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Fort Street Tours

This app allows virtual heritage tours of the Fort Street school sites, Ron Horan Museum and Honour Boards. This app has been supported by the Inner West Council, WestConnex Community Grant Scheme and the Local History Grants Program

In 1849 the Government of NSW established Fort Street Model School in the old Military Hospital, which had been built by Governor Macquarie in 1815. This building stood on Observatory Hill, the highest ground in the city near the site of Fort Phillip and the military barracks. It stands there today, the headquarters of the National Trust.

Fort Street was to be not only an institution where boys and girls of the colony could be taught, but it was also to serve as a model for all other schools. Its scholars were to play a most important role in the growth of the colony and in the federation of the nation. Students and staff were selected to attend the Model School. Their contribution is basic to the fabric of Australian society today.

The school became two high schools at the beginning of secondary education in NSW. At this time a headmaster and headmistress were appointed to lead Fort Street Boys and Fort Street Girls High Schools. In 1916, Fort Street Boys’ High was relocated at the present site on Taverners Hill, Petersham; the Girls’ High School remaining on Observatory Hill. In 1975 the two schools were re-united as Fort Street High School on the new Petersham site.

The school celebrated its sesquicentenary in 1999. The current school population comes from over 100 suburbs in Sydney. Of the 930 students, over 600 come from a language other than English. Students speak up to 40 different languages. Fort Street truly reflects multicultural Australia. Fort Street remains a selective high school providing a wide choice of subjects for study by talented young men and women. It is a school that has assimilated modern educational methodology whilst preserving the best in a long and honoured tradition.


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