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Killara High School

Killara High School

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Killara High School in the 1980s:


In 1980, separate winter and summer sports presentation assemblies were held. KHS also awarded major sporting awards to successful students on Speech Day.

In 1980, of KHS’s HSC candidates in History, 40% of 2 Unit Modern History and 36% of 2 Unit Ancient History were placed in the top 30% of the State.

In 1980, a Driver Education Program used a new car – a Holden Gemini – from Sundell Motors. The program was directed towards improving the driving skills and safety consciousness of students who had recently gained the Provisional Driver’s license.

In 1980, a family sports day was held on the Koola Avenue oval on a Sunday in March.  There were stalls, entertainment and food and drinks, as well as raffle tickets for an original cartoon signed and dated by well-known cartoonist. Tickets were $1.00 each and the proceeds of the day were to benefit KHS students through P&C funds.

In 1980, KHS had a number of student teachers from the following teaching facilities:

  • Alexander Mackie College (two Art student teachers)
  • Ku-ring-gai College of Advance Education (five English/History student teachers and four Home Economics student teachers)
  • Sydney Teacher’s College (two Industrial Arts student teachers)

In 1980, some of the activities on the Ladies’ Auxiliary program included:

  • a supper dance
  • a ‘Crazy Whist’ evening
  • Marion Street Theatre (Comedy)
  • an outing to the Mike Walsh Show [Television chat show]
  • an outing to the ‘Spanish Horses’
  • Melbourne Cup
  • a Christmas party

In 1980, KHS held its 9th Annual Arts and Crafts Exhibition. Paintings from some of Sydney’s top galleries and some local talented artists were on display. Other work on display included pottery, and works in silver, pewter, batik and weaving.  A well-known vocalist performed songs by ‘Gilbert and Sullivan’ at the exhibition.

In 1980, the cottage on the KHS site was being considered for further improvements including: setting up a careers centre in the downstairs room; and locating the resource teacher, the migrant English teacher and the teacher of hearing-impaired children in the various rooms upstairs. It was also a meeting place for such groups as the Ladies’ Auxiliary and for debating.

In 1980 it was decided to hold class dinners for the parents of year 7 KHS students to assist in parents getting to know one another. The first of these dinners was held in July 1980 and the parents of children in year 7 ‘Violet’ and ‘Indigo’ were invited to attend.

In 1980, excursions took place at the following venues:

  • year 8 Commerce class visited the J. Water Thompson Advertising Agency
  • year 9 and 10 students of German visited a German restaurant
  • year 10 excursion was to The Sydney Morning Herald [newspaper]
  • year 11 Geography students to Windsor
  • year 12 General Studies visit to Sydney Teacher’s College
  • year 12 Home Economics students visited the Sydney Food School at Ryde
  • Library Prefects had an excursion during Book Week.

In 1980, 19% of KHS year 12 HSC candidates gained places in the top 10% of the State, whilst 75% of KHS candidates gained a place in the top 50% of the State.

In 1980, a KHS year 12 English student scored 148/150 in the HSC examination.

In 1980, 50% of the KHS 3 Unit Modern History students, and 37% of the 2 Unit Modern History students were placed in the top 20% of the State candidature for their respective levels in the HSC.

In 1980, some of the History excursions for KHS were to the following locations:

  • The Rocks
  • Parramatta
  • Kurnell
  • Hill End

Film excursions in 1980 for KHS History students were to:

  • All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Anne of a Thousand Days
  • Cromwell
  • A Man for all Seasons
  • Potemki
  • Spartacus

In 1980, adult classes were held at KHS in the evening. Some of the classes were:

  • art metal
  • Chinese cooking
  • dressmaking
  • gardening
  • German (advanced and beginners class)
  • interior decoration
  • jazz ballet
  • pottery
  • upholstery
  • woodwork
  • yoga


In 1981, two year 12 HSC students were placed in the top 1% of the candidature, and ten students gained over 400 marks, placing them in the top 5% of the candidature. 77% of KHS year 12 students were placed in the top half of the state side candidature, meaning that more that ¾ of KHS’s candidates gained above average results.

