Gould League and Department of Education: A longstanding love

Gould League is excited to announce that we’ve just signed a 15 year lease with the Department of Education to inhabit the front wing of Le Page Primary School in Cheltenham. This unique opportunity demonstrates the Department’s support for our organisation’s mission and honours our history together.

Let’s step right back in time for a moment, to look at when our longstanding relationship with the Department of Education in Victoria began.

In 1908 a Victorian teacher wrote to the Minister of Education to suggest an initiative that would foster student interest in birds. The Department acted upon the idea with the creation of the Gould League (then Gould League of Bird Lovers), launched in October 1909.  Since then it has become clearly evident how instrumental Gould League was to the Department’s environmental education initiatives through the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s: with Gould League featuring in Minister of Education Reports from these eras.

1971’s Education Report by the Minister of Education (for Victoria) discusses Gould League aims being adjusted to align with the Departments “ideas on the teaching of science”; to integrate bird and habitat preservation into the school curriculum, and provide schools with “materials and activities that assist them in their environmental study experiences”. Since then, and to this day, Gould League has aligned all it’s school excursions, incursions, programs and resources with relevant school curriculum.

Image of Front Cover of Education Department Annual Report 1981Teachers and students from these eras, right across Victoria, fondly recall the bird drawing contests, field days, incursion programs, teacher luncheon lectures, publications, member badges and certificates. The 1981 Education Report for Victoria records that 70 percent of all Victorian primary schools were affiliated with Gould League!

The Department has graciously supported Gould League over the decades with seconded teaching staff as Education Officers and curriculum writers, publishing agreements, and lease arrangements in Schools across Melbourne: Prahran Primary school through the 70’s to 90’s, and what was Moorabbin High School from the 90’s to present.

As we move our treasure trove of resources and historical archives across to our new home at Le Page Primary School, we’re grateful that the Department of Education has honoured our history together and our longstanding support of one another’s aims. We look forward to celebrating our growth and many more milestones in this next chapter together!


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