Fremantle Stuff > schools > John Curtin High School/College of the Arts


The former John Curtin Senior High School, built 1954-58, is on East Street between Ellen, Vale/Finnerty, and Ord Streets. The land that it's on was granted in 1879 to the people of Fremantle for a public park, but was requisitioned first by the Defence Department and then, opportunistically, by the Education Department, and so lost to the people. The school's playing field was formerly the Skinner Street Cemetery, and the remains of hundreds of people are still below the ground there.

Also, it was named for Australia's great war-time PM, and begun as a school in which the working-class youth of Fremantle could get a solid post-primary education with a technical (rather than academic) bias.

No longer a mere high school, it's now a selective 'College of the Arts'.

References and Links

Johnson, Tim 1992, Guns, Graves and Dreaming: the History of Fremantle's High School: John Curtin Senior High School, unpub.

Garry Gillard | New: 16 May, 2020 | Now: 15 October, 2020