying to give back – we donate some components of something every year to the school This year they built the new building that they’ve got for the younger years – they’ve got playground equipment.

So we donated money back to contributing to buying some of that playground equipment. So, it’s just a forum for the Old Girls if they wanna connect with other people, we pass on details, we do mail outs, we give information back to the school where people have allowed us to, because obviously there’s privacy considerations these days as well. So, we just try and work within a realm to keep Old Girls and the school in contact with each other and anything that’s happening in the school, we can disseminate that information to the Old Girls Association or the members as well. Um, there’s quite a few hundred members. So we’ve got about 700 members, um, even though there’s probably a lot more girls that have gone through, not everyone’s chosen to keep in contact. So, that’s everyone’s right and now every year that finishes, they automatically become members. So, every year without fail, the association’s growing by about 100. So, which is good.


So, it’s enough. It’s all voluntary. So there’s no (laughs), there’s no remuneration to do any of this stuff. So, um, again, do it out of a passion thing. Um, have a good committee of people and the principal is very supportive of having an association of Old Girls because for every school there’s gotta be that history, right? So, um, she’s very supportive to make sure that we keep in contact with the school and — I talk to the year 12 girls, so I go back once a year to the current year 12, and I talk to them about, um, you know good luck for your exams, it’s not the end of the world, there’s always different career paths that you can take from what you’re doing, um, talk to them about the association, tell them that if they want to contact us for any sort of — I won’t say mentoring in a formal sense, but guidance on any of their career stuff, they have the school as a formal guidance but if they wanna be, you know, any networking type situations. Girls are getting better at networking these days, so, we didn’t have any of that, we didn’t even know what networking was when we left school, now everyone’s networking and making connections here and there, so, we to do a bit of all of that.

Yes (laughs).


Closing questions

[1:02:48] I think we’ve covered quite a lot of different topics, do you have anything which you think we missed?

No, it depends on what you’re ask – or like what kind of information you’re —

So, I mean, this all leads up into an exhibition about school life, memories, and it will be in this room [main gallery], so obviously…That would be awesome. It’s such a big topic, and I’m trying to find what I’m most interested topics could be. I think, equipment, and we talk about the school uniforms, yeah, absolutely, sport and the canteens and lunch, how it changed, with the old milk bottles in the early days.

Yeah! Old milk bottles, and everything was just – you know, everything wasn’t so, like now everything is so disposable and the like we used – it was just different. We had different expectations – the other thing is, I suppose the content of — I think the content of school work has become different in terms of the way they’re teaching. Up until I left school, the content was very factual. So it was very repetitive based, so you’d learn something and repeat it. Now, the way I see the teaching is, it’s actually slanted quite a lot – and I don’t know if you’ll find that may it’s something you can ask the other people that you speak to, it’s actually slanted about, um, interpretation and application. So, ours was very, you know, you must learn this – apart from English, everything was very factually based.

Now, it’s about trying to get people to think around things and translate, you know, the factual stuff into actual application, um, bigger picture thinking, because I think that’s what’s going on; in the workplace that’s what the more, you know, everything is more, like you said, you’ve got breakout rooms at work, and you’ve got these areas where think tanks and all this kind of stuff. We had none of that (laughs). We had a version of that in a very different environment. So they actually just translated whatever you had, the small rooms or the — our classrooms weren’t massive by any means. We had all those timber desks and the like, now everything’s very aesthetically pleasing and, happy places and positive thinking spaces and colours, and that’s changed – that’s drastically changed from when I was at school. But yeah, you’re right, I would definitely think that, um, school uniform and different views on how that looked, classrooms, the way they looked back then to what they look like now. Anything else interesting that you have found in other interviews?

[1:05:37] So especially when I interviewed an older gentlemen, and he could remember all these, making the jokes with teachers was quite interesting.

Yeah, okay. Different interactions.

Yeah. Um –

Our teachers were very strict when it came to the classroom work, but they all had good senses of humor. I don’t know now if it’s the same kind of interaction. Also, I suppose what you could say, you know, we could say stuff back then that weren’t taken as bullying or all of that, we, I can’t imagine — the stuff that goes on now surprises me, and I sound quite old when I say that, but it does. My son will come home and say this is what happened. You know we were quite a lot more – we were reserved because we respected – there was a massive level of respect, so when I say I was frightened by, you know, I was worried about a teacher, it was because there was a respect element there, or I was worried that if I had my socks and whatever, it’s not the same level of, you can see maybe the respect level’s not the same in the schools. Because everyone thinks they have more rights than what they used to have back then. The teachers had all the rights in the school. Now the shift has happened where the parents and the kids seem to have the rights. And I still operate on the other side. So, that’s interesting. And I think that’s because it’s been embedded in the years that I was at school.

