Skip to Content
Not for ourselves alone



Brief History of Mount Barker High School

Students of Mt Barker HS, about 1910On Monday July 20th, 1908, fifteen boys and twelve girls stepped through our gates for the very first time to discover a place of inspiration, camaraderie, education and vision.

Having recognised the significant gap between primary school and university, the Mount Barker community lobbied to establish a local high school, with the first classes being held in temporary facilities at the corner of Adelaide Road and Druids Avenue. Together with Adelaide High School, it was one of the first free secondary schools to be established in the Commonwealth of Australia.

On the 12thJuly 1911 the state government purchased the current school site, and began building the new school two years later.

With 44 students enrolled, Mount Barker District High School opened on Monday 15thJuly 1914, in the building that now houses our Performing Arts Studio.

Over the next hundred years, the school grew and developed into the pioneering centre of education we see today, while always retaining its close links to the wider Mount Barker community.

The following chronology provides a brief snapshot of the history of our school and its facilities:

  • 1908: School opens in temporary facilities
  • 1911: Land purchased for the construction of the school
  • 1914: Buildings on the school’s current site opened
  • 1938: Assembly Hall opened
  • 1944: Head Masters’ residence purchased
  • 1948: Additional land purchased for construction of an oval
  • 1952: Memorial gates donated by the Old Scholars, and transportable classrooms installed
  • 1958: Permanent building erected for the Domestic Arts Centre
  • 1963: Tennis courts officially opened and named ‘J.E Smith Memorial’
  • 1971: Building started on the new school development, officially opening in 1973
  • 1980: $3.5 million redevelopment of the school commenced
  • 1987: School gymnasium built
  • 2005: Resource centre named ‘Howlett Resource Centre’
  • 2011: Electrotechnology Centre and cabinet making facilities built
  • 2012: Outdoor Education shed erected. Interior of the school refurbished
  • 2014: State-of-the-art IT infrastructure installed and ‘21stCentury Technology Classroom’ developed

Historical Image Gallery

Please click on the images below to enlarge.