150 years: Avenel Primary School

Learn about the history of Avenel Primary School, one of Victoria’s oldest public schools.

Key information

40 Anderson Street, Avenel , 3664
20 May 1856
School type:
School number:
Other names:
Avenel School, Avenel Common School, Avenel State School, Avenel Primary School

The history of Avenel Primary School

  • 1856

    Avenel was opened in 1856 by the Church of England.

    The first head teacher was Edwin Richardson.

    There were 20 students at the school.

  • 1860s

    Richardson built a new schoolhouse in 1860. He rented the building to the Board of Education.

    Avenel became a common school in 1863.

    The Kelly family attended the school from 1861 to 1866.

    This included infamous bushranger, Ned Kelly.

  • 1870s

    The school became a state school at some stage between 1873 and 1878.

    There were 67 students at the school in 1873. The schoolhouse was too small and some classes were held outside.

    A new brick school with 2 rooms was built on a new site in 1874.

  • 1883

    The head teacher in 1883 was Planck. 


  • 1899

    Planck left the school after 16 years and was replaced by McConville.


  • 1900

    Exterior view of Avenel State School building early 1900's.
  • 1915

    There were 100 enrolled at the school and another room was added.

  • 1934

    Portrait of school students in front of Avenel State School building in 1934.
  • 1947

    There were only 49 students at the school in 1947. Many families moved out of the area due to the depression.

  • 1956

    An iron gate with pillars was installed. This was built to mark the 100th anniversary of the school.

  • 1968

    The number of students at the school had been increasing since the end of the depression. There were 98 students in 1968.

  • 1970

    The school was renamed Avenel Primary School in 1970.

  • 1990s

    The school had multiple building works in the 1990s. A new portable was added in 1992 and an administration area was added in 1994.A technology wing opened in 1997. 

  • 2006

    The school mark its 150th anniversary in 2006. A history of the school was published.


  • 2022

    Avenel Primary School is still in operation today.

Find more interesting facts about this school

The Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) is the archive of Victoria's State and local government. They look after some of our oldest school records, and we can use these records to help us understand what school life used to be like.

Now it's your turn to do some detective work. Take a look to see what information they have on this school.