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Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School

Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School
Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School
Location
Map

Australia
Coordinates31°08′22″S 150°58′53″E / 31.1394°S 150.9813°E / -31.1394; 150.9813
Information
TypeGovernment academically selective and specialist secondary day and boarding school
MottoLatin: Ad Aspera Virtus[1]
(Strength in Adversity)
Established1939; 85 years ago (1939)[2]
School districtPeel; Regional North
Educational authorityNSW Department of Education
SpecialistAgricultural school
PrincipalClint Gallagher
Teaching staff48.9 FTE (2018)[4]
Years712
GenderBoys
Enrolment584[4] (2018)
Area140 hectares (346 acres)
Campus typeRural[3]
Colour(s)Green, gold and rust[1]    
Websitefarreragri-h.schools.nsw.gov.au
Map

The Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School is a government boys' academically selective and specialist secondary day and boarding school, located in Calala, a small suburb of Tamworth, in the New England region of New South Wales, Australia. It is the only public agricultural high school for boys in Australia.[5]

Established in 1939, the school enrolled approximately 580 students in 2018, from Year 7 to Year 12, of whom eleven percent identified as Indigenous Australians and two percent were from a language background other than English.[4] The school is operated by the NSW Department of Education; the principal is Clint Gallagher.

Overview

Established in 1939, Farrer is one of the few agricultural secondary schools catering for both boarding and day students. As of 2007, the school enrolled approximately 610 students from Year 7 to Year 12, including 360 boarders,[1] making it the third largest boarding school in the State.[2] Being a public high School, tuition is free, and the school charges the lowest boarding fees in New South Wales.[3]

While an emphasis is placed on the agricultural curriculum, but a broad curriculum is also on offer for students from rural NSW who do not wish to return to the land or gain employment in an agricultural field. Other areas of emphasis at Farrer include sport and student welfare.[6]

Farrer embodies a conservative culture with a high degree of inclusiveness of Ethnicity and Disabilities. School uniform is compulsory and is traditional in style, including blazer, tie and wide-brimmed hat. The school marches each week as part of the school assembly, and a prefect system is in place, playing an important role in the welfare and supervision of students.[6]

History

Farrer Memorial High School was founded in 1939 by Sir William Farrer as an agricultural high school for boarders, particularly those who are isolated and day students from the Tamworth region.[2]

The school was named in memory of William James Farrer (1845–1906), a leading Australian agronomist and wheat breeder, best known for developing the "Federation" breed of wheat. His work led to significant increases in the Australian wheat crop for decades to come, and economic prosperity for the wheat industry.[7][8]

Campus

The Farrer campus is set on 140 hectares (346 acres), and is located on the outskirts of rural Tamworth, on prime Peel Valley farmland.[2]

The school's facilities include computer rooms, TAS workshops, a 200-seat auditorium, Old Boys' museum and multiple facilities to teach practical agriculture,[2] such as a 170 hectares (420 acres) farm, horticultural centre and piggery.[9] The dairy cattle, White Suffolk sheep flock and Angus cattle stud are run as profitable business ventures, turning over in excess of A$140,000 at the Bull Sale in 2005.[2]

The school's sporting facilities include a gymnasium, swimming pool, weights room, tennis courts, basketball courts, football fields and a cricket oval with practice nets. The school also makes use of the city's sporting facilities, including the synthetic hockey surface and athletics track.[7]

Curriculum

Students at Farrer have the opportunity to undertake study in a number of areas from their School Certificate in Years 9 and 10, through to their NSW Higher School Certificate (HSC) in Years 11 and 12. Some of these subject areas on offer include: industrial tech metal, industrial tech wood, electronics, information and software technology, art, music, drama, software design and development, beef production, sheep production, sport science and journalism.[10]

Agricultural opportunities include beef cattle, sheep, dairy cattle, wool husbandry, horticulture, pig production, egg growing, dry land and irrigated cropping. Agriculture at Farrer is mandatory for years 7 to 10.[2]

Sack system

In years past, a "sack" was a student in lower years, particularly years 7–10. Such students were at the beck and call of students in higher years, particularly year 12, to labour at menial tasks such as shining boots, fetching food or creating confetti with a paper hole punch. The name "sack" was said to be derived from the idea that younger years were a load to carry, as a sack.[11]

The power was not restricted to year 12. Students of any year higher than another were empowered to issue such commands. For example, a year 8 boy could make demands of a year 7 boy. In this respect, the sack system may differ from the English practice of fagging.

