A successful partnership between the National Trust of Australia (WA) and Curtin University has transformed the heritage-listed Old Perth Boys’ School at 139 St Georges Terrace, Perth into a vibrant new city premises opened 2 March 2016 by the Hon Peter Collier, Minister for Education.
National Trust of Australia (WA) President Max Kay AM CitWA said compatible reuse and best conservation practice were at the heart of the National Trust’s $2.3 million refurbishment of the school which was built in 1854 and is the earliest purpose built Government school in Perth.
“Old Perth Boys’ School has been a centre for ideas, innovation and lifelong learning and has been instrumental to Curtin University through early links to technical education, at Perth Technical College and the Western Australian Institute of Technology,” Mr Kay said.
A display of archaeological artefacts reflecting the everyday activities of school boys includes lost marbles, buttons, slate pencils and more substantial cricket balls and a slingshot is one of the new features of the place which is listed on the State Register.
“Old Perth Boys’ School is associated with familiar names such as Leeder, Trigg, Armstrong, James and Wittenoom as well as leaders in art, architecture, politics and education. Noongar people have also frequented the ridge referred to Byerbrup which stretches from Kings Park to Heiresson Island.”
The National Trust of Australia (WA) has looked after Old Perth Boys’ School on behalf of the Government and community since 1977 and occupied the place as its headquarters until 1986.
Under a new lease with Curtin University the space will be used as a one-stop-shop for events and exhibitions as well as meetings with industry partners, alumni and potential students.
“The National Trust’s mission is to conserve and interpret WA’s heritage and deepen the connection between the community and places like Old Perth Boys’ School. This is possible by working in collaboration with valued partners such as Curtin University,” Mr Kay said.