Ballarat Junior Technical School

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Albert W. Steane with Ballarat Junior Technical School Students in the newly planted terraces along Albert Street, 1920s. The newly completed Junior Technical School is in the background. Federation University Historical Collection (cat. No. 9318)
Albert W. Steane with Ballarat Junior Technical School Students in the newly planted terraces along Albert Street, 1920s. The Ballarat Gaol walls feature in the background. Federation University Historical Collection (cat. No. 00655)
Ballarat Junior Technical School Students plant out the former Ballarat Gaol Terraces along Grant Street, 1969. Federation University Historical Collection (cat. No. 3860)
Tree planted (left) in the ground of the Ballarat Junior Technical School in honour of Francis Davis, Federation University Historical Collection

Contents

Background

The Ballarat Junior Technical School was a division of the Ballarat School of Mines. Boys could leave their primary school at 13 years of age and enter the Ballarat Junior Technical School of 12 months free of charge.[1]

During the first year the course was based on general lines, and was designed to assist the boy in deciding his future calling. As the year progressed teachers would gauge each students aptitude for the occupation he had selected. About one third of the time was devoted to Mathematics and Literary Subjects, one third to Drawing and one third to practical work. The Curriculum embraced the following subjects.

  • Art Metal
  • English
  • Civics
  • Geography
  • Arithmetic
  • Mensuration
  • Algebra
  • Geometry
  • Elementary Science
  • Plane Geometry
  • Solid Geometry
  • Modelling
  • Development
  • Sheet Metal
  • Woodwork
  • Freehand
  • PLant Drawing[2]

In the second year the work was more specialised and allowed the boy to follow more particularly the work leading to his future trade or profession. It included, as well as English, Mathematics and Drawing, a preliminary training in any of the following subjects to lead to the highwork in the Senior technical School (Ballarat School of Mines and Industries)

  • Electrical Engineer
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Municipal Engineer
  • Mining Engineer
  • Assaying and Metallurgy
  • Engineering Draughtsman
  • Architectural Draughtsman
  • Fine and Applied Art
  • Turning and Fitting
  • Carpentry
  • Plumbing
  • Blacksmithing
  • Cabinet Making
  • Sheet Metal Work
  • Postal Mechanics' Work
  • Wood Carving
  • Technical Positions in the State and Commonwealth Services. [3]

During the third year was an extension of the Second Year Course, and was designed chiefly for the following purposes: A. To give a fuller preparatory training for the diploma course of the senior school. B. To provide special training for lads who have completed two years, and are awaiting employment C. Special cases that may occur.[4]

Plantings and Arbour Day

When Ballarat Junior Technical School's new building was opened in the grounds of the Ballarat School of Mines in 1921, the surrounding area was rubble-strewn with raw clay slopes. The Headmaster, Albert W. Steane, designed the landscaping of the slopes from the Gaol wall down to the Battery Paddock (Albert Street). The boys did much of the work. Apart from beautifying the grounds, this project occupied their leisure time, particularly as they had nowhere to play. The school acquired the gaol site in April 1969.

Memorial plantings were a feature of Arbor Day, with Victorian School communities encouraged to plant trees. On Arbor Day 1922 a tree was planted in memory of Francis G. Davis, the only Ballarat Junior Technical School student to die on active service during World War One. In June 1922 Alfred Davis, Francis Davis' father, planted a tree in the grounds of the Ballarat Junior Technical School in honour of his son. It was the first tree of six planted in the grounds of the Ballarat School of Mine that year.

Speaking of the planting of the tree by Mr Davis the Chief Secretary (Mr M. Baird M.L.A.), said he trusted the memory would ever remain green at the school. Had he and others not given their lives nothing that we could have done to-day could have retrieved the time. Australians had indeed done splendidly, but they should take a wider outlook than Australia, and reading the history of the Genoa Conference he had been struck by what had been done ... We should honor such men as he in whose memory that tree was planted, and the schools that sent them out to fight for us. He hoped the empire would always be able to produce such men, so that the Empire would always be able to lead the World's struggle for the benefit of humanity. The last post was then sounded by Mr. H. Green. ... [5]

The school acquired the Ballarat Gaol site in April 1969, and in that year the Ballarat Junior Technical School students planted out the former Gaol Terraces along Grant Street, continuing the tradition started in 1921 by Albert W. and his students.

In 1992 a tender for Bluestone terraces along the Grant Street frontage of the Ballarat School of Mines was advertised.

In 2015 the gardens were considered in the Ballarat School of Mines Conservation Management Plan (Rowe/Jacobs)

The terraced layout, diagonal pathway layout, some of the random stone walls, niches for seating, memorial shield and the arbour structure are largely intact. Three introduced round water tanks located in the garden bed of the lower terrace are visually intrusive. Much of the treed landscape comprising the lower parts of the garden is overgrown and requiring horticultural attention. Overall, the former Junior School commemorative garden is considered to be an important aesthetic, historic and social contributor to the School of Mines campus setting.[6]

Teachers

R.L. Cutter, Mathematics and Art <1921>[7]

F.N. King, Woodwork and Trade Drawing <1921>[8]

George Lewis

H.W. Malin, Art <1921>[9]

Samuel H. Mayo, Mathematics and Science <1921>[10]

W.J. Paterson, English, Civics and Mathematics <1921>[11]

John G. Proctor, Art Metal instructor 1937-1963.

Albert W. Steane, Headmaster 1913-1921> <1921>[12]

William J. Paterson <1921>[13]

Students

Francis G. Davis

Angus Henderson

William A. Prowse

Alan Riley


References

  1. Ballarat School of Mines and Industries Prospectus D, 1921.
  2. Ballarat School of Mines and Industries Prospectus D, 1921.
  3. Ballarat School of Mines and Industries Prospectus D, 1921.
  4. Ballarat School of Mines and Industries Prospectus D, 1921.
  5. Ballarat Courier, 19 June 1922.
  6. Federation University Australia School of Mines Campus, 107 Lydiard Street South, Ballarat, Conservation Management Plan, Prepared for Federation University Australia by Dr David Rowe Authentic Heritage Services Pty Ltd & Wendy Jacobs: Architect & Heritage Consultant, May 2017.
  7. Ballarat School of Mines and Industries Prospectus D, 1921.
  8. Ballarat School of Mines and Industries Prospectus D, 1921.
  9. Ballarat School of Mines and Industries Prospectus D, 1921.
  10. Ballarat School of Mines and Industries Prospectus D, 1921.
  11. Ballarat School of Mines and Industries Prospectus D, 1921.
  12. Ballarat School of Mines and Industries Prospectus D, 1921.
  13. Ballarat School of Mines and Industries Prospectus D, 1921.
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