Wilderness School, Medindie, Adelaide

Identity area



Authorized form of name

Wilderness School, Medindie, Adelaide

Parallel form(s) of name

Other form(s) of name

  • Medindie School and Kindergarten, until 1918
  • The Wilderness School, 1918- present


  • Educational

Contact area


Marg Keane



Street address

30 Hawkers Road, Medindie




South Australia

Country name

Postal code



08 8343 1066




Description area


Wilderness School is located in Medindie, Adelaide for girls in Reception to Year 12 and also has an Early Learning Centre for 3 year olds and an Early Learning Centre for 4 year olds. Boarders are accepted from Year 8 onwards.

Wilderness was established by Miss Margaret Hamilton Brown in 1884. Margaret, a trained teacher, began the School in her parent's home on Mann Terrace, North Adelaide for her 5 year old sister, two other girls and one boy. As the student numbers grew, the family moved house to Northcote Terrace, Medindie and a classroom was built by the landlord in the backyard. Three of Margaret's younger sisters assisted her with the students and the School was known as The Misses Brown's School, although its official title was the Medindie School and Kindergarten.

The School had outgrown the classroom at that house so the family moved one block south in 1893 to the site of the present location where they were also able to have students board with them.

Miss Mamie Brown, the original student of the School, began teaching in 1898 and also studied at night with the University of Adelaide and obtained a Degree in Science in December 1902.

In 1918 the name of the School changed to The Wilderness School, partly because of the wilderness-like nature of the grounds and partly because the idea of "forty years in the wilderness" had such a permanent ring about it.

As the Misses Brown grew older they became increasingly concerned about the future of the school after their deaths so, in 1948, they transferred ownership of the school to a Company and Council of Governors.

Miss Mamie had gradually taken over the position of Headmistress from her sister Margaret. Miss Margaret received an Order of the British Empire for services to education from the Governor of South Australia at an investiture held in October 1949.

Miss Mamie retired as Headmistress in 1951. Miss Kate died in 1891, Miss Margaret in 1952, Miss Annie in 1953 and Miss Wynnie in 1965. Miss Mamie died in 1969, having only recently moved from her home at the school to a nursing home. Their mother, Mary Home Brown, who taught Scriptures to the students died in 1934 one month short of her 100th birthday.

Geographical and cultural context

Mandates/Sources of authority

Administrative structure

Records management and collecting policies



  • Records kept by the Brown family and personal letters sent to and from the Browns.
  • School magazines from 1920.
  • Samples of uniforms.
  • Photographs.

Finding aids, guides and publications

Access area

Opening times

By prior arrangement please. Archivist works Tuesdays to Thursday during school terms.

Access conditions and requirements


Services area

Research services

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 14 April 2018




Maintenance notes

Access points

Access Points

  • Education (Thematic area)
  • Clipboard

Primary contact

30 Hawkers Road, Medindie
Adelaide, South Australia 5081