Tara Anglican School for Girls

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Tara Anglican School for Girls
North Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia Australia
Coordinates 33°47′22″S 151°0′57″E / 33.78944°S 151.01583°E / -33.78944; 151.01583Coordinates: 33°47′22″S 151°0′57″E / 33.78944°S 151.01583°E / -33.78944; 151.01583
Type Private, Independent, Day and Boarding
Denomination Anglican
Established 1897
Founder Joan Waugh
Principal Susan Middlebrook
Chaplain Martin Telfer
Employees 159[1]
Gender Girls
Enrolment 800
Colour(s) Tara Navy, Inspire Blue and White
Slogan The best place for girls
Athletics IGSSA
Affiliations AHIGS

Tara Anglican School for Girls (commonly referred to as Tara) is an independent, Anglican, day and boarding school for girls, located in North Parramatta, a western suburb of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Established in 1897, Tara has a non-selective enrolment policy and currently caters for approximately 800 students from Pre Kindergarten to Year 12, including 50 boarders from Years 5 to 12.

The school is affiliated with the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA),[2] and IGSSA,[3] the Independent Primary School Heads of Australia (IPSHA),[4] the Australian Boarding Schools' Association,[5] the Alliance of Girls' Schools Australasia,[6] and is a member of the Association of Heads of Independent Girls' Schools (AHIGS).[7]

Tara's 2010 HSC results ranked the school the number 1 non-selective school in Sydney's North West. In the 2007 Higher School Certificate, the Sydney Morning Herald named Tara the best performing independent school in Sydney’s North-West.[8]


Traces its origins back to 1897, where it is thought to have started with the opening of St. Ronan's School, a Christian, co-educational, primary day school in George Street, Parramatta, by Mary Elizabeth (Joan) Waugh. In 1898, Waugh moved St. Ronan's to an already existing school, The Cedars, at Western Road, Parramatta, in partnership with its incumbent Principal, Mrs Bond. From here, in keeping with Waugh's Anglican vision, the partnership with Bond was dissolved, and the school moved to St. John's Parish Hall, Parramatta in 1902.[9]

When Waugh's father, Dr Isaac Waugh died in 1912, the school moved to the family home, "Tara", in George Street, Parramatta (demolished in 1963).[9] The name of this property had been chosen years earlier by the Waugh family who, being of Irish background, named it after the Hill of Tara, in Ireland.[10] When Joan Waugh's mother died in 1926, the Tara home was sold, and Tara opened in larger premises at Hassall Street, Parramatta. This was to be Tara's home for the next twenty years, and the final move for Joan Waugh. When she died in 1946, the school came under the protection of the Church of England. All Saints' Church Hall was to be Tara's next home. It is here that it is said that without the help of Reverend Paddy Walker, and the active participation of a group of parents, the school would not have survived.[9]

On 6 February 1952, 142 junior school boys and girls moved from All Saints', and began school at "Ellangowan", at 153 George Street, Parramatta. In 1953, the school commenced classes for senior school pupils. At this site, Tara grew rapidly and thus it was determined that another larger premises was required.[9] In Term 3 of 1958, 103 senior school girls commenced at the schools current site at Masons Drive, with a new Headmistress, Helen Claridge. This site had previously been The Smith Family Hospital for Children with Rheumatic Fever.[10] A new Science Block was added in 1959; a library in 1962, and the swimming pool in 1965. Construction of the Tara Junior School, and the first floor extension to the main block commenced in 1969. The girls from the Junior School moved to the Masons Drive buildings late in 1970. Ellangowan was sold in 1969 to fund the construction.[9]

Since 1969, the school has gone from strength to strength and is now recognised as a leading Australian girls' school. Major building construction has occurred almost every year; Science and Technology facilities, a Gymnasium and Music Block, Boarding facilities, Cafeteria and Function Area, Senior Learning Centre and in 2011, a new Junior School Library and Technology Centre. The school also runs a Telescope, given to Tara by Katherine Blundell a professor at Oxford University. A team called the Space Odyssey Team is run in conjunction with the telescope bringing girls and boys all over Sydney to join the team and participate in the program.


