Era School History


ERA history at a glance

Many years before ERA there was another alternative school close to our Donvale site. Read the recollections of a Koornong student.

Many years after Era, a bit of Era lives on at Village School.

Speech by Clive Rossiter at the Era 40 year reunion on November 26th 2011. (Contains lots of historical stuff!)

Please help us to fill in the blanks!
If you can recall any gory details of historical significance, contact Guy
to have them added.
Plays, Erafests, Ollie's Orgies, the invention of Smangle, schools camps, travelling shows, student trials, Footy matches against Tenaden, teacher sackings, 'Dove' stripping naked... all the good stuff.

Year Events
  • Oct 31st: A meeting is organised by the Preshil group and World Education Fellowship to discuss the creation of a secondary school to complement Preshil.
  • A provisional council/steering committee of the proposed 'Education Reform Association' is formed, chaired by prominent educationist David Fearon.
  • Formal inauguration of the Education Reform Association occurs, and a glossy prospectus for the proposed school is produced.
  • Principal-elect William Callendar (from Caulfield Grammar) baulks at the 11th hour and is replaced by David Bennett as the first Era Principal.
  • Construction of the permanent school on 13 acres in Donvale commences, with regular working bees to remove blackberries, etc.
  • October 27th: Preshil withdraws official support and initiates plans to start its own secondary school.
  • This is the year of Woodstock in the US.
  • Era school opens at temporary premises, the 'White House' in Warrandyte, with 89 students (in forms 1 and 2 only) and 6 staff members.
  • September 19th: An official Era opening ceremony with ribbon cutting is held at the Donvale site.
  • Era moves to the permanent site in Donvale.
  • David Bennett resigns under duress after a disagreement with Council and Peter Fawssett is appointed Acting Principal.
  • Tom Deamer is appointed Principal by council.
  • A.S. Neill, founder of Summerhill, dies.
  • Tom Deamer is controversially sacked.
  • Clive Rossiter is appointed as Acting Principal.
  • The first wave of students complete their HSC.
  • Era Primary school is established.
  • Clive Rossiter is appointed as Principal.
  • The last wave of Era students complete their HSC.
  • Clive Rossiter retires and is Era's longest serving Principal.
  • Peter Gough is appointed as Principal.
  • New enrolments are only taken up to year 10 and only one student, Eve Merton, does HSC.
  • Enrolments are again only taken up to year 10.
  • The school is finally closed in April due to a financial crisis triggered by a 'second mortgage' deal falling through.