Carapook School Site
Carapook School Site
Carapook S.S. No 1969
Carapook S.S. No 1969

The location of Carapook School No.1969 is shown in this view (above) looking east from the Carapook Hall. The school was situated within the site defined by the tall eucalypt trees bordering the school reserve, behind the house built for Henry BURCHELL in 1928. Carapook State School No. 1969 with residence attached shown on the right. (thanks to Laurie Burchell)

The three schools associated with the Carapook area were No. 915 Bruk Bruk situated two miles north of Carapook village and which appears to have commenced operating around 1865, followed by a temporary school No. 1624 Carapook, situated in leased premises two miles south east of Carapook village and opened on 21 Sep 1875 and the permanent school situated within the village of Carapook and known as No. 1969 Carapook which opened on 9 Oct 1877.

School No. 915 Bruk Bruk

This school was established as a vested common school in the Coleraine area, opening in a temporary building erected on a reserved site on 1st of July 1867. HT Wm. McBEAN held the position until 30th of April 1868. During the first year of operation the school had an a.a. of 26 (18 boys, 8 girls). The school became a Stae School in 1873 and finally closed on 8th of October 1877.

Source: "Vision & Realisation", Vol 2, Education Department of Victoria.

1865 : Bruk Bruk from an Aboriginal word for swamp oak is the parish to the north of Carapook and it had a Non Vested school established as early as 1865 and located two miles north of the village of Carapook. One of the early teachers was William McBEAN, son of William McBEAN (Snr) one of the signatures mentioned below. There is a letter dated 1 Nov 1865 from the Bruk Bruk School Committee to the Board of Education applying for aid under the Common Schools Act and signed by the following local residents on the school committee:

1868 : In 1868 the following notice was published in "The Age" newspaper listing the names of the Bruk Bruk School Committee...

"The Age" (Melbourne, Vic.) Wednesday, 25th March 1868.
GOVERNMENT GAZETTE. Tuesday, 24th March.
SCHOOL COMMITTEES APPOINTED.--Bruk Bruk : Henry Aubrey, James Eastwood, John Gibbs [sic GILBO], David Forbes, John Edmonds, James Dochney [sic DOUGHENEY], Denis Nash, William M'Bean.

1877 : The Bruk Bruk School continued operating until 9 Oct 1877 when the new Carapook School opened. The last teacher was Caleb RADFORD who became the Head Teacher of the new school known as No. 1969 Carapook.

School No. 1624 Carrapook

Jessie J. DAVEY was the first HT of this school which opened on 21st of September 1875, School was held first in a rented building but a site was obtained on private ground in 1875 and next year a new school and quarters were built. In 1877 the a.a. was 16 (6 boys, 10 girls). This school was closed on 23rd of November 1877. A new school 1969 Carrapook was opened on 9th October 1877 by HT Caleb H. RADFORD. This school incorporated 1624 Carrapook and 915 Bruk Bruk which opened on 1st of July 1867 and closed on 8th of October 1877. Caleb H. RADFORD was HT of this school from 1872 until it closed. He remained at the new school (1969 Carrapook) until 1883.

Source: "Vision & Realisation", Vol 2, Education Department of Victoria.

Carapook appears to have come from the Aboriginal word for hilly country. When the local residents petitioned for a Carapook school in 1875 a local resident John Stock, on 7 Apr 1875 offered to lease to the Education Department a brick cottage for school use at three pounds per annum. The Board decided to accept this offer pending a decision on the construction of a new school and School No 1624 Carapook eventually opened in the leased cottage on 21 Sep 1875 with Jessie J. Davey as Head Teacher and instruction commenced on 18 Oct 1875. This school was located 2 miles SSE of the village of Carapook and remained opened until until 23 Nov 1877. The average attendance during 1877 had been 16 pupils.

Front Gate of Carapook School No.1969
Front Gate of Carapook School No.1969

School No. 1969 Carapook

One of the few recognisable features of SS No.1969 Carapook is the front gate shown in this 2002 photograph.

In August 1875 a group of 25 parents resident in the parishes of Bruk Bruk and Carapook petitioned the Hon. Angus MacKay M.L.A., Minister of Public Instruction, to establish a school on the government Reserve at Carapook. The petitioneers were advised that their application would be considered. Initially Carapook School No 1624 as mentioned above was commenced in leased premises until the new school was constructed. The key steps in the establishment of the new school were:

Carapook School Petition of 1875

Those who signed the August 1875 petition for the provision of a school at Carapook were:


Appreciation is expressed for the information provided by the History Section of the Education Department of Victoria as the basis for this article.

Carapook Schools & Teachers from "Vision & Realisation"