Period Details[7]
1897 – 1946 Miss Joan Waugh
1946 – 1950 Mrs Jessie (Joy) Hall Young
1950 Mrs Olga Phelps Wilson
1950 – 1959 Mrs Nancy (Katharine) Buck
1959 – 1971 Miss Helen Claridge
1971 – 1973 Miss Margaret Macdonald
1974 – 1979 Mrs Joy Parker
1980 – May 1999 Dr Ruth Shatford
May – December 1999 Acting Principal – Miss Norma Boston
2000 – 2008 Mrs Carol Bowern
2009 – Mrs Susan Middlebrook

House system[edit]

Tara currently has four Houses and all students and staff take part in a variety of house activities including academic challenges, debating, drama, team sports, choir, service to others, outdoor education and leadership.[11] The Houses are named after women and men who have made a significant contribution to the life of the school.

Rev Doug Crawford, Rector of All Saints, Parramatta, Chaplain at Tara, former member of School Council, instrumental in relocating Tara to Mason's Drive. This house is traditionally symbolised by the colour purple.
Mrs Elizabeth Hake, wife of the Headmaster at The King’s School, former member of School Council, instrumental in relocating Tara to Mason's Drive. This house is traditionally symbolised by the colour yellow.
Rev Paddy Walker, Rector of All Saints, Parramatta, former member of the School Council, welcomed Tara to use his church Hall when no other accommodation was available. This house is traditionally symbolised by the colour green.
Miss (Joan) Mary Elizabeth Waugh, long regarded as Tara’s founder, who lived with her family at their home 'Tara' in Parramatta. Dr Isaac (Paddy) Waugh, father of Joan, was a great encourager of his daughter’s School.[11] The house is traditionally symbolised by the colour red.

Notable alumnae[edit]

Alumnae of Tara are known as Old Girls and may elect to join the schools alumni association, the Tara Old Girls' Association Inc.[12] Some notable Tara Old Girls include:

Media, entertainment and the arts
Medicine and science


  • Tara has earned a reputation as the National Scholastic Cheerleading Champions', since 2011,2012 and 2013 the girls have won loads of medals, so much so, their cabinets are full.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.tara.nsw.edu.au/downloads/2012/TARA_2011AR_webFeb12.pdf
  2. ^ "AHISA Schools". New South Wales. Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia. November 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-11-02. Retrieved 2007-12-17. 
  3. ^ Association of Heads of Independent Girls Schools (AHIGS) > IGSSA > What is IGSSA?
  4. ^ IPSHA ~ Home page
  5. ^ "Tara Anglican School for Girls". Schools. Australian Boarding Schools' Association. 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-11-17. Retrieved 2007-12-17. 
  6. ^ Butler, Jan (2006). "Member Schools". Members. The Alliance of Girls' Schools Australasia. Retrieved 2007-12-17. 
  7. ^ a b "Heads of New South Wales Independent Girls' Schools". About AHIGS. Association of Heads of Independent Girls Schools. Retrieved 2007-11-28. 
  8. ^ "HSC Results". Excellence in Learning. Tara Anglican School for Girls. Archived from the original on 2008-01-30. Retrieved 2008-02-18. 
  9. ^ a b c d e Hubbard, Bronwyn (1997). Tara: A Telling of The Tapestry. Tara Anglican School North Parramatta. ISBN 1-86459-018-1. 
  10. ^ a b "History". About Tara. Tara Anglican School for Girls. Retrieved 2007-08-08. [dead link]
  11. ^ a b "Annual Report 2006" (PDF). Publications. Tara Anglican School for Girls. 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-08. [dead link]
  12. ^ "Tara Old Girls Association Inc.". Community. Tara Anglican School for Girls. Retrieved 2007-12-17. [dead link]
  13. ^ O'Shaughnessy, Jake (2006-10-19). "Sydney student wins NSW Rhodes Scholarship". News. The University of Sydney. Retrieved 2007-09-24. 
  14. ^ Suzannah Pearce, ed. (2006-11-17). "MORAWSKA-AHEARN (Jenny) Jennifer Madeleine Alice". Who's Who in Business Live!. North Melbourne, Vic: Crown Content Pty Ltd. 
  15. ^ Suzannah Pearce, ed. (2006-11-17). "NAPIER Robyn Stretton". Who's Who in Business Live!. North Melbourne, Vic: Crown Content Pty Ltd. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Hubbard, B. 1997. Tara: A Telling of The Tapestry. Tara Anglican School, North Parramatta. ISBN 1-86459-018-1.

External links[edit]