Schools of Fish
Thursday, June 11, 2015 at 9:00AM
Dads on the Air in 2015, Boys / Rites of Passage, Boys' Education, Disabilities, Discrimination, Mentoring, Non-Custodial Fathers, Raising Kids, Relationships, Shared Parenting, Suicide

With special guest:

Schools of Fish won the 2015 Finch Memoir Prize for author Alan Sampson, a Queenslander, who by telling us about his own experiences lets us find out much about the importance of a father’s relationship with his children. A big part of the story relates to Alan’s role as Principal at the well-known Cavendish Road State High School in Brisbane. There are times at school when personal courage is required as well as unshakable integrity if favourable results are to be achieved.

At the same time as we get this fascinating look into the real world of a school Principal we get a growing realisation that there were issues on the home front with Alan’s youngest child and these could not be ignored. Alan had to find out if his strict authoritarian approach, first taught to him by his own father, and applied in his school roles will also work at home with his youngest child who is definitely different.

As youngest child Greg goes through school it is not just Greg who is learning. Alan finds that he is learning from Greg and this leads to him changing his mind about what is most important in life. It takes that relationship to bring Alan out of the microcosm of a large school environment and broaden his own horizons in unexpected ways.

In our interview for this program the meaning of life may not be fully revealed but we can see it from here. Everyone will enjoy hearing the story of a father’s striving to overcome all sorts of obstacles and the background to writing the book. We add our congratulations to Alan on his well-deserved prize.  

Alan Sampson

Alan Sampson has worked in the Education Department in Queensland for 30 years as a teacher, high school Principal, Inspector of Schools and Assistant Regional Director. He is the loving father of four children and in recent times has added surfing to his other interests of travelling and writing.

Song selection by our guest: The Nights by Avicii

Article originally appeared on Dads on the Air (
See website for complete article licensing information.