Open House Perth
16 + 17 NOVEMBER 2019

Old boys School

Curtin St Georges Terrace


Opening Times: Saturday 10th November 10am - 2pm

Address: 139 St Georges Terrace, Perth, 6000


The early days of the Swan River colony were very hard for the 850 settlers who spent most of their time coming to terms with the very hostile climate. As a result, the education of the colony’s children took second place to survival.  This lack of educational facilities led to warnings in UK newspapers that the colony was in danger of becoming a ‘degraded society’. Finally, in 1830, a Colonial School was set up and lessons were conducted in a number of locations including the Old Court House.  In the 1850’s the Education Committee (formed in 1847) selected a location to build the first Perth Boys School.

Designed by Colonial Secretary of WA, William Ayshford Sanford and Clerk of Works, Richard Roach Jewell, construction of the school began in February 1853 and was completed in 1854.The school was built in the style of a gothic-revival style church with the belief that it would impose a sense of duty, attentiveness and obedience on its pupils. In 1900, the Perth Technical College opened in the Old Perth Boys School and reinforced the original thoughts of ‘sense of duty’ with is motto – Truth, Beauty and Utility - emblazoned above the front entry. It clearly expressed the era’s high hopes for technical education. It was a classroom to many of the State’s most prominent citizens and a significant legacy, listed on the State’s heritage register. Curtin University’s leasing deal with the National Trust in 2015 allows the building to come full circle. Curtin’s acquisition ensures the building – Perth’s oldest educational landmark – will once again be affiliated with innovation and high-quality education.