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ACT school system’s 50th Anniversary

50 years school ACT
50 years school ACT
50 years school ACT
50 years school ACT

In 2023 we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the creation of a unique ACT school system.

The ACT Education Directorate is keen to involve the community in celebrating the rich history and achievements of our school system including teachers, school leaders, students, parents as well as past members of our school communities.

Bookmark this site and come back regularly to check out the latest news and updates.

The following timeline provides a brief history of key events that led up to the creation of our ACT public school system.

Creation of the Interim ACT Schools Authority

On 11 September 1973, then Prime Minister Gough Whitlam announced a statutory body would be appointed to administer ACT public schools from the beginning of 1974.

The announcement followed seven years of determined advocacy by ACT parents, teachers and educators and four significant reports by eminent working parties and academics.

The appointment of the ACT Schools Authority Council members on 8 October 1973 led to the creation of a new public school system in the ACT, independent of the New South Wales (NSW) Education Department, and radically different in structure, governance, and curriculum to any other school system in Australia.

The school system we have in the ACT today had its genesis in the reforms introduced in 1973. Most notably, this includes a unique secondary education structure of year 7-10 high schools and Year 11 and 12 colleges where external final exams were replaced with continuous assessment.

Upcoming Events

 ACT schools’ 50th Anniversary timeline

Key timeline to 1973

( Image courtesy of the National Archives of Australia. NAA: A8739, A27/5/76/8)


Join us on our YourSay page and celebrate your Involvement in the past 50 years of ACT public schools with the broader ACT community.