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< Early Canberra Government Schools

Russell Hill School [1927 - 1930]

A construction camp grew up in the vicinity of Campbell shops from 1925. According to Ann Gugler:

"One hundred and twenty sites were set aside in 1926 for married men to construct their own cottages. H L B Lasseter was joined by his wife and children in December 1926 and built a cottage in this settlement. Water was connected but no electricity or sewerage. In September 1926 the old Masonic Hall at Acton was transferred to Russell Hill where it was converted into a school. The school closed in 1929 following the departure of many residents many of whom left the territory in search of work. The settlement site is close to Campbell Shops" Ann Gugler's work on the construction camps can be found here.

The Russell school always bound to be very short-lived, though the local population grew to around 350 at its height. Chief Commissioner of the FCT Inspector C B Newling estimated that the attendance would be about 70, in recommending that a fifth class school established, with two teachers, as soon as possible. William Gee (Head) and an assistant Miss Lynch were appointed in August 1927. The Freemasons Hall relocated from Acton was officially opened as Russell Hill public school on 4th October 1927 by Charles Daley, FCT Secretary.

In April 1930 the FCT advised the NSW Education Department that arrangements had been made to transport the remaining 31 students to either the new Ainslie school, or the new Catholic school, St Christophers, at Manuka. The school building meanwhile was moved to Corroboree Park, Ainslie, where it still stands as part of the community hall there.

Canberra Times, Monday 14 April 1930

"Russell Hill School Closed

Russell Hill school has been closed on account of the decreasing enrolment of the school. The scholars are to be transferred to Ainslie school and Manuka Convent School. Transport arrangements are being made to convey the scholars to the various schools, the bus leaving near the Rectory on Monday morning at 8.35. The usual 1d. fare for school children will apply irrespective of distance.

The school was opened in September 1927, with an enrolment of over 100 pupils, which was since reduced to 30"

Russell Hill School - 'western side of lower Blamey Crescent' (Foskett) - 1927-1930. Building then moved to Corroboree Park. This school was established specifically to provide schooling for the children of workers at the construction camp then established on the 'western slopes of Mt Russell (Pleasant)'.

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NSW Government schools from 1848

< Early Canberra Government Schools

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