In Love Serve One Another
(St. Paul to the Galatians 5:13)
|Mittagong, New South Wales
|Type||Independent, Single-sex, Day and Boarding|
|Chairman||Ms Gabrielle Curtin|
|Principal||Julie A Gillick|
|Colour(s)||Purple, Green and White|
|Slogan||"Education that inspires..."|
Established in 1913 by Winifred West, the school has a non-selective enrolment policy and currently caters for approximately 300 students from Years 7 to 12, including 222 boarders. Students come to Frensham from Sydney, rural New South Wales, interstate, overseas and the Southern Highlands. The school is governed by the Winifred West Schools Limited, along with Miss West's other two schools, Sturt School Craft Centre and Gib Gate Primary school.
Frensham is affiliated with the Boarding Schools' Association of the United Kingdom, the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA), the Australian Boarding Schools' Association (ABSA), the Alliance of Girls' Schools Australasia (AGSA), and is a founding member of the Association of Heads of Independent Girls' Schools (AHIGS).
West first came to Australia in 1907, where she met Phyllis Clubbe, and the two soon after considered the founding of a school. To prepare for this they returned to England, where West furthered her experience in teaching, and Clubbe undertook teacher training. In 1912, they returned to Australia to begin the search for a suitable site, preferably a country region with an invigorating climate, within a reasonable distance of Sydney. On 1 June 1913, "Y Berth", a house belonging to Mr Tooth, was leased for five years with the option to purchase. The property featured a twelve room house and 5 acres (2 ha) of grounds. The school was named after West's birthplace, Frensham in Surrey.
Based on word-of-mouth, the school population had grown to 100 by 1918, and continued to grow to 250 by 1943, and 330 in 1963. In 1934, photographer Harold Cazneaux published a book of photographs of the students and the school titled The Frensham Book. This collection is now in the National Library of Australia, and formed part of a National Library public exhibition of his photography. S. E. Emilsen wrote another book on the school in 1988.
In 1941, Miss West established the Sturt Craft Centre for local students, teaching weaving, spinning and carpentry as a community service. Eventually other crafts such as pottery, jewellery, textiles and screenprinting were introduced. Today, Sturt also hosts annual Summer and Winter schools focussing on the arts in January and July. The Sturt School for Wood was established in 1985, and runs full-time courses for designer makers of fine furniture. Gib Gate was established as a preparatory school for Frensham in 1954. The school had planned to open a preparatory school named "Little Frensham" in 1939, but the grounds were destroyed by the 1939 bushfires. In 1970, Gib Gate became co-educational, catering for day students from pre-school to Year 6, with boarding available in Years 4, 5 and 6.
In the mid 1970s, Frensham established a mass recruitment advertising campaign to achieve an increase in attendance, as the school faced unfavourable outcomes in net profit. The campaign lasted approximately five years, and by 1983 enrolments had doubled.
|1913–1938||Miss Winifred West, Founder|
|1938–1965||Miss Phyllis Bryant|
|1965–1967||Mrs Catherine Sandberg|
|1968–1993||Miss Cynthia Parker|
|1994–2000||Miss Ann Schavemaker|
|July 2000 – present||Ms Julie Gillick|
In 1917, Winifred West established a school Council consisting of staff, the head girl and prefects, old girls and community representatives. In 1932, Frensham School Limited was formed in order to provide for the school after the death of West, with the Council becoming the executive body. A Board of Governors became the executive body in 1952, with the council becoming an advisory body. Frensham School Limited was renamed as Winifred West Schools Limited in 1954, as recognition of Winifred West's other two schools, Sturt School and Gib Gate.
