The first 100 years of Dederang State School 1772


On the 20th of May 1874 the residents of the ‘Dederang Kiewa River Ovens District’ wrote a letter to the Minister of Education requesting that a school be build for the education of their children. 
In November of the same year the D.I Charles Tynan considered that the increasing population of Dederang warranted a building to be erected to serve as a school. Local farmer George Oliver, a Scotsman who arrived in the area just a few years earlier, offered to give the required land, 3 acres gratuitously to the department. 


Inspector General Gilbert Wilson Brown recommended that a small wooden building be erected with quarters in May of 1875, however by March 1876 no progress had been made. At the next meeting the Inspector General said that “a portable building with quarters would do”.


James Treeby, who 7 years later would be contracted to build the South Wing of the State Library of Victoria, supplied the materials at a cost of £108/18/0. Carriage of the materials to Dederang by William McCulloch and Co. would cost £80. A further £21 would be the cost of the erection of the building by Thomas Oxenham. Materials finally arrived on site on the 19th of August 1976, 2 years and 3 months after the residents wrote their letter to the Minister of Education.
The total cost of the school and materials was £229/3/2, which build a portable school (24′ x14′) plus attached quarters (14′ x 9 and 10′ x 9′).
On the 11th of September 1876 the Clerks of Works reported that Oxenham had completed the work and that the key to the new school was left with George Oliver.

   Goods received for the construction of the school
Receipt of good signed for by George Oliver who donated the parcel of land on which the school would be build.|

1 portable school with timber
2 closets in 6 parts
2 chimneys in 12 pieces (one of which can still be seen in our school)
2 iron tanks, lids and pipes
16 iron stands
4 packages of desks and seats
3 forms
1 parcel of screws
2 sets of iron hearths in 4 pieces


With the completion of the building works William Brown was appointed as the 1st head teacher of Dederang Primary School on the 1st of January 1877.


By 1882 the department suggested that the school be run as a part-time school or solely with “ a female teacher with a view to economy” due to the average low attendance of around 10 children. However the school did continue to operate as a full time school.


In mid-September 1898 the school is closed down due to a violent gale which make the building unstable and unsafe. Funds were not immediately available and the school was run at the Public Hall (Mechanics’ Institute) till April 1899 when the repair work to the school was completed.


In 1910 a request was made for a new school building. The original 1877 construction needed extensive repairs that it had to be virtually rebuild, at a cost close to replacing the whole structure. The cost of a new building was estimated at a cost of £355/10/-.
It was suggested to sell the original building, and in 1914 Mr Croucher paid £5 and removed it.
The following year the new school is opened, which can now accommodate up to 45 pupils/


Only 8 pupils attend the school and the Department decides to turn the school into a part-time school allocating 3 days a week to Dederang S.S 1772 and 2 days a week to Dederang North S.S 2818. Strong objection from the School Committee, Parents and local residents, coupled to an increase in enrolments (15) meant the school did stay open as a full-time school.


The first piece of technology, a projector, is acquired by the school with funds raised by the community and school to “assist children at this school”.


Enrolment figures were on the rise again with numbers expected to increase from 38 pupils in 1955 to 55 pupils in 1958. Additional accommodation was needed and the head teacher asked the department that S.S. 2551 Coral Bank (also known as S.S. Mullindolingong), which had recently been closed, be relocated to Dederang.
This was done by July 1955, however it was not until 1957 that after renovations the building became occupied.
This building is still part of our school and nowadays the Principal’s office.


In 1974 the old school building of Kancoona S.S 3576 is relocated to Dederang. This building is currently our kinder and preschool classroom.


Centenary of Dederang State School 1772.

The above information has been obtained from the book “Centenary Dederang State School 1772”, published in 1977 by the Dederang Primary School Centenary Committee.

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