High School, My School - HCV Friends End of Year Event 2022

Thursday, December 08, 2022 at 05:00 PM


Drill Hall, RHSV, 239 A'Beckett St Melbourne

Event contact

Alicia Cerreto



Join us for our end of year HCV Friends and Board gathering as our presenters explore 'High School, My School – Reflections on Public Education and Democracy'


Professor Joy Damousi, Balwyn High School and Australian Catholic University

Emeritus Professor Graeme Davison, Essendon High School and Monash University

Emeritus Professor Peter Gronn, Camberwell High School and Monash University


A century and half after the passage of Victoria’s ‘free, compulsory and secular’ Education Act, the democratic hopes of its makers remain unfulfilled. Although the 1872 Act established state schools for primary age children there were no state high schools until 1910 and it was only after World War Two that high schools providing a path from primary school to university opened all over the state. The three speakers, high school students in, respectively, the 1950s, 60s and 70s, were among those to benefit from that remarkable expansion of opportunity. Since the 1980s, however, high schools have lost ground as government funding has swung towards independent schools. They have become the poor relations, lower in resources, prestige and morale. In this informal conversation, Joy, Graeme and Peter reflect on their personal experience, celebrate what their schools and teachers gave them, and take up some of the questions now raised by critics of ‘meritocracy’. What has become of the hopes that democrats once rested in state education as a path to social opportunity and equality? Was their vision flawed or is it yet to be realised?  

This special event is for HCV Friends, guests and the HCV Board and will be held in person at the Drill Hall, RHSV, 239 A'Beckett St Melbourne. Drinks and light refreshments will be served.


If you are not yet an HCV Friend, we would love you to join us! Click HERE to find out more. 


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The History Council of Victoria Incorporated (HCV) is the peak body for history in the Australian state of Victoria. Its vision is to connect Victorians with history and to inspire engagement with the past, their identity and the world today. The HCV champions the work of historians and the value of history. It recognises that history can be written about any place, any person, any period. The HCV advocates why history matters.

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Our calendar lists all upcoming public events arranged by the History Council of Victoria (HCV), plus events in Victoria, Australia, that are added by our Friends and Members.

If you are organising an event that relates to History, we encourage you to publicise it on our website.

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As the peak body for history in Victoria, the History Council makes submissions on current issues. In doing this, the HCV Board is guided by its Advocacy Policy and by the Value of History, a statement developed co-operatively by the HCV and the History Councils of New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia.

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Since 2015, the HCV has been pleased to sponsor the Years 9 and 10 category of the Historical Fiction Competition organised by the History Teachers' Association of Victoria.

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Ways to support us:

Subscribe to our free newsletter: https://www.historycouncilvic.org.au/subscribe
Endorse the Value of History statement: https://www.historycouncilvic.org.au/endorse
Find us on socials: Twitter / Facebook / YouTube

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The HCV was formed as an advisory body in 2001 and incorporated in 2003. It comprises representatives from cultural and educational institutions and heritage bodies; history teachers and curriculum advisors; academic and professional historians; and local, Indigenous, community and specialist history organisations.

As the peak body for history, the HCV has both ‘outward-looking’ roles (including advocacy and representation to government and the wider community, consultation, community education, and networking with allied interest groups) and ‘inward-looking’ roles (including member support, information dissemination, and networking between members).



The History Council of Victoria acknowledges the State Library of Victoria and the Public Record Office Victoria for supply of the archival images that appear on this website.

We acknowledge the National Film and Sound Archive for the right to use of the video footage on the home page, titled "Melbourne: Life in Australia (1966)".

Image credits

  • Italian sailors on ship at Port Melbourne 1938, Argus Newspaper Collection of Photographs, State Library of Victoria
  • Chinese procession in Collins near Elizabeth Street 1901, Harvie & Sutcliffe, photographers, State Library of Victoria
  • People’s homes, Aboriginal station Coranderrk 1878, Fred Kruger Photographer, State Library of Victoria
  • Chinese nurses at Children’s Hospital under scholarship 1947, Argus Newspaper Collection of Photographs, State Library of Victoria
  • Ladies physical culture class VRI Melbourne c1931, Public Record Office Victoria VPRS 12903/P0001, 011/02
  • Melbourne Cup, Derby and Oaks Day, Flemington Racecourse 1936, Public Record Office Victoria VPRS 12903/P0001/4802, 372/30
  • Flinders Street viaduct at foot of Market Street with advertisement for McRobertson’s Chocolate on bridge, Public Record Office Victoria VPRS 12800/P0003, ADV 1342