College Oral History Project

Beginning in 1994, Tony Ryan undertook recording extended interviews with significant educators around Australia.

SA educator and children’s author Colin Thiele, interviewed by Tony Ryan in Brisbane in 1996

Brief extracts from selected interviews
Jean Blackburn – Education of Girls
Joan Brewer – Adelaide Teachers College – War Years
Allison Densley – First school in rural Western Australia
Barbara Falk – Early memories of growing up in Melbourne
Deirdre Jordan – On joining a university staff – as a nun
Peter Karmel – 1962 Buntine Oration
Tony McGuire – Researching the role of Junior Teachers in South Australia
Bessie Mitchell – NSW Delegates – Founders’ Convention 1959
William Oats – International School Geneva
Shirley Randell – Lifelong Learning
Ruth Rogers – First years of teaching
Colin Thiele – Family lifeEarly school days

Initiated by the Australian College of Educators, and with support from the National Library of Australia in Canberra and The University of Adelaide (through 5UV/Radio Adelaide), recordings were undertaken in all Australian capital cities and in several regional areas, including with Professor Peter Karmel (ACT), Dr A W Jones, Ruth Rogers, Dr Deirdre Jordan and Dr Jean Blackburn (SA), Miss Bessie Mitchell (NSW), Professor Philip Hughes and William Oats (Tasmania), and Sir James Darling and Dr Shirley Randell (Victoria).

Tony Ryan addressing the Simply the Best Conference at The University of South Australia

Of the fifty interviews, over thirty edited interviews have now been lodged with the National Library in Canberra, with a total duration of some fifty hours of original audio recordings. Copies of many of the interviews are also held in The University of Adelaide Archives, and in the Australian College of Educators archives, now located in Melbourne.

Oral History: Complementing and using a Performing Arts Collection to provoke memory of more than just the ‘good times’  Link
Dr Margaret M Leask, August 2007. National Conference, Australian Society of Archivists.