The boys wore long hair and huge sideburns. The girls wore short skirts and tight tops. They listened to Cat Stevens and Bob Dylan. They protested about conscription and going to war.
They were at the tail end of the baby boom ... the Ballarat High School Form Six class of 1972.
Where are they now? Have their beliefs changed? Did they fulfil their dreams?
School captain at Ballarat High School in 1972 Joanne Elliott (now Valentine) looks back on her final year of secondary school with fond memories.
Now a mother of three children _ aged 24, 22 and 15 years respectively _ Mrs Valentine smiles when recalling the friendships formed with her Ballarat High School classmates.
``(The class of '72) was quite a close group and we were close to the teachers, which was unusual back in those days.''
Mrs Valentine has kept in contact with some of her former classmates and she crosses paths with others through their children's respective sporting activities.
The former Joanne Elliott was known by her fellow class of '72 students as ``little mouse''.
``I just wanted everyone to be happy and for everyone to be friends,'' she said. ``Now that I'm older I'm less afraid of ruffling feathers.''
Mrs Valentine was 17 turning 18 in 1972 and one of her most vivid memories of that time was the Vietnam War. The students, she said, were fairly aware of the war.
``We had a greater sense of the world in 1972... the Vietnam War did that.
``Students back then were also fairly militant. While we didn't have protests at school, we knew what was happening around us,'' Mrs Valentine said.
``Back then we lived a safer kind of life... while we were developing our own ideas, we were also a naïve generation. In 1972 we knew we had the right to make demands and statements (about the Vietnam War). It was easy for us, because we were too young to go the war. It was easy for us to march and stamp our feet, because we knew we weren't the ones who would have to go and fight.
``As a post-war generation, our parents made sure we had everything. We lived for the day and never really had a picture of what our lives would be like in 30 years time. We were confidently naïve in that we knew that when we left school we would either go to college or walk into a job.
``We had no fear and a lot of hope.''
Mrs Valentine described herself as middle-of-the-road academically.
She said that in 1972 she had no idea of what she wanted to be post-HSC (now VCE).
``In the 1970s girls had a only couple of choices for the future _ nursing, secretary or teaching. I ended up nursing and started at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. I didn't finish, though,'' Mrs Valentine said.
``The girl from the country thought she could take on the big city. It was far too big for me and I came back to Ballarat, to pathology at St John of God.''
For three years in the mid-1980s, Mrs Valentine, her teacher husband Mark and their children lived and worked in New Guinea.
``That time in New Guinea meant I have become less conservative. We were a minority in someone else's country. We had to respect someone else's lifestyle. It made me realise that we should let people from other countries assimilate with us... that we should make people from different countries very welcome," she said.
School life in the 1970s was much different than it is today.
Mrs Valentine remembers that despite co-educational classes, the playground was very different.
``When I first started at Ballarat High School in 1967 the quadrangle was fenced to separate the boys and girls.
During my first year at high school everything changed and the fences came down.''
Fellow Ballarat High School class of 1972 student, Chris Rowsell didn't finish Form Six that year. Instead, he left in September and started full-time work at Selkirk Bricks.
Mr Rowsell remained at Selkirk Bricks for 19 years before changing careers to real estate.
The divorced father of three is now a partner in Eureka Real Estate.
``I was fortunate to walk into a job almost as soon as I left school. Back then good jobs were reasonably hard to find, but you could find a job that would eventually lead to a good job,'' Mr Rowsell said.
``In 1972 I took the judgement call to finish school... I wasn't really a brilliant student.''
Mr Rowsell has fond memories of life in Ballarat in 1972. One vivid memory is a visit to Ballarat High School by the then federal opposition leader Gough Whitlam and his wife Margaret.
``I remember his speech in the Peacock Hall. He was a fairly imposing figure who spoke about the ``It's Time'' campaign, which eventually led to him winning the next election and becoming prime minister,'' Mr Rowsell said.
He also remembers the Vietnam War and how it impacted on society at the time.
``I remember travelling to Melbourne on one occasion and getting caught up in a huge street march protesting against the Vietnam War.''
While Mr Rowsell was in his late teens at the time, he never thought it was likely he would be called up to fight in the war.
``There were indications, even then, that the war effort was winding down.''
But his most vivid memories of the early 1970s were of the long hair and the short skirts worn at the time.
``I can remember boys being suspended (from school) for having long hair and others who wore wigs to school to disguise the fact that their hair was long,'' he said.
``Girls also wore short uniforms to school, and I can remember the girls kneeling on the floor to have the length of their skirts measured.''
Music was also a big influence on society in the early 1970s and Mr Rowsell fondly remembers attending the first Sunbury Music Festival and listening to some of Australia's biggest names in the music industry at special concerts hosted by the School of Mines.
``SMB's student union would bring to Ballarat some of the biggest names in music, like Doug Parkinson, who was arrested during his concert here for swearing on stage. That was big news at the time.
We also saw Daddy Cool, Captain Matchbox and Black Feather in Ballarat.''
While Mr Rowsell had no real map for his life back in 1972, he was keen to learn about computers and was lucky enough to learn more about them while working at Selkirks.
``The computers of the 1970s weren't like those of today. Back then they were the size of a small bedroom and had as much power as a modern mobile phone.''
Today, Mr Rowsell remains close friends with only two or three of his former Ballarat High School classmates, but has fond memories of those influential baby boomer times.