Heritage Centre

Preserving our history

From humble beginnings as Mrs Ross’ School, Claremont, St Hilda’s has always been proud of its long-standing legacy as one of Perth’s leading girls’ schools. Originally located in Mrs Ross’s private residence ‘Cirencester’ in 1896, it grew from a handful of students over the following years, relocating to various sites in Claremont.

It was then purchased by Misses Elizabeth and May Allen in 1898 and renamed Claremont Ladies College. In 1905 Miss Parnell establishes the School naming it Girls’ High School, before moving the whole school to the riverfront in Claremont and finally on 22 March 1931 the school relocated to the current Bay View campus and was renamed St Hilda’s.

We hear on every side what the boys who have left school have done. Does it ever occur to any of us what the girls have done?

Miss Parnell, 1918 - Extract from We Must Ever Be Friends

Why our heritage should be protected

History is more than simple chronological milestones. It is the shared memories and experiences behind these dates that create the legacy that lives on today. For more than 125 years St Hilda’s has painstakingly stored and protected photographs, records and memorabilia that provide a unique insight into education and past lives of another era.

Through donations and school archives dating from 1986, St Hilda’s has a phenomenal heritage collection. As one of the State’s oldest school for girls, it is a collection that should be preserved and cherished by past students and families, and by those who are currently part of the School community.

Our history currently has no home. The collection should be available to explain our past and inform our future. Recognising our history and those who contributed to the making of this outstanding educational institution is vital in this everchanging world.

We need your help to create this vision.

St Hilda's Heritage Centre

The St Hilda’s Heritage Centre will be housed in the original farmhouse.

In 1991 it was restored and rededicated as Hope Nicholas House in honour of Hope Nicholas Hancock (1932). Since then it has become the hub for the Old Scholars’ Association and accommodated special events, musical performances and meetings.

Located adjacent to the Chapel and Catherine House, the Heritage Centre will become the centrepiece of St Hilda’s history and will showcase our Old Scholars, past teachers, principals and indeed, Western Australia.

The New Concept Features:

  • The Gallery, which will display our current artefacts and memorabilia
  • A refreshed meeting room for Old Scholars featuring memorabilia, photography and artworks
  • A reading room featuring a modern compactus-style function to store and view publications in chronological order
  • A video / oral history walkway through the spine of the building
  • An archivist office / storage facility
  • Interactive displays that feature searchable video, photography archives

The museum will feature versatile cabinets that can be updated, refreshed and re-themed regularly, ensuring we have opportunities to feature the breadth of our collection.

The cabinets will be specifically designed for children and adults alike to showcase the artefacts and stories. It is intended that the Gallery will be an educational space for teachers, a tribute to Old Scholars and a way of sharing our story with current and prospective parents.