Our centenary and the history of our Centenary Theatre

Williamstown High School launched its year-long centenary celebrations in October 2014 with a remarkable all-school assembly on the historic Pasco St campus.

The school community wanted to celebrate the milestone and showcase all the school has become. Williamstown High School has a remarkable history and fills a significant place in the suburb, one of the oldest communities in Victoria.

However, even before the launch, one of the year’s highlights was the installation of a plaque commemorating the school’s origins in 1867, when it was opened by the Williamstown Borough Council and local business people. The WHS Ex-Students and Staff Association installed this plaque on the wall of the school in Pasco St.

“So far as is known, this school is a unique example of the community and local council building and overseeing a secondary school well before the State Government’s involvement in secondary education,” said former student Dr Andrew Burbidge, who led the research of the school’s origins.

The October launch was conducted almost 100 years to the day that the state education department took over its management. The story of this momentous event, and of the following 100 years has been recorded in the official history of the school, Holding Fast, commissioned by the Ex-Students and Staff Association and written by parent and community member Emma Curtain. The book engagingly tells the school’s story, packed with anecdotes, profiles of key characters and lots of fascinating pictures.

Almost all school events throughout 2014 have carried a centenary theme. Notably, the Year 12 students have proudly carried the centenary logo on their rugby jumpers, and the 2015 school drama production told the tale of a school reunion 50 years into the future.

To mark our centenary as a state government secondary school and to leave a legacy for future generations, the school built a Centre of Excellence for the Performing and Creative Arts – the WHS Centenary Theatre.

A fund was launched in 2012 and building completed in 2015. This remarkable facility has enriched the education of our past, current and future generations of local students, and the wider Williamstown community.

If you would like to hire our Theatre please visit our dedicated website which includes information on booking, technical and other relevant information.

Please visit this web address- theatre.willihigh.vic.edu.au