• Decrease font size
  • Increase font size
  • innerUtilityPrint

Celebrating 130 years of Wenona

16 Aug 2016

Celebrating-130-years-of-Wenona-Article

In a special concert, Wenona celebrated the changing rights of women against a background of a changing local, national, and global landscape, in our 130-year celebration event.

Using images from the North Sydney Heritage Centre, the State Library of New South Wales, and material from the School archives, the concert traced the School’s early foundation on the newly populated North Shore, then known as St Leonards, through to the present day.

The School’s foundation in 1886 by Miss Edith Hooke is closely tied to the local and state history – being part of the independent schools boom of the late 1800s, ahead of the Peter Board reforms of 1910.

The School, founded not far from one of the area’s first cable tram stations near the then-named Union de Luxe Theatre, has strong links to the area’s cultural heritage.  

The narrative traced Wenona's involvement with the historic home Graythwaite, now owned by Shore School, where students attended an annual fete; the development of Long Gully Bridge between Cammeray and Northbridge, one of the world’s largest suspension bridges; and architect Sir Edmund Blacket’s Victorian gothic renovation of St Thomas’ Church, where students were educated in the early 1900s. 

The concert looked at the evolution of the 1921 School House, once a boarding residence known as Ernieville, which expanded and changed over the years. 

Bunkers were built under the playground through the WWII air raids, science labs were introduced with the Wyndham Scheme, and co-curricular programs were put in place as women took more prominent positions on the sporting field, in the corporate sector and on the stage. 

With help from former Deputy Principal, now School Archivist Mrs Michele Ginswick, History Teacher and Head of Community and Service Learning Ms Kate Seale and Head of Information and Library Services Miss Rosie Stevenson, the concert touched on the progression of women’s rights and female education.

It drew on the heritage of our longest serving Principal, who grew the school from 25 pupils in 1921, highlighting the new stock of strong women who, newly educated and independent from the war years, found meaning in a vocation, and inspired students to do the same. 

Related Articles

LPhilpott1

Meet our Writer-in-Residence

Meet our Writer-in-Residence

28 Feb 2020

Award-winning writer, Lachlan Philpott has been working with Year 9 students to devise an original script for a play, which will Wenona will perform in Term 4!

Read more
Yr9Drama2

Year 9 dreams of toil and trouble

Year 9 dreams of toil and trouble

28 Nov 2019

Last week’s Year 9 Drama Showcase of Midsummer Night’s Dream and Macbeth at the Independent Theatre was a riot of ricocheting relationships and murderous toil and trouble.

Read more
Yr10 Drama2

Year 10 strike a pose

Year 10 strike a pose

17 Oct 2019

Year 10 Drama students have had great fun honing their movement skills, drawing on some of the techniques Head of Drama, Ms Crittle acquired overseas as part of her Wenona Teaching Fellowship.

Read more