Joanna Mendelssohn

Joanna Mendelssohn

Joanna Mendelssohn is Associate Professor at the School of Art History and Art Education within the College of Fine Arts at the University of New South Wales. She is actively involved in researching content for the Dictionary of Australian Artists Online.

Her latest book, Which School? Beyond public vs private(Pluto Press), is an exploration of the current debate on schools. In the book Mendelssohn argues that national priorities must be urgently reconsidered and she suggests an agenda for change beyond the orthodoxies of left and right to focus on children, training and teaching quality, extra curricula value, flexibility and accountability.


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 six years were to be a terrible burden. Emotionally, it was not easy. I was...

All their families

EssayIN JUNE 1988, my mother became younger than my youngest child. It was night-time when the phone call came. I was in the middle of the dinner chaos and children's homework mixed with the usual evening competition over television...

The juror’s tale

ReportageON A STEAMY Sydney day, I find myself in a crowded room, summoned for jury service. There are about fifty of us, all called by chance in a lottery we want to lose. The court officials, who could be...

The story of George

EssayTHIS IS THE story of George, who thinks art can change the world. To do this, he tells a tale of conflict where different visions of life struggle to survive and fundamentalists of Islam show that they have more...

Synergy and serendipity

ReportageI KEEP LOOKING for a term – the opposite of ‘a perfect storm' – to describe the synergy when a series of good events and people accidentally come together to create an outcome that none could predict. That is...

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