Primary contactParramatta Road, Petersham
Sydney, New South Wales 2049
Fort Street High School is a co-educational, academically selective, public high school currently in Petersham, an inner western suburb of Sydney.
In 1849 the Government of New South Wales established a Model School in the old Military Hospital, which had been built by Governor Macquarie in 1815. This building stood on Observatory Hill, the highest ground in the city near the site of Fort Phillip and the military barracks. (The building still stands there today and is the headquarters of the National Trust.)
The school took its name from a street which was partly incorporated in the playground during the reconstruction of the hospital and which disappeared when the approaches to the Sydney Harbour Bridge were built. The street name is perpetuated in the small street in Petersham, leading to our present school.
The school became two high schools and a headmaster and headmistress were appointed to lead Fort Street Boys and Fort Street Girls High Schools.
In 1916, Fort Street Boys’ High was relocated at the present site on Taverners Hill, Petersham; the Girls’ High School remaining on Observatory Hill. In 1975 the two schools were re-united as Fort Street High School on the new Petersham site.
The Fort Street Archives contain an impressive range of remarkable historical items, artefacts of the school and personal donations given generously by former students, staff and families. These include:
We are currently (as at 2018) working on digitising the archives and making some of this available on the school website and some public websites.
The Fortian has been chronicling the lives and achievements of students and staff since 1899. A project to digitise The Fortian, nearing completion, will make this wonderful resource available online. Editions from the nineteenth century and the First World War period, plus recent editions, are available (as at 2018) - see https://www.fortstreet.nsw.edu.au/about/school-history/the-fortian-digitised/