Lifelong Educators

AirTutor is a modern day online tutoring service and course provider. Its vision has evolved from decades of experience in education by our mentors and their forebears.

Our Advisory Board seeks regular guidance from its mentors who have engaged in a life time of learning by undertaking and completing numerous degrees and post graduate qualifications since their formal education in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Their experience reaches across education, and, into the corporate and private sectors. In the tertiary education sector, they have worked as lecturers and professors across the world collaborating with others in education, research and writing. They were early adopters of technology in tertiary education recognising the importance of embracing and adapting teaching styles to suit the modern day student’s preferred learning mode.

In the primary and secondary education sector, the mentors to the Advisory Board started teaching in the 1960s and 70s and became highly valued primary and secondary teachers, high school maths masters, school vice principals and principals, college lecturers and directors of early childhood learning centres. This was a time when society started to recognise the importance of school in a child’s development. Many initiatives were put into schools for social, emotional and cognitive development. This was also a time when children were encouraged to stay at school beyond the age of 14 years old so they could receive their leaving certificate and seek further educational opportunities. It was the start of a more educated society.

Our mentors are now retired but have given a lifetime to education and continue to work in, support and encourage educational initiatives in their respective communities.

 

Visionary Forebears

The importance of education and access to it were important themes for our ancestors. In 1888, Alfred Slingsby and his wife Gertrude emigrated with their 2 young children to Australia from England. Alfred and Gertrude were educated in England and knew the value of education. Alfred and his younger brother, Arthur (who had emigrated two years earlier) were commissioned as Master Builders to complete works on the now historical buildings in the Sydney CBD. Alfred was known for his educational prowess as well as being an enterprising businessman.

During this time, people’s lives in England and Europe were undergoing massive changes with the second revolution of industrialisation. Schools became more prominent as parents needed a place for children to go while they worked in factories. As the structure of society changed and technology started to advance, business owners increasingly saw the merit of workers having a basic level of education.

Alfred Slingsby maintained a strong network of business associates within Australia and England. Aware of the changes in the structure of society back in England, he recognised the importance of educating his children if they were to succeed in this changing society. After his commission in Sydney finished he relocated his family to the Blue Mountains and set about pioneering many works including the Bells Line of Road and building schools in Blaxland Ridge and Bilpin.

The Bilpin school opened its doors in 1913 and his children, and in the years to follow his grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren were all educated there as well as wider family members.  In 1913, the school room was basic, the supplies primitive and children walked or rode a horse for up to 8 miles each day to reach school. In the early 1920s, Alfred relocated his family to Western Australia when farming opportunities opened up in its wheat belt. He again built a school; this time at Lake Yearling so his now expanding family of 11 children could be educated along with the other local children.

 In 2007, Ronald Walker QSM was recognised for his lifelong service to education during the mid to late 1900s. He was a wise counsel and mentor to many generations with their education, career direction and life in general. He worked for many decades as a school principal and in his final teaching years he was head of an Extension Programme for the prestigious University of Otago. He was also passionate about community based adult education. He recognised that due to WWII in the mid 1900s many had missed out on access to meaningful education during their formative years. The availability of community based education programmes allowed these individuals to reach their untapped potential. He guided many of his family members through their educational paths and careers. He took an enormous interest in everyone’s wellbeing. He offered wise advice on many aspects of life but none greater than his wise counsel on “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”.

Lillian Francis was a Governess during the late 1920s and early 1930s on a remote outback property (Monivera) near Ivanhoe, NSW. She was employed to assist the children with their education. There was little guidance in schoolwork, no regular mail deliveries and very limited resources so she had to be inventive with daily classes.  Her students went on to be successful with some reaching the top of their chosen profession. This would not have been possible without tutoring by their Governess.

Today, Lillian via AirTutor would have had endless resources at her fingertips to engage her students with the world beyond their remote existence in outback Australia.