Graham was educated in a range of locations in the 1950s and 1960s – for his primary and early secondary schooling, in the United Kingdom; on the ship when he returned to Australia with his family and, finally, in Perth. He remembers that when he was at secondary school in Perth, ‘they were just starting to introduce Malay and Japanese’ into the language program. He also remembers the influence of his science teacher, Sylvia Blytvich, who had a strong rapport with her students. Graham chose to pursue Science at the University of Western Australia and took up a scholarship for educational studies. He believes he wasn’t a particularly good teacher and, after three years of teaching in secondary schools in Western Australia, he decided to further his studies and move into the guidance area. Graham finished his psychology degree in 1975 and shortly after this he ‘saw in the education circular adverts for counselling assistants’. He was awarded a job and worked for the Guidance and Special Education Branch, participating in some further training in his first couple of years. His role included career and course advice, some personal counselling, testing of children referred with ‘problems’ and at one stage he also took on an extra role of driving instructor! In his first post as a Guidance Officer, Graham remembers that he ‘used to go to the State Film Library and borrow vocational films, and I’d put them on at lunchtime’ to inspire students to think about their career possibilities. Graham noticed many changes in the area of Guidance over his long career, including increased bureaucratic requirements, the separation of career counselling from the guidance role and the shift to Guidance Officers being ‘seen much more professionally competent these days, not just technical people, but you carve your own role’.
Primary: York, United Kingdom (1950s)
Secondary: York, United Kingdom (early 1960s)
Secondary: Armadale Senior High School, Perth (1964)
Secondary: Governor Stirling Senior High School, Perth (1964–1968)
Tertiary: University of Western Australia (1969–1975)
Tertiary: Nedlands Teachers’ College (1971)
“Graham Singleton,” Schooling Memories, accessed January 31, 2023, https://omeka.cloud.unimelb.edu.au/schooling_memories/items/show/7.