Frank was born in 1925 in Melbourne. He attended Ivanhoe State School for his primary education and then went to Northcote High School. Frank has strong memories of many teachers who made a significant impact on his life. At primary school he had a teacher called Miss Chandler who ‘was an older lady and she had a more intimate manner … she would sit on a desk and instead of teaching or preaching to us she’d really talk to us’. He remembers similar teachers at Northcote High that really made a connection with their students and inspired in him a love of learning and, in particular, writing. During his time at Northcote High a library was started in one of the rooms, which provided Frank with a source for learning about the world, which he really appreciated. After completing four years of high school Frank worked as an office assistant and at the age of eighteen he enlisted for World War II. When the war was over, he returned to Northcote High to complete his matriculation and went on to study Mechanical Engineering at the University of Melbourne, supported by the Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme. Frank has many observations of the ways society has changed since his school days, particularly the way young people were expected only to speak when spoken to. He also remembers the effect of the Depression, a ‘polio epidemic’ and ‘a homogenous, monocultural, monolingual society’ on his schooling.
Primary: Ivanhoe State School, Melbourne, Victoria (1932–1937)
Secondary: Northcote High School, Melbourne, Victoria (1938–1941)