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150 years: Preston South Primary School

Learn about the history of Preston South Primary School, one of Victoria's oldest public schools.

Key information

56B Hotham Street, Preston, 3072
1 July 1866
School type:
School number:
Other names:
Gowerville Common School, Preston South State School

The history of Preston South Primary School

  • 1866

    The school opened as a common school in 1866. It was known as Gowerville when it opened. The first head teacher was John McCauley. The wooden school building was located near the corner of Raglan Street and Albert Street. 

  • 1873

    The school became a state school in 1873 when James Robertson was head teacher.

  • 1878

    The school moved to a new site in 1878. 102 students were enrolled at the time. 

  • 1902

    The name of the school officially changed to South Preston State School in 1902. It was known informally by this name from at least the 1890s.  

    The building was extended the same year.

  • 1920s

    The building was extended again in 1923 and 1925. 

  • 1961

    The school provided training facilities for students of the Coburg Teachers College. 

  • 1968

    Most of the school was destroyed by fire in 1968. 

  • 1969

    There were 426 students enrolled in 1969.

  • 1970

    The school was renamed Preston South Primary School in 1970.

  • 1995

    A royal blue and gold compulsory uniform was introduced in 1995. Graeme Proud was principal at the time. 

  • 2009

    The school was again destroyed by fire in 2009.

  • 2016

    A publication of the school's history was produced in 2016 and includes photographs donated by past students. 

  • 2022

    Preston South Primary School 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.