Mr H J Slattery, BA, Dip. Ed

Principal from 1968–1970

‘Mr Slattery: An era’ (Prospice, 1971)

During Mr Slattery’s term as Principal of CHS, many developments and changes occurred in the school. Some of these activities were due to his sincere and perpetual efforts; while others were basically beyond his control.

Mr Slattery was extremely interested in the curriculum within the school. It was his desire, along with some first form teachers, to change the role of first form in the school; that is, to make the first year an intermediate step from primary school to high school. This new method proved to be very successful as the students seemed to adapt very easily. Another of Mr Slattery’s ideas was the elective system in forms 3 and 4. He also advocated the abolition of exams.

One of Mr Slattery’s major tasks while at Camberwell was the supervising of the new building. Mr Slattery himself, put a tremendous amount of work into the administrative side of the constructions which included continual liaison with the contractors. However, unfortunately, Mr Slattery did not reap all the benefits from his endeavours, for the improvements to the school grounds have only begun this term.

Even though Mr Slattery did not encourage general sport at school, he took a great interest in rowing. He was instrumental in encouraging parents to donate money to the rowing club in order to purchase new equipment. Music was another field which Mr Slattery was interested in. He encouraged both choral and orchestral activities.

In retrospect, it is obvious that Mr Slattery’s term was a very difficult one. A great deal of his time was donated to the progress of the school. During his three years at Camberwell, he helped to minimise the necessary turmoil connected with the constructions. His arduous task was not fully recognised by many students at the school. However, Mr Slattery’s reward must surely be that, due to his sincere effort, the school, as a whole, has been vastly improved.