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Charles R. Long Charles R. Long i(A73475 works by) (a.k.a. Charles Richard Long)
Born: Established: 31 Aug 1860 Wallan, Kilmore area, Seymour - Kilmore area, Northern Victoria, Victoria, ; Died: Ceased: 14 Dec 1944 Frankston, Frankston area, Melbourne South East, Melbourne, Victoria,
Gender: Male
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BiographyHistory

Charles Richard Long, educationalist, was the son of Henry Samuel Long and his wife Sarah, nee Sayers, who arrived in Australia from England in 1857. Unsuccessful at mining, the Longs set up a shoemaking shop in Alexandra. Henry Long was active in the Freemasons, Oddfellows, Orangemen, dramatic and debating clubs and, as a means of combatting his alcoholism, the Rechabites. His son was a shy, nervous but ambitious albino who engaged in a wide range of childhood activities: 'debating club, public library, Sunday school (pupil and teacher), Church of England choir, playing the flute and cornet, writing to the local paper, riding, dancing, fishing, sweethearting, gardening, wood-chopping, novel reading, card playing, amateur theatricals' (Long, 216).

Long was educated at the Alexandra Common School and completed a pupil-teachership begun on 1 February 1877. In August 1880 he entered the Central Training Institute in Melbourne where F. J. Gladman was educating a group of reforming teachers. Long completed the course by July 1881 with outstanding results and taught for nine years, primarily at State School 1567, Richmond, a training school associated with the Central Training Institute. While teaching, Long graduated with a B.A. (1887) and M.A. (1889) from the University of Melbourne and won the University's Shakespeare Scholarship. With colleagues such as Frank Tate, he attempted to improve teachers' salaries and the Victorian education system In 1890 Long was appointed an inspector of schools and the following year began lecturing at the Training College.

Despite his efforts to introduce new educational ideas from Britain, Long made little progress and in 1893 the Training College was closed and Long had to lecture to pupil teachers. In 1895 a monthly School Paper was established with Long as editor. Long was also foundation editor of the official Education Gazette and Teachers' Aid from 1900. Long wrote many works ranging from pamphlets on educational method to a jointly written history of Victorian state education. His ardent love of Britain was combined with a strong Australian nationalism exemplified in such textbooks as Stories of Australian Exploration (1903) and British Worthies and other Men of Might (1912).

Long was a member of Theodore Fink's royal commission on technical education (1899-1901), supporting many of its reform recommendations. He lectured for University Extension, was a member of the Shakespeare Society, the Teachers' Literary Society, the Poetry Lovers' Society, the Melbourne branch of the Dickens Fellowship, a foundation member of the (Royal) Historical Society of Victoria and the Australian Literature Society. Long helped to popularise the work of Adam Lindsay Gordon. After his retirement from the Education department in 1925, Long returned to work on the Victorian Readers from 1 January 1927 until 30 June 1928.

Long had eight children by his first wife, Louisa Catherine Michel, who died in 1905 and another two by Margaret Ellen Willard whom he married in 1908. A fervent Anglican, Long in the words of R. J. W. Selleck, 'offered Victoria's schoolchildren a moral vision suffused with incipient Australian nationalism, an unwavering faith in the superiority of British ways and the middle-class values of thrift, industriousness, honesty, decent ambition and respect for the social order-all of which he adhered to in his own life.'

(Source: Adapted from E. L. French, 'Introduction to the Recollections of Charles R. Long', Melbourne Studies in Education 1963 (1964):203-209; Charles R. Long, 'The Recollections of Charles Richard Long', Melbourne Studies in Education 1963 (1964): 210-279; R. J. W. Selleck, 'Long, Charles Richard (1860 - 1944)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 10, MUP, 1986, pp 133-134).

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Last amended 6 Aug 2007 15:51:59
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