Save Anzac Hill High School: National Trust


2533 Anzac Highschool OKLETTER TO THE EDITOR
Sir – The National Trust of Australia (NT) is today launching a petition to save the former Anzac Hill High School from demolition.
When the government released a tender last week to demolish the school, we had to act.
The old school was entered on the National Trust’s Register of Significant Places on June 8, 1999.
The Statement of Significance in the Register reads: “This place marks a significant milestone in the history and development of education in Alice Springs and the Northern Territory.  It was the first purpose built school for the education of secondary school students in Alice Springs and was a significant step-up in school design to meet the increasing needs of the community.”
The Register of Significant Places records sites of heritage throughout the Northern Territory but does not provide any legal protections against destroying the building.
Petitions will be available at the Old Hartley Street School and circulated around town.
The tender closes on April 12.  By then, we hope to have a convincing response to take back to government to show the real community concern about their plans to demolish the focal point for so many locals’ education.
There are mixed reactions about the old school, but it is significant for many people and an important part of Alice Springs’ development.  Once it is demolished, there is no going back.
The National Trust is a statutory body and community organisation set up to protect, preserve and champion the Northern Territory’s built and cultural heritage.
The Trust maintains nine museums or precincts around the Territory: in Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Newcastle Waters, Borroloola, Katherine, Pine Creek and Darwin.
The Trust celebrated its 60th anniversary last year in Alice Springs and has fought successful campaigns locally to save the old Hartley Street School and the former Alice Springs Prison, which is now the National Pioneer Women’s Hall of Fame.
Tim Dixon
Director, National Trust NT


  1. Come on now, we can’t keep every building which was a first for some purpose. The Telegraph Station already contains buildings which warrant this status, not a some what modern era(ish) school.

  2. I am delighted that the National Trust NT has entered the fray in support of saving the old high school.
    The timing of the NTG’s announcement calling for expressions of interest for the demolition of the old school is exquisite, to say the least – my understanding is that applications close on April 12, during this year’s annual Heritage Week; and that assessment of the applications will be finalised in May with work to commence late that month – which also happens to coincide with the prestigious Australian Museums and Galleries Association National Conference hosted in Alice Springs May 13 to 17.
    What in blazes are the NTG’s ministers and minders smoking on the 5th Floor?

  3. @ James T Smerk (Posted March 28, 2019 at 11:48 am): I’ve said it before a number of times, I’ll say it again: The old high school complex on the Anzac Reserve has the richest heritage value of any education campus in the Northern Territory.
    Its historical value is very high, and exceeded in Central Australia only by the Alice Springs Telegraph Station, the Hermannsburg Historic Precinct, and Arltunga (which last is actually NOT heritage listed).

  4. Save ANZAC school as it has so much historical value for Alice Springs.
    We need to preserve our history and not keep destroying things. It should be heritage listed.

  5. The former Anzac Hill High School is an essential part of the heritage Alice Springs. Alex Nelson should be acknowledged for highlighting this in his nomination for heritage listing, sadly rejected last year by the NT Heritage Council.
    Through the proposed demolition, the government is absolutely insensitive to the history of our town.
    In presenting this petition to save the school, the National Trust is continuing with its role in heritage preservation. During the 1980s and 1990s the trust succeeded in its campaigns to protect the Old Alice Springs Gaol and Hartley Street School, both now serving incredibly valuable roles in the community.

  6. Comment writers, please note: If I cannot reach you on the email address you provide, I will not publish your comment.
    ERWIN CHLANDA, Editor.

  7. The school and all its history should be the starting point for a museum and information center about education in the NT.
    It will become a tourists attraction like the School of the Air and old Hartley Street school.
    Every town needs to have landmarks attracting visitors.
    Tourists will not come to Alice if all history is defunct.

  8. Systematic demolition seems to be the order of the day for the NT Government: First Anzac Oval now saved, then the old buildings and layout of the former Anzac Hill High School still under hot discussion, and now (the latest in its follies) the possible demolition of our civic centre, the best building in town and only recently upgraded with its fantastic public library. Is this a Gunnermania? Is there a cure to this disease?
    The historical heritage of our town, strategically located at the centre of a vast continent, is what makes us stay here. It is what makes our tourist industry thrive.
    More demolition and nothing would be left to attract permanent residents or visitors.
    Not even the illusion of a National Aboriginal Art Gallery.


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