THERE are many fond memories of the Yallourn Technical School within the community, and a long history to follow.

After 24 years of teaching at the school, Graham Goulding shared those memories in his book, Knowledge is Power, A History of Yallourn Technical School 1928-1993.

Mr Goulding held a book launch early last month to celebrate and share his work.

The room built up quickly, and the long line of people wanting signed copies spread throughout the halls of the High Street Community Hub, Moe.

People as far as Melbourne came to enjoy the book and to hear about the work behind it.

Vice President of the Royal Historical Society of Victoria, Rosalie Triolo, was in attendance, and expressed how important it is to share the history of rural communities.

“The Royal Historical Society has 326 approximately historical societies, and between 800 and 900 individual members, but there are many historical societies down here (Gippsland)… I have learnt that you are a very strong band,” she said.

“It’s wonderful to have such a book written because technical education is so often overlooked, and it’s a form of time that you are referring to. It was perhaps better resourced, better loved and given a lot more value than it has been in more recent times. The teachers of that technical school and pupils deserve their stories to be told and preserved as you have dedicated to this community.”

Moe and District Historical Society President, Martin Dyt, opened the ceremony and congratulated Mr Goulding for his effort.

He also invited the former lecturer of Federation University, Barry Dunston. Mr Dunston also served as president of Yallourn Technical College and Yallourn TAFE Council.

Mr Dunston expressed how the technical school was at the forefront of the significant changes during its time in technical education drawn from exclusively training schemes, where people of goodwill generated self-design and training programs in the evening.

He also said that life at the technical school forever kept adapting when needed, and quoted Albert Einstein about a bike but changed it for the school.

“Life for a technical school is like riding a bicycle. To keep its balance, it must keep moving forward and confidently accept change.”

Mr Goulding was thrilled that so many people came to the book launch, and noted that he was also thankful to Lowanna College Principal, Adam Hogan for permitting him to use the photos in the book.

Like most authors, Mr Goulding needed help figuring out where to start writing and when to stop researching.

“How long do you research before you start writing? I read through 65 years of school council records, visited a public records office twice, read the Yallourn Live Wire and the Moe Advocate, and even went online to look at copies of The Age and the local advocate newspaper. Past students and staff also welcomed me into quite a few homes,” he explained.

“I hope it generates interest or stimulates the memory of the place as I wrote the start of the book. The real memories of the place rest in the memories of the people who worked there and studied there. Trying to capture all of that is very difficult.”

After researching and meeting people, Mr Goulding said everybody had a different view.

“How was the school viewed? It depends on who you talk to. In the early days, all the students interested in going into the SEC and achieving higher education would look back to the school as having given them a wonderful opportunity for higher education. If you talk to another student, they would say that they hated the place – that it was brutal, and they got out of there as quickly as possible.”

Launching the book into the world, Mr Goulding asked for a rating, and Mr Dunston replied 10 out of 10.

Copies of Knowledge is Power can be purchased at the Moe Historical Society museum, (2 High Street, Moe), which is open on Wednesdays from 1pm to 4pm, and from Brown Coal Museum, Yallourn North, and Moe Newsagency.