Don* was born in Donald in country Victoria, and attended Donald Higher Elementary School until the end of Form 4, recalling that it was common for country schools to have a combined primary and lower secondary school. The large class sizes and composite arrangements are memories that stand out for 'Don', along with the limited resources, meaning that ‘the smaller ones sat three to a desk’. He remembers his Grade 5 and 6 teacher, the first male teacher he had had, being ‘a good teacher, you enjoyed learning’. He also recalls the impact of his science teacher on his love of the subject, recounting the extra efforts this teacher went to to engage and inspire his students: ‘he had a telescope and he took the class out one night to watch’. After Form 4, 'Don' caught the bus to St Arnaud for Form 5, and then boarded with a local family from Monday to Friday in Warracknabeal for Form 6. He remembers that his family were very supportive of him gaining a good education and it was never questioned that he would go on to tertiary studies. At the age of 17 he moved to Melbourne and boarded with a family while he studied Chemical Engineering at RMIT, which was the only tertiary institution at the time to offer a course in this field. 'Don' worked as a chemical engineer in Melbourne before retiring to country Victoria.
Primary: Donald Higher Elementary School, Victoria (mid-1940s–c1954)
Secondary (Form 5): St Arnaud High School, Victoria (c1954)
Secondary (Form 6): Warracknabeal High School, Victoria Form 6 (c1955)
Tertiary: RMIT, Melbourne, Victoria (c1956–?)
Main Street, Donald Victoria, c1935. Photographer unknown. Museums Victoria, MM 749
“Don Turner*,” Schooling Memories, accessed December 1, 2023, https://omeka.cloud.unimelb.edu.au/schooling_memories/items/show/22.