THERE has been a lot of discussion around the proposal to change the name of the Wonthaggi Secondary College, some for it but a lot against.
In fact, if it was an election and not a Facebook free-for-all, the 96 year old Wonthaggi Secondary College would retain ‘Wonthaggi’ as the key part of its title in a landslide.
Since the school posted its name change proposal on its Facebook page on July 25 it has attracted 12 ‘likes’ and seven ‘sad’ faces.
An opposing Facebook group called ‘Keep Wonthaggi in our school’, has attracted 533 members since it was launched by former student Alison Wallace on August 2.
There are however 95 comments under the College’s official post, a selection of which are reprinted here:
• Carol Wyly: Are you serious? So, what now, they will all need to spend money for new uniforms again. So ridiculous!
• Beth Lynch: Definitely a yes to this name change. I strongly advocate for Bass Coast College. It’s a well-rounded name, inclusive of all students in the Bass Coast region. The uniform change is a minor issue which could be phased out over time. Great movement.
• Glenn Sullivan: Foster changed their name to South Gippsland Secondary College in 1990, then spent the best part of two decades struggling with an identity problem.
Bev Main: Why not start a poll to give a better indication. I agree with leaving the name the same.
Debby Schonewille: WSC, I think if you read all of the above messages, majority are for leaving it as is! Waste of resources!
Don’t change it
Administrator of the keep the name group, Alison Wallace, contacted the Sentinel-Times over the weekend.
“Are you aware that a committee has been put together to change the name of the Wonthaggi Secondary College? They have created a Facebook page (new name for WSC) to ask the community what name they want it changed to. Not if they want it changed,” Ms Wallace said.
“No choice has been given on that.
“They have 52 people liking the page. I have started a group (keep ‘Wonthaggi’ in Our School) on Facebook for anyone who does not want the name changed. In two days we have had over 500 people join who do not want the name changed from parents who cannot afford the uniform change and students who don’t want it changed to past students who want the history and legacy of the school name to remain and also those concerned with removing an indigenous name from the school and replacing it with a colonialist’s name.”
Ms Wallace also refers to the back-down at Foster Secondary College, urging readers to have a look at both pages and make their comments before the closing date of Monday, August 13.
School principal Darren Parker has previously said if the name is changed, it would be phased in to ensure parents wouldn’t face extra uniform costs.
The new campus under construction will have ‘Wonthaggi’ in its title, he says, but the college may one day have a campus on Phillip Island or near San Remo, hence the proposal to seek a more inclusive regional name, that reflects the area from which it draws its students.
You can provide feedback by commenting on the Facebook page ‘New name for WSC’, by emailing the college, or going to www.wonthaggi.sc.vic.edu.au
There are also numerous comments on the ‘Keep Wonthaggi in our school’ Facebook group page.