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150 years: Ballarat Primary School (Dana Street)

Learn about the history of Ballarat Primary School (Dana Street), one of Victoria's oldest public schools.

Key information

401 Dana Street, Ballarat, 3350
12 January 1857
School type:
School number:
Other names:
Dana Street State School, Dana Street School

The history of Ballarat Primary School (Dana Street)

  • 1857

    Ballarat opened as a national school in 1857. When it opened it was called Dana Street. The teachers were Charles Martin and his wife. On the first day the school opened 50 students attended. 

    The school building was made from bluestone with a slate roof.

  • 1862

    The school became a common school in 1862.

  • 1876

    The school became a state school sometime in 1876. Four church schools closed and these students moved to Dana Street when it became a state school.

    A new and larger brick school building opened in January 1876. It had a slate roof. There were 1,100 students now at the school. The head teacher was R.A. Armstrong. Evening classes (night school) were held in the old bluestone school building.

  • 1907

    Ballarat High School moved into the old bluestone building and remained there until 1910. After this the Ballarat Junior Technical School used the building for classes while waiting for its new building to be finished.

  • 1913

    The school building was remodelled in 1913.

  • 1927

    The Ballarat Teachers College moved into the old bluestone building for a year while the Ballarat East Town Hall was renovated. The College closed in 1931 because of the Great Depression. 

  • 1926

    Jubilee gates were built at the school to recognise that Queen Elizabeth 11 had been the Queen for 25 years. 

  • 1946

    The Ballarat Teachers College re-opened moved back into the old bluestone building. It stayed there until 1958. 

  • 1967

    The slate roof was replaced with tiles. 

  • 1970

    The school was renamed Ballart Primary School, also known as Dana Street Primary School.

    Photograph of Ballarat Dana Street Primary School building
    Ballarat Dana Street Primary School in 1970. Source: Laurie Burchell and the State Library of Victoria
  • 1976

    The school marked its 150th anniversary in 1976. 

  • 1990s

    Several major projects were completed in the 1990s. The school was remodelled and the old national school building was converted into a 'multipurpose room for assemblies, indoor games, ballet [and] parent's nights'. The principal at the time was John Hughes. 

  • 2022

    Ballarat Primary School (Dana Street) is still in operation.

Find more interesting facts about this school

The Public Records Office (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 is your turn to do some detective work. Take a look to see what information they have on this school.