Fort Street High School, Sydney

Identity area



Authorized form of name

Fort Street High School, Sydney

Parallel form(s) of name

Other form(s) of name

  • Fort Street Model School, 1849-1880s
  • Fort Street School, 1880s-1911
  • Fort Street Girls High School, 1911-1975
  • Fort Street Boys High School, 1911-1975


  • Educational

Contact area


School Archivist: Iain Wallace



Street address

Parramatta Road, Petersham




New South Wales

Country name

Postal code



02 8585 1600



Description area


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.

Geographical and cultural context

Mandates/Sources of authority

A public school operated by the New South Wales Department of Education and Communities.

Administrative structure

Officer in charge: Principal

Records management and collecting policies

The Fort Street Archive is delighted to accept donations of relevant material such as photographs, original objects or memorabilia that increase the richness of the collection. Please read the school’s donation policy (see



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:

  • student work and prizes
  • school publications including The Fortian and Mercurius
  • photographs, slides and negatives
  • audiovisual material
  • school uniforms and badges
  • staff and student records
  • honour boards, achievement awards, trophies and memorabilia
  • uniform paraphernalia and textiles including caps, blazers, uniforms
  • maps, drawings and paintings.

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

Finding aids, guides and publications

Access area

Opening times

Open by appointment.

Access conditions and requirements

Enquiries are welcome from members of the Fort Street community and beyond. For this research service, a minimum donation to the Library Fund of $30 (as at 2018) is requested. An additional amount may be requested if the enquiry requires substantial research or copying costs.


Services area

Research services

For the research service there is a minimum donation.

Reproduction services

Public areas

Control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Revised 6 March 2019




Maintenance notes

Access points

Access Points

  • Education (Thematic area)
  • Clipboard

Primary contact

Parramatta Road, Petersham
Sydney, New South Wales 2049