Dan Moalem - Growing Up in Shanghai


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Thumbnail Photograph of Dan Moalem      

About The Author

Born in Shanghai in 1930, Dan Moalem grew up in one of the most interesting cities in the world. His parents were each one of seven children. The Moalem and Gazal families numbered more than 60 in total and Dan lived in a household bustling with cousins, aunts, uncles and friends of the family.

His schooling was interrupted in 1937 by the Japanese attack on Shanghai when the family moved to Hong Kong for six months and then again in 1942 when the family was interned in Lunghwa Concentration Camp for three years.

After the war, Dan sat the Senior Cambridge Exams at which he excelled, and was elected Captain of his school. He studied engineering at Aurora University (accredited by the Sorbonne, Paris), having knocked back a scholarship offer to the USA.

After the Communists took over Shanghai, his family migrated in 1950 to Sydney, Australia. Life was difficult at first, as they arrived with very little, but Dan's qualifications enabled him to find work. He soon became bored with engineering, however, and decided to retrain in the field of education.

Dan taught Mathematics at high schools and lectured part-time at the University of New South Wales. Many of his students received top ranking in their final exams and he was rapidly promoted through the Department of Education to Head of Mathematics Department, Deputy Principal, and ultimately Principal. He held the position of Principal for 25 years, overseeing the education of many thousands of students in his career.

Dan authored 28 books in Mathematics designed for all levels of secondary schools. These books were extremely popular and widely used. He was on many Syllabus Committees and the Executive Committees of a number of professional associations. Dan pioneered many innovations in secondary education, such as computer-assisted instruction, special interest elective subjects, and work experience. Overseas and local educators would often visit his schools to see these innovations being implemented.

Dan was also a recognised authority in Transformational Geometry and regularly invited to lecture both in Australia and overseas.

After retiring from the public school system, Dan took over a private school for overseas students in the popular suburb of Bondi Beach in Sydney, which he ran for 11 years.

One of the projects completed in his 'second retirement' was authoring a book about his childhood in China, now published under the title, 'Growing up in Shanghai'.

Thumbnail Photograph of Dan and Ruth Moalem       Dan's life beyond work often centred around sport - in fact he started a tennis club in his youth, which is where he met Ruth, the woman who was to become his future wife ... but that's a chapter for the next book. Dan is still a keen tennis player and still married to Ruth - in fact, they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2006. Together they raised two daughters, Jennifer and Linda, and enjoy spending time with their grandson, Ty.