150 years: Warrak Primary School

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

Key information

1663 Warrak Road, Warrak, 3377
1 January 1866
1 January 1985
School type:
School number:

The history of Warrak Primary School

  • 1866

    Warrak opened as a common school in 1866.

    The first head teacher was James Carrighan, followed by Edward Keith. 

    The school was located in the Mount Cole area, approximately 20 km east of Ararat. 

    The area had been growing as a wood milling community since the 1850s. 

    As this activity declined mill owners and workers planted and worked orchards. 

    There were 66 students enrolled when the school first opened. 

    The school at Warrak was open for two days a week and the school at the near-by Mt Cole for three days a week. 

    The building was also used as a community hall and church. 

  • 1909 to 1925

    Between 1909 and 1925 teachers include: 

    • Lilian Barkell 
    • Olivia Herbert 
    • JB Bell 
    • Cath Leaky 
    • James Towner 
    • Ettie Muhuke 
    • Daisy Lilley 
    • Daisy Lewis 
    • Miss A Young 
  • 1925

    After 1925 teachers included:

    • Ann C Byrne 
    • Betty Gibbon 
    • John Atchison 
    • Catherine Cody 
    • Gladys Lawson 
    • HL Ryan 
    • Marlin Sullivan 
    • ML Smedley 
    • G Spalding 
    • E Blake 
    • Mr Dawson 
    • G McCourt 
    • G Marshall 
    • P Wadsworth 
    • W Keen 
    • W Meadows.
  • 1919 to 1939

    From 1919 to 1939, children from the Welfare Department attended to the school. The number of students enrolled increased.

    In 1935, the building from the old Ballyrogan State School (No.1530) was moved to the Warrak School site. 

  • 1945

    After the Second World War in 1945 the number of students enrolled at the school fell. 

    Fruit growing in the area was slowly replaced with sheep and cattle grazing.

  • 1970s

    The name of the school changed to Warrak Primary School in 1970.

    By the early 1970s there were 16 students enrolled at the school. 

    At that time Warrak housed the school bell from the old Mount Cole School. The bell had a forked wooden stand made from a tree that had once grown on Mount Cole.

  • 1985

    The school closed in 1985.

  • 1990s

    The building from the old Tatyoon State School (No. 1812) was moved to the Warrak School site.

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 info PROV have on this school.