Failure to comply on the part of a "sack" was often disciplined with corporal punishment from the year 12 students. This punishment commonly took the form of being struck on the backside with a broom, occasionally without pants. Active resistance to the system was met with ongoing intimidation, assault and bullying from many members of the school community, including the principal.[12]

This punishment resulted in the interesting linguistic twist of the word broom being used as a verb. For example, "Tell that sack to get on with it or he's going to get broomed".

The school has now admitted in court that this system existed and that it failed to implement adequate control.[13]

Notable alumni

This article's list of alumni may not follow Wikipedia's verifiability policy. Please improve this article by removing names that do not have independent reliable sources showing they merit inclusion in this article AND are alumni, or by incorporating the relevant publications into the body of the article through appropriate citations. (May 2019)
This list is incomplete; you can help by adding missing items. (August 2008)

Alumni of Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School are known as Old Boys, and may elect to join the school's alumni association, the Farrer Old Boys' Association. The Old Boys' network totals approximately 4,000 members.[2] Some notable Farrer Old Boys include:

Business
Entertainment, media and the arts
Politics, public service and the law
Sport

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c "2007 Handbook" (PDF). School Information. Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School. 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 September 2007. Retrieved 10 October 2007.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Farrer Old Boys' Association 2006 Newsletter" (PDF). Old Boys. Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School. 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 July 2008. Retrieved 3 February 2008.
  3. ^ a b "Farrer Memorial Agricultural High Schools". New South Wales Schools. Australian Boarding Schools Association. 2007. Archived from the original on 17 November 2007. Retrieved 10 October 2007.
  4. ^ a b c "Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School, Calala, NSW: School profile". My School. Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. 2019. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  5. ^ "Principal's Welcome Message". About Farrer. Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School. Archived from the original on 10 February 2008. Retrieved 3 February 2008.
  6. ^ a b "Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School". School Locator. NSW Public Schools. Archived from the original on 5 June 2008. Retrieved 3 February 2008.
  7. ^ a b "Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School" (PDF). Accommodation Guide. National Association for Rural Student Accommodation Inc. 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 August 2007. Retrieved 3 February 2008.
  8. ^ Wrigley, C.W. (1981). "Farrer, William James (1845–1906)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Vol. 8 (Online ed.). Melbourne: Melbourne University Press. pp. 471–473. Retrieved 3 February 2008.
  9. ^ "The Farm". Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School. Archived from the original on 10 February 2008. Retrieved 3 February 2008.
  10. ^ "Subject Selection". School Information. Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School. Archived from the original on 10 February 2008. Retrieved 3 February 2008.
  11. ^ Textbooks 'brought bullying back' http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/national/national/general/textbooks-brought-bullying-back/1357972.aspx[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ Alexander, Harriet (11 November 2008). "Old boy seeks $2m for years of torment". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  13. ^ John, Katelyn (10 November 2008). "Teachers 'ignored bullied boy's pleas'". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  14. ^ Suzannah Pearce, ed. (17 November 2006). "MILLER (Geoff) Geoffrey Lee". Who's Who in Australia Live!. North Melbourne, Vic: Crown Content Pty Ltd.
  15. ^ "Three Questions: Pixie Jenkins". Sydney Morning Herald. 21 January 2008. Retrieved 3 February 2008.[dead link]
  16. ^ "Mark Coulton". Meet the Federal Team. The Nationals. 2007. Archived from the original on 4 March 2008. Retrieved 3 February 2008.
  17. ^ "Adam's Story – Member for Northern Tablelands". Adam Marshall. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  18. ^ "Peter Worsley". Sporting Hall of Fame. Orange City Council. Archived from the original on 16 March 2008. Retrieved 3 February 2008.
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Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School
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