About Us



3 min




Margaret White



Yarramalong School Community Centre

Yarramalong School Community Centre occupies the heritage site of the old Yarramalong Public School, which closed its doors in 2009 due to falling enrolments.
The Community Centre rose from the ashes of the school in 2014, after years of community action to prevent its sale to developers. The whole site is now a Crown Reserve held on trust by the Department of Planning and Infrastructure. It is managed by Yarramalong School Community Centre Inc. a community association run by and for, the Community.



SCHOOL HISTORY The establishment, in 1876, of Yarramalong Public School was a case of third time lucky for the colonial Council of Education. Two earlier schools – both called “Wyong Creek (Provisional) School” – were short-lived. The first, on Bunning Creek Rd, closed in 1871 after one year, due to conflict between the teacher and parents. The second was built in 1872, by residents, on Church of England land between the School of Arts hall and Summerlees Lane. Sadly, it burnt down that same year, probably due to arson.


1876 – School opens on the present site Undeterred, the colonial government allocated the current 10-acre hillside site for a Public School. In 1876, a timber building containing a school room and two smaller rooms for the teacher was opened. The location proved to be excessively damp, however, and the timber soon rotted. The original teacher, Miss Pescud, left in 1877 and was replaced by a well-educated ex-convict, George Palmer, who stayed until 1888. He was highly respected in the Valley and his descendants became significant property owners.



1891 – Current stone buildings erected In 1891, the old building was replaced by two new rubble stone buildings. Some of the timber was used to build a weather shed, which is still in use, at the rear. There were, by now, 44 children enrolled at the school, with an average daily attendance of 17. Farming families often needed the children at home. The new stone School Room and Teacher’s Cottage still stand. Built in an elevated position, with high front verandas, they remain essentially the same. The School Room windows were enlarged in the 1950’s and the veranda was, for a time, enclosed. The Teachers Cottage had four rooms plus a kitchen with a storeroom, washhouse and bathroom. An additional weatherboard sleeping-out veranda has been removed.


A MODERN PARTNERSHIP – DARKINJUNG BARKER Yarramalong School Community Centre Inc. leases part of the site, including the heritage –listed School Room and weather shed, to Barker College. In partnership with the Darkinjung Aboriginal Land Council, the College has established Darkinjung Barker primary school for local indigenous children. The schooling tradition of almost 150 years is thus continued and the rent paid to the Centre helps to maintain the grounds and buildings. The grounds, including sports field, Covered Outdoor Learning Area and School Room veranda are still used, outside school hours, by the Community Centre and the school community contributes to and participates in more general community activities, such as artisan markets, concerts and heritage arts festivals held on the site.


THE COMMUNITY CENTRE The Teacher’s Cottage now houses a local history and environment reference library. Three rooms are available for small community meetings and classes, such as music and art lessons, and for indoor exhibitions and displays. Plans for a playground and walking trail await funding.


YARRAMALONG SCHOOL COMMUNITY CENTRE INC. YSCC Inc. is an incorporated community association run by a Committee elected by its members. It was formed after the closure of the school by local people who wished to ensure that the site was not sold and remained available to the community. The association is a not-for-profit organisation and registered charity. Membership is open to the Yarramalong Community. Its objects include the promotion of activities for the social, cultural, and educational well-being of the community. It is also responsible for ensuring that funds are available to support the on-going maintenance and development of the historic site.




1875 – Site dedicated “for Education”

1876 – Classes commence in timber building

1891 – Stone classroom and cottage built

1983 – Cottage renovated after Heritage Council intervention

2008 – Final year of classes

2009 – Yarramalong School Community Centre (YSCC) Inc formed. Volunteers keep grounds tidy.

Sept 6, 2013 – Site rededicated “for community purposes”

Sept 10, 2013 – Bushfire burns right up to buildings

December, 2013 – YSCC Inc takes possession.

May 30, 2014 – Official Opening Celebration