Farrar School for the Deaf

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Founded in February 1946 by Miss A B Burns as a Private School in response to a demand for oral education and in the hope that a small day school would, through parent education and co-operation allow more children to reach a higher educational standard than applied generally, except for individual outstanding cases. Miss J.N. Henry was on the staff as the Kindergarten Teacher.

Name of the school

The name Farrar was used in honour of the outstanding life and work of Abraham Farrar who was the first deaf Englishman on record as having attained high academic qualification.


Nittor Doneo Supero -I strive until I overcome.

Location of the school

From 1946 to end of 1949, the school was held in St James House, Croydon, in rooms rented from St. James Church, and used by that church on Sundays. From November 1949 to December 1962 the school was situated at 421 Liverpool Road Ashfield. These premises were bought and renovated by Miss A. D. Burns and Miss E. C. Cole, the latter having joined as co-principal in 1948.

In May 1952 at the request of the owners, the Government of N.S.W. bought the premises, furnishings and fittings, undertaking to preserve the character and standards of the school, i.e. a small, oral, day school where conven¬tional signing was not used either in or out of school. It thus became the first NSW Departmental School for the Deaf. Owing to the need for more room the parents, and parents of children who wore waiting to enrol their children, contributed £450 which was almost the whole cost of erecting a portable room, with materials supplied by the government. This was opened in May 1953.

In December 1962 a fine, new, special building was opened, provided wholly by the government. It consists of five classrooms, all especially acoustically treated, and three with one-way observation panels; offices, clinic etc. Much special auditory and visual equipment is in continual use, some provided by the P. & C Fund. A memorial garden of Australian native plants decorates the grounds to commemorate the forty years, almost, in which Miss Elsie C. Cole taught the deaf, and the deafened, with outstanding success in NSW. The money for this memorial and its upkeep has been contributed by ex-pupils, friends, colleagues, relations of Miss Cole and the parents of present Farrar pupils. On October 19th the new building was Officially Opened by the Hon. the Premier of NSW, R. J. Heffron Esq., with Mr. David Hunter MLA, Ald. Colliss of Canterbury and Dr. H. S. Wyndham taking part. Pupils and ex-pupils of the school also took part in the programme, and Miss A. D. Burns supported one of the latter, Mr. J. L. Fletcher in an address of appreciation.

Immediately after the Opening the Commemorative Stone of the Elsie Cole Memorial Garden was unveiled by Mr. David Hunter who spoke briefly and appreciatively of Miss Cole's work. He was thanked by another ex-pupil of the school, Mr. B. C. Cook.

This information is from an unknown source found in the archives at Campsie Library.