In 1981, highlights in the Careers Department for students and staff were in the following events:

  • year 8: the re-introduction of career lessons within the health program at KHS (five lessons)
  • years 9 and 10: careers lessons (on a rotational system)
  • year 10: Work Experience Program in April, where one hundred and eighty-eight students spent a week in a wide range of careers areas including: advertising, architecture, graphic design, hairdressing, computing, health care areas, stockbroking, teaching, plumbing, architecture, and electronics
  • a 2nd Work Experience Program in September
  • years 10 and 12  North Shore Careers Market
  • year 12: Special Career interview
  • attendance at University and College Open Days

1981 was the 5th year in succession that KHS has joined the charity, Stewart House’s 1000 Club for exceeding an annual contribution of $1000. In 1981, KHS contributed $1200 to Stewart House.

In July 1981, a reunion of KHS year 12 students was held at the Gordon Golf Club. About seventy-five students and staff attended. Due to the Higher School Certificates arriving the day of this function, the KHS Principal, Mr Bradford was able to present certificate to those ex-students who were present.

In August 1981, submissions regarding the four-term year were asked for from parents by the P&C Association. Parents’ views on the subject were asked for and it was suggested that they make them known in writing to: the Minister for Education; the Member for Gordon; the Chairman of the Four Term Year Working Party – Member for East Hills; and the Executive Officer for the Working Party in the Department of Education.

In 1981, KHS had two overseas exchange students with them sponsored by the Rotary clubs. They were two female students – one was from South Africa, and the other was from Japan.

In 1981, KHS undertook special projects for Earth Week via the library. To highlight KHS’s own good fortune in having natural bushland close at hand to explore and study, the Northern Districts Centre conducted a month-long program. It comprised an informative display of photographs, charts, maps and literature on bushland sites and reserves in the Northern Districts, culminating in a panel evening in June. There was also mention made of the Benowie Walking Track (Pennants Hills – Berowra) that had just been opened.

In 1981, year 12 KHS History students had a series of three films on the topic of ‘Propaganda and the Media’. A lecturer in Media Studies at the Mitchell College of Advanced Education participated with the students for a commentary for each of the films shown.

In 1981, The RAAF Careers Officer visited KHS and spoke to interested students in year 10-12.

In 1981, a talk was given to KHS years 7-9 students on the responsibilities of dog ownership. A film was obtained, and a Ku-ring-gai dog ranger gave a talk.

Some of the excursions that took place for KHS students in 1981 were:

  • year 7 Geography: visited Windsor and Richmond
  • year 8 Commerce: visited the Hornsby Law Courts
  • years 8-10 Textiles: went to the “Fabulous Fashion’ exhibition
  • year 9 History : visited Macquarie Towns
  • year 9 Geography: visited Sydney’s industrial areas of Botany and Matraville
  • year 10 Home Economics: visited the ‘Summit Restaurant’ to study commercial cooking and food presentation; as well as the housing restoration and development in The Rocks area
  • years 10 and 12 music: an excursion to study the stage production of Evita
  • year 11 Geology: a visit to the Mining Museum
  • year 11 Geography: a visit to Manly Vale Water Research Foundation

In 1981, KHS students participated in the Australian Mathematics Competition. 197,000 entries from 2,007 schools made it one of the most significant mathematics competitions in the world. Over eight hundred students were eligible for monetary prizes. The results for KHS were as follows:

  • year 7:  26 entries, 13 Distinctions, 11 Credits
  • year 8:  30 entries, 10 Distinctions, 12 Credits
  • year 9:  17 entries, 1 Prize, 4 Distinctions, 6 Credits
  • year 10: 20 entries, 2 Prizes, 8 Distinctions, 4 Credits
  • year 11: 15 entries, 4 Distinctions, 7 Credits
  • Year 12: 14 entries,  4 Distinctions, 4 Credits

Certificates and prizes were presented at a special prize giving assembly by the Manager of the Bank of NSW, Lindfield Branch on August 26, 1981.

In 1981, a year 12 KHS female student of Japanese won 1st prize in the National Finals of the Japanese Language Speech Contest held in September. Her speech ‘New Year’ was awarded 1st prize – which was a free return ticket to Japan via Japan Airlines, one of the main sponsors of the event.

