150 Years of Public Education

Tasmanian public education celebrates a significant milestone in 2018. This year marks 150 years of providing children across the state with the best start in life. In 1868 the colony of Tasmania became the first in Australia to make attendance for children between the ages of seven and 12 compulsory. Five years later the upper age limit was increased to 14 years.

Public education, which comprises both our schools, network of libraries and the archives, remains a cornerstone of Tasmanian society and its future. Tasmania’s public education builds communities that aspire to succeed as connected, resilient, creative and curious thinkers.

The 150th anniversary will be celebrated with series of events promoting the achievements and significance of public education in Tasmania, with the theme of ‘then, now and beyond’.

On 18 October, a small yet diverse group of nominated Ambassadors became the faces of the yearlong celebration. This will be supported through a campaign. The Ambassadors are former or current state school students or staff who will champion the public education system by sharing their stories and memories of school life, and promoting the contribution public education has made to the Tasmanian community.

Find out more about the Ambassadors

In 2019, the 150th anniversary will also be celebrated within the public school classrooms across the state, with the curriculum to include resources covering the history and themes of the milestone, as well as a competition for students to look 150 years ahead.

In August and September 2019 there will be two theatre events that includes statewide participation and showcases education through the Arts.

A student reference group will also be formed to work with the Department of Education Secretary to investigate and help plan for the future of public education in the state.