Our History

At Rushworth P-12 College, we are proud of our long and rich history, and we do our best to preserve and remind people of this history whenever we can. This page contains a collection of old newspaper articles or other material from various archives which refer to early Rushworth history, and in particular Rushworth school in its various guises.

Please note, this page is a work in  progress.

Mini facts of Rushworth and the schools of the area

Approximate Location: 45km SW of Shepparton and 20km west of Murchison.

Comments: Rushworth goldfields discovered in 1853. The township was surveyed and proclaimed by 1859. Nearby goldfields included Bowmans Gully, Canadian Hill, Chinamans Flat, Dry Diggings, Growlers Hill, Main Gully and Parramatta Gully.

Schools of the area:

– A non-vested National school opened in 1858 and closed as SS524 in 1870.

– A Presbyterian school opened in 1859 and closed as SS532 in December 1872.

– SS1057 opened in January 1872 or 1873. It became a HES (Higher Elementary school) in 1931 and split into a Primary and High school in 1961. The Primary School was relocated to new premises in 1962 and closed sometime after 1970.

– SS4654 Rushworth Migrant Centre opened in 1949 and closed in 1952. This was situated at the previous War Camp 3.

– The High School took over the premises vacated by the Primary School in 1962.

– A P-12 (i.e. primary to year 12) school (#6238) opened in 1996 (replacing SS1057 and the High School) and is still operational today.

Churches: A brick Anglican church (St Paul’s) was built in High Street in 1867/70.

Rev John Truscott held the first Methodist service on 15 December 1868, two months after the Sunday School was completed. A church was erected in 1879/1880 and replaced in 1891.

Other Buildings of Note: A timber court house was built in High Street in 1853 and it was replaced by a brick one on the same site in 1877. It last sat in 1989.

The Mechanics’ Institute operated as early as 1861 firstly in the National School and then in the shire hall until it opened its own hall in 1898. However the building of the railway line required the building to be demolished and a new building on the current site in High Street was completed in 1914. It now houses the Rushworth Museum.


A large and commodious weatherboard school- room has been erected at Rushworth in connexion with the Presbyterian Church, and was opened by a soirée on the 6th inst. The chair was filled by John Stuart, Esq., and addresses were delivered by the Rev. A. McNicol, and Messrs. Fletcher, Henry, Baker, and Sands. In the course of the evening a fancy bazaar was opened by the ladies; the proceeds of which, together with the tea meeting, realised the sum of £45. The whole of the entertainment was enlivened by the performances of an excellent choir, admirably conducted by Mr. James Miller.
- An extract from 'The Argus' – Wednesday 14th of March, 1860

The original Rushworth School, No 1057, was built in 1872 by local contribution by the generous Rushworth inhabitants when the Education Department began free, non-sectarian education. The original 1057 Education Department school is presently used as an interior school hall in the Rushworth high school. The school was extended in 1883, 1900 and 1922. It has been described as; aesthetic Victorian or education major style, of architecture. The red coloured bricks (made in Rushworth) and the mullioned windows were elaborate. Tiered classrooms were built on the east and west sides of the original building at the turn of the century. In these classrooms the back rows of the tiered seating were level with the window and children frequently climbed out of the window straight from their seats. The belltower was installed on the roof of the original school section until more recent additions.

“Prior to the Education Act of 1872, school teachers who rise to mind are Quinton, Barker, Elphinstone, Robinson, and Mrs. Smith. The first school was of calico, to be succeeded by one of slab and bark. With the advent of the present education system came Hobday, who endeared himself to his pupils, and maintained affection towards them until his death recently.”
- An extract from “Back to Rushworth” Souvenir, Easter 1928. Compiled and written by J. Burt Stewart
The “hall” to the left of the photo was the original building. The roof at extreme right was a separate building, since removed.