Frensham School's Old Girls (alumnae) may elect to join the Frensham Fellowship. The Frensham Fellowship was established in 1918, as a way of linking past and present students. Membership is open to former students and staff, with honorary membership offered to current staff and school prefects. Some notable Old Girls include:
- Media, entertainment and the arts
- Rosemary Dobson – Author and poet with 13 published works; Winner of awards including a 1996 Australia Council Writer's Emeritus Award
- Henrietta Drake-Brockman – Playwright; 1938 winner of a Sesquicentenary Celebration Prize for best full-length play for Men Without Wives; Winner of a Bulletin Short Story Prize
- Nancy Keesing – Author of 26 volumes of poetry and fiction, chaired the Australia Council and the State Library of NSW
- Annette Macarthur-Onslow – Author and illustrator; Winner of the Book of the Year Award of the Children's Book Council for Uhu (1970)
- Penny Meagher – Painter
- Joan Phipson – Author of 25 novels, including The Family Conspiracy; Winner of the Australian Children's Book of the Year (1963), and the New York Herald Tribune Children's Spring Book Festival Award (1964)
- Medicine and science
- Dr Catherine Hamlin AC – Obstetrician and gynaecologist; co-founder of the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia; pioneer in fistula surgery; 1999 nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize
- Politics, public service and the law
- Rosemary Foot AO – Former Deputy Leader of the NSW Liberal Party. First woman to be elected to a leadership position of a major party in a lower house anywhere in Australia
- Lucy Hughes Turnbull – a former Lord Mayor of Sydney (2003–2004); wife of former Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull; Company Director and author (she also attended Kincoppal-Rose Bay, School of the Sacred Heart, Sydney)
- Sport and aviation
- Christine Davy MBE – Former alpine skier who competed at the 1956 and 1960 Winter Olympics and pioneering female airline pilot who was the first Australian woman to hold a 1st Class Air Transport Pilot's Licence.
- "The School Motto". About Frensham. Frensham School. Retrieved 2008-02-03.
- "Frensham". New South Wales Schools. School Choice. Retrieved 11 June 2011.
- Kennedy, Priscilla (1990). "West, Winifred Mary (1881–1971)". Australian Dictionary of Biography 12 (Online ed.). Melbourne: Melbourne University Press. pp. 447–448. Retrieved 2008-02-03.
- "Educational & Financial Report 2006" (PDF). Current Happenings. Frensham School. Retrieved 2007-08-11.
- "Frensham". Schools. Australian Boarding Schools' Association. 2005. Archived from the original on 17 November 2007. Retrieved 2008-02-03.
- "About Frensham". Home. Frensham School. Retrieved 2007-06-25.
- "New South Wales". School Directory. Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia. 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-03.[dead link]
- Butler, Jan (2006). "Member Schools". Members. The Alliance of Girls' Schools Australasia. Retrieved 2008-02-03.
- "Heads of New South Wales Independent Girls' Schools". About AHIGS. Association of Heads of Independent Girls Schools. Retrieved 2007-11-29.
- "History". About Frensham. Frensham School. Retrieved 2008-02-03.
- "Frensham Alumni". Community. Frensham School. Retrieved 2008-04-29.
- Biography in NFAW's Australian Women's Archives Project
- CBCA Children's Book of the Year Award
- "A country to write home about". The Sydney Morning Herald. 19 April 2003. Joan Phipson's obituary in the Sydney Morning Herald
- "Former Students Studies & Career News". Community. Frensham School. Retrieved 2008-04-29.
- Suzannah Pearce, ed. (17 November 2006). "Turnbull, Lucy". Who's Who in Australia Live!. North Melbourne, Vic: Crown Content Pty Ltd. Check date values in:
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- The Compendium: Official Australian Olympic Statistics 1896–2002. Australian Olympic Committee. pp. 215–227. ISBN 0-7022-3425-7.
- "Territory Women".
- Curd, L.M. 1938. Frensham: The First Twenty-five Years. Frensham School, Mittagong.
- Emilsen, S.E. 1988. Frensham: An Historical Perspective. Winifred West Schools, Mittagong.
- Svensen, J. 1993. Lasting Influences: Memories of Frensham 1938–1965. Molong Write Way, Molong, NSW.
- Tuckey, E. 1963. Fifty years at Frensham: A history of an Australian School. Winifred West Schools, Mittagong.