Capricornia 1967 – a governess remembers

Featured in

  • Published 20070202
  • ISBN: 9780733316210
  • Extent: 268 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

IN AN INTERVIEW with the vocational guidance officer sent out on the rural circuit during my final year of high school, I expressed a wish to become an archaeologist, only to be told in a dismissive manner that this would involve going to university. I left the interview puzzled about why going to university was an insurmountable obstacle, and why I was given instead two leaflets on courses in Swedish massage and training as a beautician: occupations I had neither contemplated nor expressed any interest in.

Hoping that if I could get to Greece, I might manage to persuade an archaeological team to take me on as an unskilled volunteer at a dig, I applied for a job as a governess to raise the fares. The relative isolation of life on a farm in a small coastal community meant that books from the School of Arts library were the main source of information, so my choice of destination was influenced by George Johnston’s and Charmian Clift’s first-hand accounts of life in modern Greece, while high-school history of art classes revealed further reasons for wanting to go there.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Share article

About the author

Jena Woodhouse

Jena Woodhouse is a Brisbane-based author and poet who lived in Greece and Russia for several years.Her publications include the words for the song-cycle River...

More from this edition

Moving private

EssayIN 1991, I did something that once would have been beyond imagination. I enrolled my eldest child in an elite private school. Financially, the...

Hamlet in a classroom

EssayIN MY TEENS I revered writers. I hung onto their words the way my classmates hung onto marijuana. I believed writers had the gift...

Making the grade

DebatePROGRESSIVES IN AUSTRALIA have generally adopted a conservative approach to reform of primary and secondary education. This would be entirely justifiable if our schools...

Stay up to date with the latest, news, articles and special offers from Griffith Review.