Thumbs up as Austral Public celebrates 130 years

Students, staff and families celebrated 130 years of education at Austral Public School this week. Luke Horton reports.

Students crouching inf front of and adults standing next to an artwork. Students crouching inf front of and adults standing next to an artwork.
Image: Austral Public school leaders with special guests and the 130-year anniversary artwork featuring every student's thumb print.

Students and staff at Austral Public School celebrated 130 years of history, diversity and change earlier this week.

Historic games, exhibits and a special assembly were among the activities enjoyed by students and their families.

Principal Khaled Elhage said students had been learning about the origins and history of their school leading into the celebrations, and a special video presentation reliving the school over time was shown during the anniversary assembly.

Students also performed song and dance routines and presented Mr Elhage with a special 130-year artwork, which featured each student’s thumb print.

“It’s humbling and exciting to be celebrating 130 years of education at Austral Public,” Mr Elhage said.

“The students at our school are now part of this significant milestone. They’re a part of the culture and the legacy of this school.”

The school of more than 560 students was gazetted in 1891 and was originally part of West Hoxton owned by the Austral Banking and Land Proprietary.

When residents pushed for a second public school in the Hoxton Park area, the company donated a 12,000 square-metre parcel of land, and in return, the school was named Austral Public School.

Mr Elhage said the Austral area had changed greatly from a largely rural demographic to a semi-urban, thriving multicultural community.

“Community values, beliefs and attitudes such as integrity, high expectations and standards, tolerance, care for the environment and social cooperation are promoted throughout our school, based on the school motto of Scholarship, Citizenship and Sportsmanship,” he said.

Students and adults with a 130-year sign. Students and adults with a 130-year sign.
Image: Students and special guests with the 130-year anniversary sign at Austral Public School.
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