In May 1981, KHS celebrated Shakespeare’s birthday in the form of creating an Elizabethan fair at the school. There were presentations of scenes from some of Shakespeare’s plays and many of the staff portrayed characters from his plays, culminating in a Tudor version of ‘Personality Squares’. A number of competitions took place on the day including:

  • an Elizabethan costume competition
  • a juggling and acrobatic contest
  • a food-making contest
  • an art competition
  • a map-drawing competition
  • a maths/science poster competition
  • a musical composition competition
  • a Globe Theatre/Elizabethan set construction competition
  • a Shakespearean oration contest (in the A Block quad)

A feast took place on the front lawn of the school. Each class would be asked to provide itself with an Elizabethan-type feast at lunch. A competition for the best decorated class table took place. A year 10 KHS band entertained in the canteen area. In the main quad, exhibitions of fencing, and royal bowls were given. Portable 1 had been transformed into an Elizabethan Inn by year 12 students who re-named the portable the Boar’s Head Tavern. In the A Block quad, 12E1 presented the Falstaff-Prince Hall charade scene from King Henry IV, Part I and 12E2 presented a humorous western version of the same scene. Students participated in a variety of Elizabethan games and activities such as the greasy pole, ducking for apples, pitching the bar, and horseshoes. This was out on Area 4 where year 11 organised these activities. Two different markets functioned during the afternoon – a ‘barter’ market to which students could bring items to exchange, and a ‘bargaining’ market. A group of ‘obnoxious performers’ carried out roles such as lepers, as well as jesters, executioners and also Merlin. Parents were invited to attend and participate.

In 1981, a KHS year 12 male Mathematics student was one of only sixty students selected from NSW to attend the 13th National Mathematics Summer School conducted at the Australian National University. He was also successful in winning a prize in the 1981 University of NSW School Mathematics Competition.

In 1981, various KHS students participated in the following youth activities held by several service clubs:

  • a year 11 KHS student Quota Club ‘Student of the Year’ participant
  • a year 11 and year 12 KHS student received Merit Awards from Rotary
  • two year 11 KHS students participated in the Lions Club ‘Youth of the Year’.

In 1981, due to the success of the KHS Language Festival over the last two years, it was decided to broaden the concept in order to involve as many students as possible, and to encourage all the subject departments in the school to include a segment on multicultural studies into their Term 2 program. Year 10 language students once again acted as co-ordinators. KHS students experienced the culinary delights of sushi, ‘bangers’, quiches, German sausages, pizzas, damper and tacos. Those preferring the quieter conditions could try the Japanese Tea House, the English Tearoom or the Franco-German café. Entertainment ranged from a program of films, a parade of national costumes, rickshaw rides, dances of various lands, origami, and calligraphy.

In 1981, twenty-eight year 10 KHS students participated in a 2nd Work Experience Program. This program was made available to those students who were hoping to leave school at the end of the year. Careers represented included:

  • aircraft and motor mechanics
  • banking
  • butchery
  • cabinet making
  • carpentry
  • computing
  • electrical trades
  • food demonstrating
  • graphic design
  • hairdressing
  • metal trades
  • nursing
  • plumbing
  • real estate
  • receptionist work
  • veterinary work

Most students used, wherever possible local area resources. Some however, travelled to Bankstown, Revesby and Birchgrove areas.

In 1981, KHS history film excursions for junior years were to: Manganinnie, Breaker Morant and Gallipoli.

In 1981, highlights in the Language Department for students and staff were in the following events:

  • year 7: all student experienced three languages taught at KHS  – French, German and Japanese tasted German bread, sausages and cheeses, while others tried French patisseries. They also cooked yakitori.
  • eight year 7 KHS students attended an International Camp organised by the Modern Languages Teachers’ Association.
  • eight year 7 KHS joined ninety other students from all over Sydney at an International Language Camp, held at Narrabeen.
  • year 11:the introduction of Z courses – beginner ’s courses.
  • year 12:  Japanese students went to Japan for the holidays, then twelve Japanese students from Kofu and their teacher visited KHS.

