Chatham High School (Taree, New South Wales)

Chatham High School (Taree, New South Wales)
Chatham High School
Chatham High School Griffin.png
Quality Teaching, Active Learning in a Caring Environment
Taree, New South Wales, Australia
Established 1966
Principal Willem Holvast
Colour(s) Bottle green, grey & white

Chatham High School was the second high school in Taree, New South Wales, having opened its doors on 31 March 1966. It now provides a broad school curriculum as well as cultural and sporting pursuits. Subjects include vocational studies for job training and traditional academic subjects for entry into tertiary education. An alternative timetable for senior students increases access to Technical and Further Education (TAFE) and vocational courses.[1]

Chatham High is a Priority Schools Program funded school (see Supporting Low SES School Communities) supporting the development of literacy and numeracy skills for all students.

A Support Unit provides educational services for students with special needs.[2]



Planning on Chatham High School began in the early 1960s after the public school's P & C Association saw a need for a new local high school when Taree High School became overcrowded. Chatham High School was established in February 1965, with 280 pupils and 14 teachers located at Taree High School. Students first moved into the current location on Thursday, 31 March 1966.

School motto

The motto of Chatham High School (as depicted on the school crest) is Semper Intrepidi, which is thought to mean 'ever undaunted', 'always intrepid' or 'forever striving'.

2008 Fire

On 9 March 2008, a group of youths from the Taree area attempted to set fire to nearby St Clare's High School, a nearby supermarket, and two buildings at Chatham High. Damage inflicted in most of these arson attacks amounted to little more than some singed carpets, melted linoleum and a few broken windows; but at approximately 2:30am the fire took hold in a ground level textiles laboratory in Chatham High's "E Block", resulting in the destruction of the building[3].

E Block comprised two mathematics staffrooms, a computing staffroom, home economics staffroom and the general staff common room. Classrooms contained within the block also included two computing laboratories, several commercial kitchens, textiles labs, numerous science labs and a number of general teaching spaces used predominantly by the maths faculty. The block also contained storerooms which held practical resources, as well as irreplaceable intellectual material.

Students were asked to remain at home on the following Monday and Tuesday, as both a forensic and arson unit from Sydney were brought up to survey the area and ensure it was fit to be demolished and reconstructed from the ground up.

Within two months, the school had managed to erect several demountable classrooms, intended to temporarily replace those that were burnt down. Construction of a replacement building began in late 2009.

The culprits received a firm slap on the wrist when they were caught.

Original Teaching Staff (1966)

  • Principal
    • Mr L.W. Kelsey
  • Deputy Principal
    • Mr K.W. Harrap
  • English
    • Mr A. Piesker
    • Mr K. Proctor
    • Miss B. McBean
  • Maths
    • Mr D. Cameron
    • Mr M. Garland
  • Science
    • Mr A. Browning
    • Mr F. Catt
    • Miss J. Owen
  • Manual Arts
    • Mr D. Bruce
    • Mr J. Letchford
  • Art
    • Mr R. Mellen
  • Music
    • Mr .R Allen
  • Commerce and Social Studies
    • Mrs V. Carr
    • Mr I Finlayson
  • Physical Education
    • Mr D. Ferguson
  • French
    • Miss D. Sproule
  • Librarian
    • Miss R. Toohey
  • Clerical
    • Mrs L. Hardy

External links


  1. ^ [1] NSW Public Schools: Chatham High School
  2. ^ [2] NSW Public Schools: Chatham High School
  3. ^ Manning River Times, "Back to school...for some."

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