Hobart College is marking the 150th anniversary of compulsory public education in Tasmania with the opening of a Heritage Room.
Hobart College Principal Tracy Siedler said the aim of the Heritage Room is to share stories and photos of the past and celebrate the long and proud history of the school, which has had a real impact on the economic and social capital of the state.
The room is rich with memorabilia from the original Hobart High School (HHS) which was established in 1913 and brimming with old uniforms, trophies, correspondence and photographs spanning more than a century.
Among the letters are many sent to the school from students serving in World War II.
Old Hobartian Association President Ann Hopkins said the memorabilia had been stored at the original HHS building, in Letitia St North Hobart, which is now occupied by Turnbull funerals.
Miss Hopkins, who was a student at the school from 1947-51, said that HHS was a selective school and entrance required sitting an exam while in Year 6.
“It had a reputation as a school of excellence and was the pathway to university,” Miss Hopkins said.
Mrs Siedler said the Heritage Room was a celebration of public education and proof that education transforms lives.
“The stories of past scholars show what a difference this school made to so many people from really diverse backgrounds,” said Ms Siedler.
“It’s about celebrating a school that has shaped the lives of thousands of people and respecting the traditions of the past".
The traditions of Hobart High included the pursuit of excellence and innovation, a commitment to community and sporting involvement, exemplary citizenship, building character and an appreciation of the arts.
Mrs Siedler said those ideals are as relevant now as they were then.
“Creating opportunities for all students to succeed, achieve and to contribute is our core business at Hobart College.
“We also want to link the past with the present and future and looking back through past documents reveals how much our students have in common with those old scholars," Mrs Siedler commented.
Mrs Siedler said the members of the Old Hobartians Association were testament to the values of the school.
“When you look at the work they still do, you can see how grateful they are for the opportunities they received through their education and for the friendships they made,” she said.
The Association funds a generous scholarship at the University of Tasmania, which supports students graduating from Hobart College to study in any discipline.
Donations raised by the old scholars also go towards the college’s annual prizes, many of the awards named after those early pioneers of public education.
Current Hobart College students have also been involved in the project, delving into the school archives to create displays and learn about the history of the school, in order to host tours for visitors and old scholars.
“One of the best things about this project has been the involvement of current students and seeing them engage in researching the school’s history and in doing so, discovering the links to their own education,” Mrs Siedler finished.
Pictured above: The Heritage Room offers a rich display of memorabilia including, uniforms, trophies, correspondence and photographs spanning more than a century in order to share stories and traditions of the past and celebrate the long and proud history of the school. (PS)
Hobart College Principal Tracey Siedler and Old Hobartians President Ann Hopkins cut the ribbon to open the Heritage room on Thursday, August 29 in a celebration of the history of the school and 150 years of compulsory public education in Tasmania. (PS)