150 Years of Public Education

Tasmanian public education celebrated a significant milestone in 2018. It was the year that marked 150 years of providing children across the state with the best start in life.

In 1868 the colony of Tasmania became the first in Australia to make attendance for children between the ages of seven and 12 compulsory. Five years later the upper age limit was increased to 14 years.

Public education, which comprises both our schools, network of libraries and the archives, remains a cornerstone of Tasmanian society and its future. Tasmania’s public education builds communities that aspire to succeed as connected, resilient, creative and curious thinkers.

The 150th anniversary was celebrated with a series of events promoting the achievements and significance of public education in Tasmania, with the theme of ‘then, now and beyond’.

On 18 October 2018, a small yet diverse group of nominated Ambassadors became the faces of the yearlong celebration. The Ambassadors are former or current state school students or staff who championed the public education system by sharing their stories and memories of school life, and promoting the contribution public education has made to the Tasmanian community. Find out more about the Ambassadors

In 2019, the 150th anniversary was also celebrated within public school classrooms across the state, with the curriculum including resources covering the history and themes of the milestone, as well as a competition for students to look 150 years ahead.

The Snapshots are available to teaching staff as a resource and supported by a Canvas course and some professional learning.