‘The Scheyville Experience’

Differentiating from other academic, knowledge-driven approaches, the School of Thinking has always been focused on SKILLS since its inception in 1979. We are driven not by SLOs (Student Learning Objectives) but rather by SPOs (Student Performance Objectives). The SPO pedagogy was imported from the military.

Because the School of Thinking training strategy is strongly based on it, I’ve been asked to tell a little more about the Scheyville Experience.

The war movie that had the biggest impact on my life was a little known movie called National Service Officer, a military infomercial about a rigorous and elite finishing school for young army officers at an almost secret place called, Scheyville OTU (Officer Training Unit).

1967 201a Entrance

During the Viet Nam War, on being drafted for National Service, they showed it to us in boot camp and, as a result, we could volunteer to apply for leadership training at the Scheyville Battalion of Officer Cadets.

After a rigourous selection procedure a few of us were selected from each recruit training battalion around the country and I was one of the 23 selected from Puckapunyal in Victoria in July, 1967. I was a member of the intake 3/67 and 4/67.

During less than a decade before it was closed down at the end of the war, almost 1,800 men graduated from OTU Scheyville.


The Officer Training Unit (OTU) Scheyville (pronounced like ‘sky-ville’) was a place in Western Sydney of which most Australians have never heard. However the Scheyville Battalion’s leaders have gone on to be extraordinarily successful in their chosen fields; the famed DFAT class of ’69 pales in comparison. It has been argued that they are perhaps one of the most successful cohorts Australia has ever produced. In Australian military history this is now known as the Scheyville Experience.

Now you can watch the movie the Army made to recruit for the Scheyville Experience here

Most schools couldn’t claim as many successful ons as Scheyville. To be sure, schools like Perth Modern can claim a Prime Minister, departmental secretaries, ministers and a Governor-General – but it did not produce them within the space of seven years.

Scheyville can claim a Deputy Prime Minister (Tim Fischer), a state Premier (Jeff Kennett), parliamentarians, the leader of the famous airline strike, a Vice-Chancellor, scientists, a coterie of Brigadiers, successful broadcasters, journalists and advertising men and a bevy of prominent businessmen – all from but seven short years.

Scheyville also produced some very gallant young men. The founding Commandant and ‘Father of Scheyville’ was Brigadier Ian Geddes.



The founder of the Scheyville Battalion was Brigadier Ian Geddes who was born in Tamworth, New South Wales on 4 February 1921 and he suffered a stroke and died on Saturday, 21 July 2007.


12 thoughts on “‘The Scheyville Experience’

  1. I was postet to the OTU as a member of the Catering Corps in intake 1970 until 1973 ( Officers Mess )
    I was proud to serve in this unit and i will never forget this great time!
    By the Way…my senior officer was Lt,Roby AACC.

  2. I was a member of the U.T.O Staff and a Officers mess Cook from 1970 until 1973
    It was a greath time , in the 70……I will never forget!

  3. Never seen “National Service Officer” – Where can I find it?
    I’m a Nasho. Extended my service to go to Vietnam, now TPI.
    My service did me good. Unfortunately I’ve hit the wall.

  4. I am a Scheyvillian – and proud of it. The training and self discipline I learned there have been my mentors all of my life – so far.

  5. Although I am critical of my involvement in Vietnam ( My 13 month all paid expenses , Join the Army ( Well be drafted) see the world, meet interesting people and kill them) what I learned at Scheyville allowed me to establish a 350 person company with 11 international offices turning over US$105 million. I retired from the army reserve list this year. So thank you Scheyville, my parents passed through you as migrants. How come there is no lasting plaque to the migrants that made this country and their sons who carried out the policies of the governments of that time,. How many nasho second lieutenants died in Vietnam?

  6. after reading the above link (the Father of Scheyville), all I could do was sit quietly for a moment or three.. in a profoundly deep silence … and in the power of those moments, I began to appreciate what a wonderful Dad Scheyville must have had and why “The Scheyville Experience” produced such extraordinarily successful graduates

Leave your thought

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.