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.

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 No.1057 Education Department school is presently used as an interior school hall at the current Rushworth P-12 College.
The original school building 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.

Original Rushworth State School, built in 1872, complete with bell and tower.

Evolution of Rushworth P-12 College:

  • 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
  • SS No.1057 opened in January 1872
  • SS No.1057 became a HES (Higher Elementary school) in 1931
  • SS4654 Rushworth Migrant Centre opened in 1949 and closed in 1952. This was situated at the previous War Camp 3
  • SS No.1057 split into a separate Primary and High school in 1961
  • The Primary School was relocated to new premises on Old Tatura Road in 1962
  • The High School took over the premises vacated by the Primary School in 1962
  • A P-12 College, No.6238 (i.e. Primary to Year 12) opened in 1996 (replacing SS1057 and the High School) and is still operational today
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
“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.

Building of the Woodwork/Cookery wing (now Library) circa 1930 – To left is where the current Primary building is located

Rushworth School from the front – circa 1930

Grace Semmens Medal

The Dux of the Primary School which separated from the High School around 1961 received the Grace Semmens Award.

This medal  was presented in the memory of the wife of J. B. Stewart, Grace Semmens, who had been raised and taught for many years at Rushworth.