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When I started The Jon Carnegie School in 2006, I had no idea of the journey that lay ahead. Put quite simply, it seemed the world was begging for what we offered but the authorities were not ready to take the leap of faith required to try something new. 

Along with teacher Daniel Sharp, we set out to create an educational haven for those who did not enjoy the mainstream. Students came to us for a whole range of reasons. Some had visions and dreams which were simply too broad for the mainstream; others just wanted a community space in which to learn; others were frustrated with the mainstream rules; but most just wanted to learn in a manner which suited them. 

As our numbers grew, so too did the attention on the school. With great support from Malia McCutcheon and Sandra Wearne, our reputation began to expand and soon we were operating with some 30 students and achieving great success. About this time the government appointed Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority took an interest in the school and began to audit us in a process which ended up taking four years. You can read about the battle in our media section but it is reasonable to say we were given a first-hand insight into Javier Pascual Salcedo's famous quote, 'Bureaucracy is the art of making the possible impossible.'

Over the next few years, we ran international trips to Papua New Guinea to trek the Kokoda Trail, post Tsunami Thailand, exchanges to the United States and a trip to Central Australia. Our curriculum also expanded and we established an ongoing relationship with The Distance Education Centre of Victoria who are now a major educational partner. 

In 2010 the school was lucky enough to receive a visit from Kate Bevan, who along with her sister Hannah, are now both employed at the school. The 'Bevo Sisters' bring a slightly new direction and energy to the school.

So in essence, our first ten years of operation have shown us what many great philosophers, artists, inventors, builders and creators have always known. 'To stand out means learning HOW to do things differently. It takes courage, faith and commitment. The curriculum for this is not found in a book, it is found in life itself.

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