drake school1Drakesbrook School

By Owen Grantham

The Drakesbrook School first opened in 1898 as a one room school in Centennial Park. In 1921 the Drakesbrook School changed its name to the Waroona State School. It remained open to the 1980s.

Originally, the school teacher’s house was located next to the school and children who rode to school tied their horses to pine trees near the building. The problem of overcrowding was such that in the 1903 report it was suggested opening schools at Hamel and Yalup Brook, or that at least two classrooms be added to the Drakesbrook School. However, by October 1903 attendance was down due to closure of the Waroona Mills, with the resulting loss of families from the district.

The school population continued to increase and in 1988 the primary school students and teachers moved to the Millar Street District High School location.

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The old school was one of the only two remaining pre-1900 weatherboard one-room school buildings in Western Australia. The 2005 bushfire left nothing of the old school but the bricks from the fireplace and a few other relics.

The remaining building was removed but a year later the Council approved a memorial to the school to be built on the site. The Shire, Fremantle Arts and Alcoa worked together to create the Drakesbrook School Memorial Footprint which stands in the centre of a community park as a symbol of days gone by and a reminder of the resolve of Waroona to preserve its history and retain its rural identity.

The symbols represent games played by children in the olden days. These games include hopscotch, marbles and knuckle bones. The bell tower is a symbol of the school building and bell they used at the school.

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