Australind Senior High School to be officially Opened
Australind Senior High School was officially opened by the Hon Norman Moore MLC, Minister for Education at a ceremony commencing at 2.00pm on Friday, June 10th, 1994. The school had been operating for eight years since 1987. The school was built in four stages at a cost of $9 million but with the completion of the Administration Section, It was time for an official opening ceremony.
At the ceremony the Minister for Education announced the schools motto “Through Endeavour, Success”. “Through Endeavour Success” being the motto that student Laura Eaton submitted and won $150.00 prize money and Laura has left her mark on Australind Senior High School for ever.
The following information the background to the school itself and the community it serves.
Old Australind Revisited
If Marshall Waller Clifton had had his way the school would have been opened in 1842 rather than in 1994. In fact, two secondary schools would have been opened, one for “youths” and the other for “females”. The first town plan was quite comprehensive and showed sites for many public facilities, as well as schools there were hospitals, a library, an observatory, parks, a museum, cattle markets and a cemetery. The plan never came to fruition. By 1844 the finances of the Western Australia Company were exhausted, and its operations ceased. It took over a century for the splendid vision of the directors and the confidence of the English investors to be vindicated. In their notes accompanying the 1841 town plan the directors said “It is hardly possible to conceive a finer situation for a Town…..”.
In 1994 many would agree. Modern day residents concur with the directors notes which state “The view of the inlet and opposite shore from the town site is extremely beautiful….” About 5 kilometres North of Harvey and from the Leschenault Inlet to about 46 kilometres inland, was acquiring with the intention of subdividing it into 100 acres allotments. The allotments were to be sold for £1 per acre. The rural community thus created, it was planned, would have an agricultural basis. In 1840 the “Island Queen” was dispatched from Britain with the surveyor who commenced work on marking out the town site and allotments.
Brought by the “Island Queen”, “Parkfield”, “Diadem” and “Trusty” some 460 English people come to Australind, but with the failure of the company all but a few left. Many of them achieved success in other parts of the state and contributed greatly to the progress of Western Australia. These descendants of the original Australind settlers included three Premiers, John Forrest, Sir Newton Moore and Sir James Mitchell. Marshall Clifton himself remained in the district and many of his descendants can still be found in the South West.
Little of the original plan remains. The current town plan is less financial than the first. The sweeping crescents, public quays, great squares, museum, and observatory never eventuated. Henton Cottage , Upton House and the Church of St Nicholas are all that remain of the old Australind.
Nevertheless, the original vision has remained and the opening of a senior high school, although much later than initially envisaged, is a part of that vision. Marshall Waller Clifton would be pleased indeed.
Henton Cottage Australind
The concept, (which is being encouraged by our present governments) of turning our interest more towards Asia also inspired the directors of the company in 1840. They considered that trading links with India could be profitably forged. The Western Australia Company was probably the first enterprise to encourage trade between Australia and India. The name “Australind” was most apt for the new settlement.
The “Parkfield” arrived in Port Leschenault in 1841 with 93 settlers under the command of Marshall Waller Clifton. Unfortunately, false information given to the London investors by explorer George Grey caused many of them to withdraw their money from the company, and although initially it was well subscribed by 1842 the company was seriously strapped for finances.
It must have been disappointing for the 101 students and 9.6 staff members to find, in February of 1987, that the new school buildings were not complete and that they would have to bus through to the site of the old South Bunbury Primary School for some months.
The first Principal, Mr Ivor Jumeaux assisted by Deputies Lesley Higbet and Peter Lambe set about organising the new school. Some of the early difficulties are recalled in the school Journal:
“Progress tended to become “bogged down” in semantics relating to goals and objectives until Lesley Higbet, Deputy Principal, suggested we approach the whole exercise from the point of view of the excitement of moving into a new school soon, and the unique opportunity to pioneer worthwhile developments e.g. an emphasis upon excellence, high technology, computing and the arts, supported by a total commitment to the ethos “We Care”. This approach galvanised the staff into developing many suggestions……”
The school has grown rapidly. The original students went straight through to year 12 and with Mr Tony Dean the Acting Principal, the first students graduated in 1991. Their results were very pleasing.
By February 1994 the school had grown to some 850 students and sixty teaching staff. Several building stages had been completed including a modern spacious library and in 1993, a new Administration Block.
The high academic standards set be the first intake of students has been maintained with the 1993 TEE results being impressive.
SCM Chemicals and Australind Senior High School Sharing a vision of Excellence in Education
The Compact of Excellence
Australind Senior High School is one of a very few schools to be involved in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Compact for Excellence in Education programme. The school signed its agreement with SCM Chemicals Ltd in 1990 initially for a three year period then in 1993 signed for a further three years.
The compact is an agreement between the school and SCM in which both parties have made a commitment toward bettering educational opportunities for students. This is achieved through a variety of projects which have not only assisted students but have also established in the school community a high level of consciousness of the benefits problems and needs of industry. Through its close liaison with the school, industry has also become more cognizant of the aspirations of the school.
Projects which have occurred as a result of the company vary from staff and students joining the First Aid course run by SCM through to work experience placements, including “Teachers in Industry” positions.
The Compact has gained recognition and is considered to be the most successful of the compacts initiated in 1990. The program has shown the way for other schools and companies who will eventually follow Australind’s lead.
The school would like to acknowledge with gratitude the attitude of SCM Chemicals and the attitude of SCM Chemicals and the personnel involved particularly Mr Denis Payne, Managing Director and Mr Iain Hampton and his staff.