George Brooks

George Vickery Brooks (18771956), Tasmanian Director of Education from 1920 until 1945. Despite economic difficulties, Brooks and his senior officers successfully introduced many ideas for which Tasmanian education became known. His enlightened leadership placed the interests of children first, rather than, as hitherto, those of the state. He recognised benefits in changes from formal, prescriptive forms of education to a broader outlook in which academic ability was not the sole test of personal worth.

Brooks' style was consultative; he encouraged innovation and sought professional autonomy for teachers, and progressive influences were shown in his 1934 curriculum review. He worked to replace formal examinations with an accrediting system, updated rural education by establishing area schools with locally oriented courses, strove for balance between vocational and general education in secondary schools and upgraded technical education. Brooks High School in Launceston is named after him.

Graham Clements