Tharwa Primary School

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Tharwa Public School was opened in 1899.

Tharwa Primary School was located in the small village of Tharwa, Australian Capital Territory. It was built in 1898 and opened in 1899.[1] The school had two classrooms for the primary school, plus a preschool room. While the current school dates from 1912,[2] the site of the school made it the oldest operating school in Canberra until its closure in 2006. The first Parents and Citizens committee was established in 1931.[3]

The first pupil enrolled on 9 August 1899 and the centenary of this event was celebrated by a town ball and the launching a book A Century of Learning: Tharwa Primary School by historian Matthew Higgins.[4] At that time the school only operated on a part-time basis.[5]

In 2006 the government announced it would close Tharwa Primary School by the end of December 2006.[6] An attempt was made to open a private school on the site, but the proposal was thwarted by new restrictions on private schools, enacted by the Legislative Assembly in December 2006.[7] Community attempts to save or reopen the school continue.[8]

The Tharwa Preschool is still operating. The school and the surrounding community traditionally host an annual Tharwa Bush Fair.[9]

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Coordinates: 35°30′32″S 149°04′04″E / 35.508756°S 149.067784°E / -35.508756; 149.067784