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Rediscovering Ginninderra:
Brooklands School

In the late 1800's the families in the Wallaroo area needed a school for their children. A Provisional School was established on a site selected on a low ridge on Richard Southwell's land at Brooklands, with no legal title or access. A slab hut was erected by the parents and a teacher sourced. The parents provided the building and furniture and also accommodated the teacher. The first teacher was Mr J. Thompson and he was succeeded by Mr R. Patten in September 1885.

In 1890 two acres of land known as Portion 138 were resumed for a Public School site. The land for that purpose was donated by Mr Richard Southwell and a new school was built thereon. At this stage the name changed from 'Wallaroo' to 'Brooklands' School and the old school building was then used as a shelter shed.

The school continued until about 1906 when the attendance fell to below the number required to warrant its continuance as a Provisional School. Arrangements were made for a further use of the building as a subsidized school, which continued until 1911, when the school was permanently closed.

By this time the Hall Public School was opened, which gave the children of Brooklands an opportunity for continuing their education there if they so desired. Cedric R Southwell (son of Richard Southwell) was the only one to do so. In 1918 the building was transferred to Wantagong (in the Spring Range district) and was used there as a school. The building was eventually sold by tender to Mr E N Lucas for ₤10.3.3 in 1924.

More details and photos of Wallaroo / Brooklands school can be found in the 'Early Canberra Schools' display on this site.

Related Photos

Brooklands school ⧉

Brooklands pupils 1894 ⧉

Click on the caption (⧉) to view photo details and attribution.


Smith, L.R. Memories of Hall, Roebuck, Canberra, 1975.
Gillespie, L.L. Early education and schools in the Canberra Region, Canberra, 1999

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