Loris was born in Koo Wee Rup, southeast of Melbourne, Victoria. The family moved to Box Hill South in Melbourne when she was five and a half and she attended the local primary school. She was then recommended to Camberwell High School and finished her high schooling at University High. She remembers that Camberwell High felt very ‘homogenous’ compared with University High, where she met students from a range of cultural backgrounds. She found this diverse environment, the high quality teaching and the links with the University of Melbourne stimulating and exciting; she went on to study teaching at university. She remembers her first teaching experiences were when she was in primary school during World War II. When there were not enough teachers she would ‘supervise all the lower grades’ as they completed the work the principal had set them. Her first official teaching position was at the Ballarat School of Mines in 1957, where she taught in the girls’ part of the school, which had only recently opened. She notes that it was ‘a male-dominated institution’. There was no written curriculum to follow for her subjects of English or Social Studies so she was able to be quite creative. Over the next few decades Loris fulfilled the roles of mother, teacher and counsellor. Her experiences watching her own four children grow and learn informed much of her teaching at Montmorency High School. When her children were young she also trained as a Lifeline counsellor and worked at the Citizens’ Advice Bureau. While at Montmorency High School she worked closely with Olive Zacharov and eventually took over her position of student welfare coordinator. Loris notes the many changes that occurred in education during the seventies, such as the emergence of disruptive student behaviour and the beginning of differential teaching. She states that even among all the change and challenges of teaching: ‘I never regretted being in the classroom. I love teaching’.
Primary: Box Hill South Primary School, Melbourne, Victoria (1940s)
Secondary: Camberwell High School, Melbourne, Victoria (1940s)
Secondary: University High School, Parkville, Melbourne, Victoria (1940s, 1950s)