William N. Oats

William N. Oats

Nurturing the Human Spirit



William Oats, former headmaster of the International School, is well remembered for his role in escorting a group of primary school students out of Switzerland to the home of Mme. Maurette at Hendaye (Ecolint in Exile) in the wake of the invasion of France. This event is recounted in his book: Choose Your Dilemma: an Australian pacifist in Hitler's Europe, a book of letters about his experiences at Ecolint before and during the Second World War.

William Oats, who died in 1999, spent much of his later life in Tasmania where he continued to be active in international affairs, publishing a number of books and articles relating to Australia and international education. In his autobiography Headmaster by Chance, Oats covers the pre-war 1938-1940 period at Ecolint which included the Hendaye Ecolint-in-Exile experience as well as his return to Geneva from 1949-51 when he was Co-Director of the International School with Monsieur Roquette.

His critically acclaimed Nurturing the Human Spirit is an important chapter in Creating our Common Future: Educating for Unity in Diversity, edited by Jack Campbell and published in association with UNESCO Publishing and Berghahn Books. This chapter has a central section on Ecolint, as an exemplar in its commitment to nurturing the human spirit.

Creating our Common Future: Educating for Unity in Diversity offers a collection of essays that reflect upon the possibilities of a common future and on educational programs and projects that are aimed at transforming into reality this vision of a more humane world. The articles address the recent history of devastating wars, genocides, and environmental disasters more often than not caused by humans. They recognize that education is a crucial agency in developing a new awareness needed to generate greater social cohesion and fostering mutual respect.

Available from The Friends' School, Hobart:

Headmaster by Chance, Aguerremendi Press, Hobart, 1986

The Rose and the Waratah: The Friends' School Hobart 1832-1945, The Friends' School, Hobart, 1979

I Could Cry For These People: An Australian Quaker response to the plight of the people of Cambodia, Quaker Service Australia, 1994

The Nurture of the Human Spirit: Some Thoughts on the Nature and Purpose of Education and Religion, published by the Friends' School, Hobart, 1990

Values Education, published by The Friends' School, Hobart, 1995

Choose your dilemma: an Australian pacifist in Hitler's Europe, Montpelier Press, Hobart, 1999

To purchase a copy of these publications contact Deb Conley - The Friends' School - PO Box 42 - North Hobart - Tasmania 7002 - Australia - email: dconley@friends.tas.edu.au

From amazon.com (USA):

Choose Your Dilemma: An Australian Pacifist in Hitler's Europe

Creating our Common Future: Educating for Unity in Diversity, edited by Jack Campbell

A Question of Survival : Quakers in Australia in the Nineteenth Century

Backhouse and Walker : a Quaker view of the Australian colonies, 1832-1838