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ERICA JOLLY

Erica Jolly has been a long-term member of the South Australian branch of Graduate Women, now a member of Graduate Women Victoria. Here is her story:


Adelaide had the most wonderful History department when I was at Adelaide Teachers College. I was lucky. I offered the Deputy Principal of Adelaide Teachers College, Mr Danny David, a choice. Did he want a failed Ordinary BA or a passed Honours History BA? He laughed and let me join the Honours History group at the university. And so I did Honours History with Hugh Stretton in his first year at the University of Adelaide in 1954. I owe very much indeed to Hugh Stretton, personally and for his approach to the study of history.It was a time when Colombo Plan students were entering Australian universities. That helped to break down the notions of 'White Australia' for me.


I was a founding member of the SA Social Studies Teachers Association, contributing to its text books, and of the SA History Teachers Association and its first secretary until I taught English in England, 1966 - 1967 and changed direction after 1968 when I came home. I took my MA in English literature at Flinders because Adelaide did not want to deal with a mature aged woman wanting to cross discipline boundaries. I have been involved in cross-disciplinary approaches since I began teaching in Girls Techs and later a Boys Tech. I compiled a history of vocational education in South Australia from 1897 - 2001 getting rid of the notion that the students of these schools were less able academically. It is a book based on 'grass roots' responses to their technical school experiences. The binary system undermined the educational opportunities of too many girls. At Marion High School, a 'lighthouse school' for SA destroyed by a Liberal government in 1996, we fostered approaches that provided sound pathways for all students for five years, also involving interdisciplinary thinking.


My publications include - compiling "We Came to Marion" 1955 - 1995, a school that changed its philosophy to a real comprehensive school from 1974 onward. 'A Broader Vision: Voices of Vocational Education in SA" was published in 2001. I have always fought the "two cultures" divide as a teacher-it was essential to do that in the technically-oriented schools and Brian D. Hannaford FACE, to whom I was Deputy Principal (Curriculum) supported it at Marion High School. "Challenging the Divide: Approaches to Science and Poetry" with essays by scientists for humanities students was launched by Robyn Williams in 2010. Jennifer Strauss wrote the preface to "Making a Stand' launched by Professor Ian Chubb in 2015. He was one of the Vice Chancellors when I was on Flinders University Council and later its Academic Senate. 1990 - 2002. I am a Companion of Flinders University.


I was encouraged to join GW-SA in 1993 by my friend Tess Young, and focused on health/education advocacy. I would still like to have a role keeping an eye on SA and national affairs. I've been a member of the Australian College of Educators since 1972. In July this year I attended the STEM conference in Melbourne to hear Rose Hiscock on the subject "Should STEAM replace STEM? It should. I have written an article responding to her keynote address. I have worked with U3A since 1998 on themes connected with poetry and science. This year the subject will be mathematics and poetry.

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