​Wendy Scanlon

1956 Collegian

1956 Collegian Wendy Scanlon

After school I trained as a teacher, and eventually went on to university and gained my Bachelor of Arts and a Diploma of Education.

I held various posts within the Education Department; I was a teacher, curriculum writer, senior mistress and principal. I was also the WA representative on the Choice and Diversity working group.

One of my proudest achievements was working with parents in the South West, who were interested in establishing an alternative school within the government school system. Among other things, the aim was to see how parents could be involved in school governance and staff selection – pretty radical ideas at the time and foreshadowing the recently-established independent public schools. I was the teaching Principal there in its second year. Against all predictions and despite many difficulties the school, Spearwood Alternative School, is still operating.

I moved to Boulder, Carnarvon and Duncraig as Principal until 1997.

I've always had an interest in education for Aboriginal Children. I started up programmes for Aboriginal children in 1968 at East Perth Primary School where I taught them to sew simple A-line dresses instead of sewing meaningless samples.

In Boulder I established the 'Blue Room' in a small, pretty room, with the enthusiastic assistance of the public works officer for the school. I taught small groups of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children basic skills identified as needing remediation, for example, phonics and spelling, maths, cursive writing and sentence construction. It was seen as a special privilege to come to the 'Blue Room' to work with the Principal.

In Carnarvon, I set up regular luncheons in the School of the Air building with students who experienced a formal dining experience with the Principal.

I have been involved with the Wagin Historical Society and Village, worked with refugees, and been part of the West Coast Community Centre, providing classes in adult education, mainly to seniors.

I do believe goals need to be written down otherwise they tend to be dreams.

On MLC: My fondest memories are clowning around with boarder friends, participating in team events, boarders' weekends, belonging to a group, achieving success, sneaking down the cliff to smoke and breaking bounds after dark.