skip to content

< Early Canberra Government Schools

Amungula [1888 - 1913]

Previous Name/s: Woodfield (until December 1908)

An application for establishment of a Provisional school at Woodfield was made in 1888, and the Department of Lands finally notified the dedication of two acres (Portion 169, Parish of Goorooyarroo, County of Murray) for a school, and an adjoining area of eight acres (Portion 170) also reserved 'for school purposes'. The school site can be found on the Sutton Road some four kilometres south of its junction with the Federal Highway.

A contract for erection of the school was let to John Joseph Purcell of Queanbeyan, who completed the work in September 1888. Margaret Ryan was the first teach, taking up her duties in September 1888, but she was replaced in July the next year.

In April 1901 the District Inspector recommended that Woodfield by upgraded to Public school status, as the enrolment had reached twenty nine and the average attendance for the quarter ended 31 March was 22.4. The recommendation was approved on 16 April and Katy Walsh became teacher in July1901. She proved to be a strict disciplinarian, and in May 1903 a group move parents (Jane McInnes, James Cooper, Richard Cartwright, Samuel Bingley, Lucy Whittaker and Mary Southwell complained of excessive punishment inflicted by her.

Senior Inspector C O Flashman conducted an inquiry which concluded that there had indeed been excessive punishment, and as Miss Walsh did not get on with the parents, he recommended that she be removed. This resulted in her transfer to another school. School photographs suggest a preponderance of girls in the enrolment; there was dertwainly a preponderance of female teachers. All but one of the school's thirteen teachers - the very last - were women.

The name of the school was changed to Amungula in 1908. The school continued to operate under Mrs Agnes R M Pender until 7th November 1913, when it closed. The school building was sold to James Cartwright for ₤12 in May 1916.

[from Lyall Gillespie, Early education and schools in the Canberra region, pp77-78]

Location Map


NSW Government schools from 1848

< Early Canberra Government Schools

If you are able to assist our work of identifying, documenting, and celebrating the early bush schools of the Canberra region, please contact us or .