By Helen Carmody, Principal
In May, we welcomed many of our oldest Korovians back to school. They were entertained by the Years 6-8 performance of the Lion King JR and then enjoyed a lunch together reminiscing about old times.
Lauris Edwards and Joy Waller-Ogden both attended. They were graduates from the Class of 1944. Joining them from the 1940s were Pat Anthony (Class of 1945), Joy Wahner (Class of 1946), Kay Kirkwood and Marjorie Sinclair both from the Class of 1947. Lorraine Nursey is a graduate from the Class of 1948. Diana Day and Mary Drost OAM were both from the Class of 1949. Mary is the Korovian who led the fight about the recent developments in St Kilda Road and has for years fought against the overdevelopment of Melbourne.
The following is from an article printed in the Herald Sun, 2 June, 2015,
“She’s had coffee with a succession of planning ministers, texted them her thoughts and some have even made a visit or two to her home in Camberwell.
The powerbrokers on Spring St certainly know who Mary Drost is.
The planning activist started community group Planning Backlash more than a decade ago to support everyday Victorians with planning and development issues.
When she isn’t at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal supporting people against developers, she’s at Boroondara Council meetings or in the public gallery at Parliament.
Planning Backlash, of which she is convener, is now made up of 250 smaller planning groups from across the state — “from Brighton to Broadmeadows to Boroondara and Boronia, even regional Victorian groups, Bendigo, Ballarat, Port Campbell, Geelong and the Peninsula”.
But Ms Drost’s involvement in planning started way before the group was established.
“I go back 30 years, when the John Cain (Labor) government was in and they declared areas of Melbourne to be district centres.
“Camberwell was declared to be a district centre, it was supposed to be bigger than Chadstone Shopping Centre.
“I went down to the council and said ‘What’s this business?’ so I stood for the council. I became a Camberwell City Councillor. We had a street march to protest.”
The district centre in Camberwell never went ahead and the council ended up buying the land.
This is where Ms Drost came to the attention of Spring St.”
Our Korovians were undoubtably influenced by the Principals of the their time from 1944 – 1962, Margaret Dickson and Beatrice Guyett.
The redoubtable Margaret Dickson was instrumental in saving the School during the Depression and managed the hardships that came with the Second World War. We owe her a great debt of gratitude. Miss Dickson retired in 1949 from a School that was financially secure and had waiting lists. She was followed by Beatrice Guyett who navigated equally challenging times post-war in the 1950s and 1960s which were decades of great social change, particularly for women. Miss Guyett’s driving aim was that Korowa should earn a reputation for academic excellence. She encouraged students to achieve their best. Miss Guyett retired in 1969.
Connection to each other and connection to the past have shaped the identity of Korowa. I’m always inspired by the friendships that have survived 20, 30, 50 or more years after leaving Korowa. Our graduates are women of courage and extraordinary character. This school has a spirit of confidence embodied through a ‘can do’ attitude. We have a responsibility to stay true to the values that have shaped our Korovians and will continue to influence our school for generations to come.