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Gorokan High School

Gorokan High School
The sign at the main entry to the school
Goobarabah Avenue, Lake Haven,
Central Coast region, New South Wales

Coordinates33°14′32″S 151°30′31″E / 33.24222°S 151.50861°E / -33.24222; 151.50861
TypeGovernment-funded co-educational dual modality partially academically selective and comprehensive secondary day school
MottoRespect, Personal Best, Co-operation
Established1976; 48 years ago (1976)
Educational authorityNew South Wales Department of Education
PrincipalMatthew Boake[1]
Teaching staff74.9 FTE (2018)[2]
Enrolment963[2] (2018)
  •   Barnett (red)
  •   Dixon (blue)
  •   Norah (green)
  •   Hargraves (yellow)
Colour(s)Blue, white and red    
SloganCooperation, Respect, Personal Best, Empowerment

Gorokan High School is a government-funded co-educational dual modality partially academically selective and comprehensive secondary day school, located in Lake Haven, in the Central Coast region of New South Wales, Australia.

Established in 1976, the school enrolled approximately 950 students in 2018, from Year 7 to Year 12, of whom 16 percent identified as Indigenous Australians and seven percent were from a language background other than English.[2] The school is operated by the NSW Department of Education; the principal is Matthew Boake.[3]


The school draws its name from the nearby settlement of Gorokan; and was housed in temporary buildings in Dudley Street on the site of what was to later become Gorokan Public School in 1977. It moved to its current location in Goobarabah Avenue in 1977.

Its inaugural principal was Gwen Foley, who was the first female high school principal on the NSW Central Coast. She retired in December 1982. Foley chose the inaugural school motto "And Joy in the Making", referring to the making of a young adult as well as the establishment of the school itself.

Co-curricular activities

Musical achievements

New Performing Arts Hall built under the BER programme
Entrance to the main administration section

Gorokan High School has been referred to as a lighthouse school in music.[4] It was one of 25 schools referenced in the National Review of Music Education in 2005 where it was noted as having an enduring music programme on account of its notable success over a period of 25 years. The classroom programme was developed in partnership with the University of Newcastle music education staff - in particular Dr Carol Richards - in the period 1986 to 2005.

An instrumental music programme was in place from 1990 until 2006, with roots as far back as 1980. The school's wind orchestra was recognised internationally for its performances.[5]

In 1994 the Gorokan High School musicians were selected to represent Wyong Shire at the World Resort Expo, Wakayama, Japan.[citation needed]

The 57-member wind orchestra was invited to perform at the 1999 Banff International Festival of School Orchestras and Bands, where the orchestra was chosen to make the final performance, for which they received the festival's only standing ovation.[6]

The wind orchestra was going to take a 2003 tour of China however the SARS outbreak prevented the trip.[7]

Online mentoring

Gorokan has successfully trialled The Smith Family's OnTrack online mentoring programme which has produced a marked increase in engagement by students and school attendance.[8]

Plan-it Youth mentoring

Gorokan High School has run a successful Youth Mentoring Programme called "Plan-it Youth", supported by the Department of Education, plus Teen Spirit Foundation and community volunteers.[citation needed]

Water conservation initiative

The school successfully bid to the Australian Government Water Fund for over A$45,000 for a water conservation initiative that will save 442,000 litres (97,000 imp gal; 117,000 US gal) of water each year.[9]

Capital improvements

Skill centre

Gary Hardgrave, Minister for Vocational and Technical Education, on 17 January 2005 announced A$350,000 funding for the construction of a skill centre at Gorokan.[10]

Operation Facelift

Operation Facelift was a $350,000 Gorokan High School community project, undertaken from 2002 to 2005.[11] Major sponsors included the Telstra Kids Foundation,[12] Delta Electricity, Wyong Shire Council, Wyong councillors and the Department of Education. Operation Facelift received mention in State Parliament[13] and was nominated for an Australia Day Award 2004. Liz Rushton, District Superintendent for the Department of Education and Training presented a Certificate of Appreciation to Ms O'Neill in Education Week 2003.

Notable alumni

See also


  1. ^ "Education Week - Gorokan High School".
  2. ^ a b c "Gorokan High School, Lake Haven, NSW: School profile". My School. Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. 2019. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  3. ^ "Annual Report 2018" (PDF). Gorokan High School. NSW Department of Education. 6 May 2019. p. 2. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  4. ^ National Review of Music Education 2005, accessed 12 June 2014
  5. ^ Gorokan High School: Prospectus[permanent dead link], accessed 1 May 2007.
  6. ^ Gorokan High School Wind Orchestra Archived 29 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Parliament of New South Wales, Private member statement made on 25 May 1999, accessed 1 May 2007.
  7. ^ Bellinger, Caroline. "Musicians tune into China trip" Archived 8 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine, The Daily Telegraph (Sydney), 25 March 2003. Accessed 1 May 2007.
  8. ^ Taffel, Jacqui. "Buddy system", The Sydney Morning Herald, 20 September 2003. Accessed 2 May 2007.
  9. ^ "Round 1 Community Water Grants Projects" Archived 28 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Australian Government Water Fund, 29 August 2006, accessed 2 May 2007
  10. ^ "$350,000 for new skill centre" Archived 4 April 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Minister for Vocational and Technical Education, 17 January 2005
  11. ^ DIY School Bartlett, Jason, Daily Telegraph Central Coast Extra, pp1-2 ca. 2005
  12. ^ Telstra Foundation Annual Report 2002–2003 Archived 13 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine, p19
  13. ^ Harris, Davis, MP – Budget Estimates Parliament of New South Wales (Archived 14 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine) 17 October 2007, 9:55pm
  14. ^ "The Daily Telegraph (Sydney)". Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey’s Aussie love affair began with a chance meeting in Texas. 4 March 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  15. ^ London 2012 Olympics Athletes listings
  16. ^ "Jesse Ramien".

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Gorokan High School
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