A Visual History
of Education
in Australia

Celebrate Christian Schools presents over 30 images illustrating the rich history of education in Australia and its strong Christian roots

Drawing of the first church and school building, circa 1793
Founder of the first Christian school back in 1793, Rev Richard Johnson. in painted portrait by Garnet Terry, published 1787
Floor plan of the first church and school building
Rev Johnson's message ‘An Address to the Inhabitants of the Colonies’ in 1792
Rev Johnson’s letter to a friend, April 9th 1790.
Memorial Plaque commemorating the Bicentenary of Christian Schooling in Australia
Current Memorial to the first building on Castlereagh Street, Sydney
Plaque on the memorial on Castlereagh Street
St Matthews Sunday School picnic – Albury NSW 1878
Indigenous education was community based. This Aboriginal pictograph is from Kakadu National Park, Arnhem Land, Australia.
Governor MacQuarie, circa 1800
Newcastle East Primary School circa 1879
Newcastle East Primary School - circa 1879. It is Australia's oldest school in continuous operation. It was founded in 1816 as Christ Church School, before being renamed in 1883.
Governments began funding state education and state libraries. This Victorian Government Gazette, dated Friday August 23, 1872, sets out funding for state libraries.
Victorian Education Office, Melbourne, 1872
Public class, circa 1872
Victorian Public Education graduation certificate (Public Record, from the National Museum of Australia)
Students studying at Rainbow State School in north-west Victoria, circa 1900
1915 Sunday School Picnic, Cobar NSW ("William Taylor's Bus")
Mobile Bible School, Northern Territory, 1930
Classroom in the 1960s
Young Parents in the 1960s.
Teacher in the 1970s
Family in the 1970s
Catholic schools were the predominant private institutions from the 1870s to the 1960s. Pictured is a Catholic School in Toowoomba circa 1870
Catholic schools, which educated 1 in 4 students, were underfunded. This political cartoon, 'Over-crowded schools, lack of teachers, lack of money,' was published in Victoria, 27 May 1963, and illustrated by John Frith
The Canberra Times, Tuesday July 17, 1964, with a headline about the Goulburn Strike that precipitated federal funding for private schools
Evening Post Announcing Goulburn Strike
Robert Menzies was the first Prime Minister to propose fixed federal funding for private students, starting in 1964
The Robert Menzies Government, pictured circa 1964, then ultimately began funding private schools from 1969
Robert Menzies meeting with Archbishop O’Brien. (Image from Robert Menzies Institute)
Local Press announcing approval for a Christian School in Western Australia, circa 1985
Press captures the Christian School Bicentennial Gathering in March 1993, which celebrated 200 years of Christian schooling in Australia
New Schools were commencing in the 1980s. First class of Cornerstone Community School in 1986
School Community Gathers for independent school opening in 1987
Parents building classroom foundation in 1987, Western Australia
Copy of the National ‘Growing Up’ Newsletter by Christian Community Schools in 1979
Parent and Church schools continued to develop in the 1980s
Glasshouse Christian School 2023
Discovery Christian College 2023
Glasshouse Christian School 2023

The History
of Education
Since 1793