[1:07:05] I just wanna finish off with, with maybe some ideas of memorabilia might think might be really good, you could lend us for the exhibition? And so, what I will be looking for is objects we can put in cabinets but also we reproduce photographs and other documents.

You will have to tell me what you want cos the school has a massive amount of different things. So, why don’t we, why don’t I have a chat to the school, because a. we can get it from there, or b. we can get it from the stuff I have. My sister actually donated a large number of books and, you know, back then we had paper newsletters and it was printed on green paper, and you know, we did lots of — you know Danebank allowed you to do all this fun stuff as well. I’ve got things at home, you know you had tapestry competitions and art competitions and, so I, um — , Danebank had a spectrum from sports to arts to academia to everything. So why don’t I go to the school and have a chat from an archival perspective on what they can lend? I have uniforms, so even if they don’t, I actually have copies of all the uniforms, the hats, everything. The gloves, I’m sure I’ve got all of that stuff, so, um, if you would like — when is the, when are you looking at?

It’s next year. So we’ve got plenty of time.

No, but let me get it all ready and let’s see, we might even have to dry clean some stuff cos they’d be a little bit dirty. So, how about– how about we do this. Oh, you wanna see — I’ll get you some photos of the bell ringers.

Yes, that’s really interesting because I also read about the Mortdale Public School, they had this bird calling competition back in the 19th century ha, that’s funny and they were winning this for years…

Bird calling!

And they were the best, Mortdale, the boys, and (laughs) and I found this quite unique but the bell ringers are similar…

Bell ringing is fun. Look, I think in the olden days, my olden days, bell ringers were the most unusual thing that Danebank might’ve done. These days, they’ve got things like Dragonboat racing and stuff like that, so Allie can tell you more about that. But i’ll look at the old stuff. Um, you know, Danebank’s is, you know, 85 years old. So it’s been around in Hurstville for a very long time. They have a book from an archival perspective, they have the first 65 years at Danebank. It actually goes through all the history of how the school started, from the first teacher and how she, um, you know, Edith Rosemary Ball, and all the teachers and how they, how they started the school from –

[1:09:59] Yeah, in um, the old Crakanthorps –

It is the – I was gonna say the Crakanthorps started this school. So, you know, I think, um, there’s lot of history with Danebank. So I’d be more than happy to get you some stuff – even if I got you some of the books, some of the pictures. If I get pictures, would you be happy if replicated them first and got them, or do you want the original pictures?

So what we usually would do, we would borrow them for a certain amount to re-replicate them –

To replicate them yourself. Okay, let’s do that. Okay, so photos, anything usual, bell ringers, uniforms.

And also we’ll have a listen to the interview and then sometimes you think ‘oh yeah, this is quite interesting’ and then there might be some specific object –

And ask questions, yeah that’s fine. (Long pause) Okay. I am happy to do as you require.

Sounds great.

Told you, you might regret the fact that I talk too much but that’s okay.

I think we covered a lot and you can never cover everything. And then after you close the interview, you think ‘oh, why didn’t I ask this?’ But, that’s always.

But that’s okay. So… you can ask me, and realistically, if it’s a half an hour thing and you want me to come back and have a chat about any topic or hand stuff over, like I said, I’m down the road. Monday’s is always good for me at the moment, so I’m working from home every Monday. I don’t know, you tell me. I don’t know where your parameters are or what else you’d like but I’ll try to help you.

Just quickly, um, you obliviously had a school song. Did you have a school song?

Well we have the school hymn, absolutely, absolutely. So we can get you that. You know what the sad thing is? I have to go, um, not I don’t have to go. Every year I go to the end of year — one of the things they was very, um, I suppose, a proud moment every year was we go to the speech night in the Town Hall. So, every year, the whole school, parents, everything, fills up the town hall. Um, at the start when we were there, you had to wear a white dress. White dress and white gloves. You’d get on the train, everything was white. White shoes, or black shoes. You had to go into the town hall. All the girls in white. And that stopped. Now the girls wear their school uniform when they go in. But, um, even now when I have to walk into the Town Hall with the principal and the school council, and then, when you walk out at the end of it, you sing the school song, and it fills me with great pride. So, um, I will definitely get you a copy of the school song. And it’s all about service, it’s called ‘Ut Prosim’. Okay.

I am not sure if I’ll use everything –

You don’t have to — you can choose whatever you want. I’ll get it there and you can decide how it all fits together.

And it’s always like you put in so much on display and you have to research so much (laughs).

Yeah I know, so I’ll just get you what we’ve talked about and if there’s anything you want to use then you can do that.

Thank you.

No problem.

So I’m ending the interview.

Thank you.

Thank you for coming.

Thank you for the opportunity, that was good.

I really look forward to interview Alison and having the same school perspective.

Yes, a different view. Everyone’s different. Thank you so much. It’s good.