Hakan Akyol describes his school years growing up in inner Melbourne
18 February 2009
source not available
... when I sort of came here I just didnt have any words in English that I recall anyway and so starting at prep and I again have certain visions or sort of recollection of memories being looking just glossed I suspect, but again, given that there were so many others in the similar boat in terms of it was at the point when, primary school that within a very short period of time, we were able to pick up language and pick up reading skills and so forth so within by Grade 2, was you know, doing reasonably well in school.
Collingwood had a reasonably high sort of migrant population, the local Collingwood primary school was also very diverse. We lived in the what was then called the Ministry of Housing, Housing Commission flats, sort of the 20 storey things which had 10 families on each floor and so approximately 200 families of which the vast majority would have been of migrant background, relatively newly arrived. And the waves of the migration pattern in terms of initially some Greek, Italian families but predominantly Turkish, Lebanese, former Yugoslavia and so forth.
But over a period of time that we were there that sort of mix changed to some of the families dug up enough money for a deposit and so forth and then moved out to the suburbs. We actually had a lot of fun, in terms of the housing commission estate. There was a park, playground and we basically during the summer played cricket, predominantly and some soccer and during the winter months, football and a bit of soccer as well.
Soccer was obviously common to many of the backgrounds in terms of sport primarily played in the countries of origin. But the take up of football and cricket was quite strong amongst older migrant kids. The biggest issue in terms of the sporting and playfield is the fact that I was a Carlton supporter and I was living in Collingwood and it was quite amusing, sort of put it down to a bit of character building back then. But it was theres always an opportunity, there was always another child of equivalent age or approximate age that would or a group of us that would go kick the football if there was only a handful or if there was sufficient, like more than four or five that could go on each side, playing football or as I said, cricket.
So, the take up of the sports of Australia so to speak was pretty quick and passions about certain football clubs sort of built up relatively quickly.
In my last four years of secondary school, I went to private school, Trinity Grammar and basically it was a decision by some families at the time although we were living in housing commission estate, determined that their savings would go towards education. That was of paramount (importance.)