Our History

Lake Gwelup Primary School

The old schoolroom at Lake Gwelup Primary School stands where it was placed over 100 years ago. Before that time, the school room was situated on the corner of North Beach Road and Everingham Street in the area around the Carine Lakes. It was named the Balcatta School and was only moved to Gwelup in 1914 when the original Balcatta School closed. On the 18th of May, 1914, Miss Ella B. Miller, the Head Teacher, opened the newly named Lake Gwelup school with an enrolment of 24 students. 

19 May 1914

Lake Gwelup Primary School officially opens.

Head Teacher- Miss Ella B Miller and 24 students. Mr John Miller started as a teacher in September of 1914.

1915 - 1918

Head Teacher- Samuel Jackson

Teachers- Mary Smith, Thursa James

The average attendance grew to 30 and the Board of Health Inspector reported that some of the children suffered from excessive heat due to the overcrowding in the schoolroom. Separate teacher's quarters were built at a cost of £440. Head Teacher, Samuel Jackson battled with water shortages, stray cows and inadequate 'closets' or toilet facilities.

1919 - 1922

Head Teachers- Isabella Kellet, Arthur Pepper

Teachers- Ella Miller, Thomas Phillips (in training), Florence Brotherton, Irene Arbuckle.

1923 - 1959

Head Teachers-John Meckenstock, Edward Walsh, Robert Murdock, Llewellyn Humphrey, Darcey Sprigg.

In 1931, the Lake Gwelup P&C organised the installation of three electric lights and one power point. Up until this time, kerosene lamps had been used for community events at night.

By 1949, the attendance at the school was 33 boys and 38 girls. Attendance grew to 97 students by 1959.

1950 - 1955

Head Teacher-William Eastcott, Harry Frank, John Carmody,

The school's only water supply came from three tanks. There were only two wash basins for around 50 students, and water had to be carried from a hand pump some distance from the ablution block.

1956 - 1971

Principals- Joseph Shimmings, Theodore Goy, Clarence Whiteman, Barry Hall, Robert Walton

By 1969, there were 96 pupils at the school. On September 21 of that year, the Year 6/7 children were allowed to listen to the historic moon landing on the radio.

1972 - 1988

Principals- Edward Jones, Norman Gillett, Michael Wright, Malcolm Humphries, Donald Lee, Ross Albones

In 1979, a very successful 'Back to Gwelup Day' was held to officially open two new classrooms and to celebrate WA's 150th Anniversary. Attendance had grown to over 150 pupils.

In 1981, the historic grass tree, or Balga tree, emblem of the school, was blown over by strong winds and had to be removed.

1989 to the present day

Principals- Geoff Wood, Rags Weggelar, Sonya Cross, Jillian Neale, Dale Mackesy, Arnold Taylor, Kylie Moss, Janine Bersan, Jodi Piercey, Amanda Druce, Greg Clarke and Lynne Anderson

Construction of new school buildings commenced in December 2010 and was officially opened on the 26th of April 2012.

In 2014, the school community celebrated the first hundred years of Lake Gwelup Primary. As part of the 100th Anniversary celebrations, a special program was organised to enable individuals and families to purchase brick pavers engraved with their names and years of attendance. The pavers are located adjacent to the old school room. In 2015, the school commissioned a bronze statue commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign. Each year, the school holds its ANZAC Ceremony in front of the statue and invites members of the school community who have been in the Australian defence forces.

We acknowledge that some parts of the school history have not been documented, including the contributions of First Nations peoples, and we apologise for any omissions or errors.


Lake Gwelup Primary School 1914-1989: A History of the First 75 Years (1989, Cownie.M)

School of Growth: A History of Lake Gwelup Primary School 1914-2004 (2005, Middleton.S and Liddelow. A)

Lake Gwelup Primary School-Centenary Book 1914-2014 (Centenary Committee, 2014)

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