history at a glance
Many years before ERA there was another alternative
school close to our Donvale site. Read the recollections
of a Koornong
Many years after Era, a bit
of Era lives on at Village
by Clive Rossiter at the Era 40 year reunion
on November 26th 2011. (Contains lots of historical
help us to fill in the blanks!
If you can recall any gory details of historical
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.
- 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
- 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
- Era school opens at temporary premises,
the 'White House' in Warrandyte, with 89
students (in forms 1 and 2 only) and 6 staff
- 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
- A.S. Neill, founder of Summerhill, dies.
- Tom Deamer is controversially sacked.
- Clive Rossiter is appointed as Acting
- The first wave of students complete their
- Era Primary school is established.
- Clive Rossiter is appointed as Principal.
- The last wave of Era students complete
- Clive Rossiter retires and is Era's longest
- Peter Gough is appointed as Principal.
- New enrolments are only taken up to year
10 and only one student, Eve Merton, does
- Enrolments are again only taken up to
- The school is finally closed in April
due to a financial crisis triggered by a
'second mortgage' deal falling through.