Accessible Page Links




Page Tools

Main page Content

History

Everton Park State School's history is closely linked with that of Everton Park and its surrounding areas. In the early decades of the 20th century a number of developments, including the completion of a rail line between Enoggera and Gaythorne in 1961, encouraged growth in the Everton Park area. Between 1910 and 1930 the population of Everton Park grew from about 100 to 300. School-aged children in the area attended Enoggera State School but were often affected and sometimes endangered when the bridge across Kedron Brook was impassable due to flooding. A committee of Everton Park residents lobbied the then Minister for Public Instruction for funds to build a school. Perhaps providentially, the Kedron Brook bridge washed away twice in the fortnight leading up to the committee's first meeting with the Minister at which they received conditional approval to proceed.

In the first instance a site was required and the committee appointed Mr Mick Downey to purchase a suitable piece of land. Of his search, Mr Downey wrote:

"The first place I nearly purchased... was about 80 acres of what is now known as Paddy Murphy's paddock... [T]o my dismay the ground in question was too near the Enoggera State School and could not be considered... At that time I was the owner of the ground on which the school now stands... I had to purchase the ground from myself and, after me and myself had a heated argument over the price of the ground, we decided on a bargain entirely satisfactory to the school committee and the Minister for Public Instruction."

The committee's next hurdle was ensuring the school met the Minister's minimum number of prospective students. They were eight or nine children short of the required 50 but, on the day of the departmental inspector's visit, the committee took steps to ensure that all enrolled children were present and Mr Downey arranged to 'borrow' eleven children from Enoggera State School and the Good Samaritan Convent School, now Our Lady of Dolours Catholic Primary School. The quota was met and the expenditure of £1,246 on a new state school was approved in January 1934. The two-room school, known then as Bunyaville State School, opened on Saturday 16th June, 1934 with 41 students in five grades. Mr George Crawford, the school's first head teacher, was assisted by Miss Bond.

In January 1942, the then Premier of Queensland, Mr William Forgan-Smith, ordered the closure of city schools in response to the threat of invasion by Japan. Bunyaville State School, considered a country school at the time, remained open but other schools in the local area closed and their children were sent to Bunyaville for as long as two years in some children's cases. A third classroom, increased verandah space and cement paths and basement were the result of increased student numbers during World War II however in the years after the war, enrolments fell, parent participation in school affairs declined and the school had four head teachers in as many years.

Mr W Napier could be credited with overseeing a program of major and positive changes for the school in his eleven-year tenure between 1953 and 1965. Mr Napier oversaw the formation of a school committee and  the school's first tuck shop in 1953 and, in 1954, the addition of a three additional classrooms, a library, reading room, staff room and head teacher's office. Also in 1954, the school's name was changed to Everton Park State School and in subsequent years the tuck shop was moved to a permanent structure, the school adopted an official uniform, a drum and fife band was formed and a school magazine published. By 1960, 490 students were enrolled at Everton Park State School, up from just 66 students ten years earlier. In 1961 a tennis court, cricket practice area, basketball court and septic system were completed and the tuck shop was improved with metal roller shutters and a sealed floor. Work on a sports oval commenced in 1963 with the support of the school's auxillary or, as it became known in 1965, the Parents and Citizens Association.

Growth in the number of students enrolled at Everton Park State School mirrored growth in the surrounding suburbs. Mr Tom Houston took over as head teacher in 1965, at which time approximately 600 students were enrolled. Enrolments rapidly climbed to 1,200 and remained between 1,200 and 1,300 for a number of years. The Parents and Citizens Association and its active Swimming Club sub-committee contributed significantly to the school's swimming pool, opened in 1967 and improved with a filtration plant and grandstand extension between 1969 and 1970. The tuckshop and library were relocated to new facilities in 1973 and 1974 respectively. Many student teachers also passed through Everton Park State School in the early 1970s.

The school bought its first computer in 1981 and added others as funds became available. Other improvements in this period included the installation of stairs to the oval, a covered shed, drinking fountains, the replacement of the amenities block, resurfacing of the oval and the installation of new playgrounds all once again orchestrated by the school's dedicated Parents and Citizens Association. Students numbers dropped below 1,000 for the first time in many years in 1980 and continued to decrease as the local population aged and as other schools opened in the area. In June 1984, 599 students were enrolled and the last of a number of demountables that had been installed in the 1970s to cater for the school's student population was removed.

Enrolment growth, "sun safety" and a commitment to leading edge information technology became key themes of the 1990s. The school implemented a sun safe policy, refurbished the terraces with the generous assistance of Grovely TAFE students, erected shade structures on the oval, in the library courtyard and over the pool, and introduced a new sun safe uniform. By 1998, the library and every classroom had a computer and the school had an internet connection for the first time. The Parents and Citizens Association focussed on school beautification in the mid to late 1990s as well as working with the Department of Main Roads on the Old Northern Road car-park and drop-off zone, eventually completed in 2001. The school also started lobbying the Education Department for approval to open a Preschool as a means of boosting dwindling student numbers. Approval could not be gained but local students and the school benefitted from the introduction of a Preparatory year for Queensland school students. The introduction of the Preparatory year in 2007 was one of many significant changes the school underwent in that decade. The construction of Prep facilities, the redevelopment of tuck shop facilities and a new junior playground on the oval were completed and programs to install interactive whiteboards in all classrooms, construct science and computer laboratories and renovate of a number of classrooms were commenced and have since been completed. The school's appearance and culture are vastly different to those of the small bush school opened more than 75 years ago but the school's links to the community, the dedication of its parents and carers, and the commitment of its teachers continue unchanged. As Kylie McGrory and Gloria Sheehan wrote, in their 2009 history of Everton Park State School:

On 18 June 2009, the once little bush school that began its life as Bunyaville State School, celebrate[d] its 75th anniversary. While the school that we see today is very different in appearance and culture to the school that was built so many years ago, its sense of community remains and is testament to the dedication and commitment of every student, parent and teacher that has graced its verandahs.