What a mammoth task Wendy set herself.
She has undertaken to dovetail the history of career education, guidance and development in Australia through the different periods, beginning in a time when most would not have thought there was evidence of vocational guidance. She has meticulously researched and compiled a documented history across different frames and themes, accounting for State and Commonwealth Government variations, and through numerous authors and reports.
All this is only possible with a person who has the vision to see the whole picture, together with a canny eye for detail to search out and synthesise all the relevant material. The capacity to pull it all together into a comprehensible story is also necessary.
It is truly a remarkable achievement that she has been able to keep all these different threads independent but in parallel throughout the book, in order that the reader can develop the full picture. This picture is however only accessible following a close read to forge a deep understanding of the individual activities which together make up this significant Australian story.
It is timely that Wendy has produced such a comprehensive history in a period when reports and activities in the careers field are still being commissioned without taking cognisance of what has already gone before. The evidence is there! There can be no excuse now for such short-sighted behaviour!
Those of us who have been in the field for a long time, think and feel we have experienced it all. But when you see all the relevant activity presented together under the one cover, we are reminded that there has been just so much going on. We needed this publication to reflect more accurately the situation in Australia, especially over the past 50 years.
Congratulations Wendy on providing such a valuable service and resource to the career development field in Australia. Practitioners, researchers and policy makers will all find both the story and the detail so useful that this will be seen as a seminal publication in the advancement of the careers agenda in Australia.
It has been a great privilege to work alongside you as a highly valued and supportive colleague in this important field and I applaud you for the tenacity to take on such a monumental task and to do it justice.
Col McCowan OAM