Public Education

Murrumburrah Public SchoolEducation had a chequered history in Harden Murrumburrah having started in 1862 with 25 pupils. The school closed in 1863 and re-opened but, as the pay of the teacher was not forthcoming, it again ceased to function. School did not re-open for another five years when it was held in rented premises until the Council of Education erected the first school building and residence in 1880.

This building still stands in Murrumburrah - on the northern side of Trunk Road 84 adjacent to the speed restriction signs (ie. 60km). In spite of the recent completion of the building described above it was soon decided to move the school closer to the centre of the settlement. The increase of population would have necessitated additions to the old school and this may have influenced the decision to move. The present school site was first occupied in 1884. Within the district the first school was established at Binalong (1861) followed by Wombat (1868), Cunningar (1870) and in 1873, Galong, McMahons Reef and Nubba. The spread of education was dictated first by the gold rushes and secondly by the closer settlement acts of the 1860s. These rural one teacher schools opened and closed depending on the number of children available within the two mile (3.2km) radius. At times a building was moved a few miles to a new centre of population.

By the turn of the century some 24 State Schools throughout the town and district catered for the education of 952 pupils; of those, 18 schools have closed and the children now travel by omnibus to larger centres. A new High School complex in Smith Street, Harden was opened in 1977. Since about 1873 the Catholics have maintained a school. First in a stone building (now part of the presbytery) then in St Mary's Church while a brick school was built on the north west corner of the Church. A second school, St Columba's, Harden was built in 1917 and became the secondary school in 1955.


Contact Details
Harden Shire Council
Phone: 02 6386 0100
Fax: 02 6386 0105
council@harden.nsw.gov.au