In 1981, highlights in the Industrial Department for students and staff were in the following events:

  • year 9:  produced an assortment of clock cases
  • year 10: cabinet maker students made a variety of desks.
  • year 11: attended a practical day at Sydney Technical College where various testing machines were observed in operation, and prepared concrete and timber pieces were tested to destruction
  • year 11 and 12: Engineering Science studied by some students
  • year 12: a seminar at the Institute of Industrial Arts, Chatswood for  Engineering Science students

In 1981, highlights in the Home Science Department for students and staff were in the following events:

  • year 10: visit to the Summit Restaurant, to inspect the kitchens and storage facilities
  • year 11: a morning spent at Killara Park and St David’s Kindergartens, observing young children
  • year 12: textiles students visited the workrooms and display rooms of Carla Zampatti [Australian fashion designer]
  • textile students visited the ‘Fabulous Fashion’ display at the Art Gallery

In 1981, highlights in the Social Science Department for students and staff were in the following events:

  • year 7:   geography students’ excursion to the Windsor/Richmond area
  • year 8:   geography students’ field study of the Minnamurra Falls area
  • year 9:   commerce students’ excursion to Fairfax Newspapers and the OTC
  • year 10: commerce students’ excursion to the Law Courts in the city, and the Commonwealth Banking Corporation’s (CBC) computer division
  • year 12:  geography trip to Scott’s Head


In 1982, a year 12 HSC male student (1981 cohort) had his batik ‘Garden Quilt’ selected for display at the HSC Major Works Exhibition. The Department of Education was so impressed with it that they offered to purchase it for their permanent collection.

In 1982, a dental survey (which had commenced in Nov-Dec 1981) was completed with years 7, 11 and 12. Students were examined by visiting dentists. Their report was very favourable concerning the dental health of KHS students, with very few referrals to the students’ own dentists for remedial work. The impressive number of student who did not have fillings was linked, it was thought, to the water fluoridation program, coupled with good dental care learned at home.

In 1982, the Channel 9 Television Network allocated NSW over $6,000 for grants in film and video making for school students of all ages. The KHS Teacher-Librarian, made the appeal to parents, and offered the assistance of a video camera and a ‘new’ Super-8 camera if they wished to apply for the grant.

In 1982, KHS an Anzac Commemoration service was held, and two KHS Prefects were speakers at a local public school’s Anzac Commemoration service on 23rd April.

In 1982, Navy Careers Officers met KHS students interested in a Naval career.

In 1982, the theme for Book Week was in line with ‘The Year of the Tree’ as its slogan was ‘Branch out with books’.

On Friday April 16 1982, KHS celebrated ‘Dickens Day’. As part of the celebrations on the day, an ‘Oxford-Cambridge boat race’ was staged on the main quad.

In 1982, three groups of year 10 and 11 KHS Home Science students visited Qantas Catering, where food was prepared daily for the twenty-one international airlines which fly out of Sydney. KHS years 10-12 Home Science students also visited the College of Catering Studies and Hotel Administration, where former KHS students were studying.


KHS was the school selected by the newspaper, The Sydney Morning Herald, for a survey of attitudes of students in June, 1983. Students were interviewed and questioned on the reasons for the high retention rate at KHS. The message was clear – parents and teachers expect the pupils to stay at school, to attend regularly and to develop their potential to the fullest.

In 1983, as a direct result of funding by the P&C Association, KHS was well equipped with twelve Microbee computers, ‘devices which will allow the school to add significantly to the relevance of the educational services that it offers in the eighties’, said the Maths Head Teacher in the 1982 Green Years Maths Report.

In 1983, the idea of encouraging students of a foreign language to obtain a penfriend in the relevant country was given special emphasis, where nearly all students corresponding with at least one student of a similar age in a foreign country.

In 1983, a KHS female ex-student became the first woman swimmer to receive a full athletic and study scholarship to George Washington University in Washington DC. She also became the first woman on the college’s swimming team.

In 1983, two hundred ex-students from HSC years 1973-1975 had a reunion day at the house in November.


In 1984, 48% of the KHS students who sat the Home Science examination in the HSC were in the top 10% of the State. 71% were in the top 20% of the state.

By 1984, KHS was supporting six disadvantaged children via World Vision, throughout the world. The children were from Taiwan, the Philippines, Nigeria, Ecuador, India and Guatemala. The KHS prefects and year 12 students collected the money at roll call each Thursday.


In 1985, 71% of KHS students who sat the HSC were placed in the top 50% of the state.

In 1985, the Student Representative Council (SRC) was established.

In 1985, the Social Science Faculty [now part of the Human Society and its Environments (HSIE) Key Learning Area] organised excursions for the following groups of KHS students:

  • year 12 Geography – South Coast Region
  • year 11 Geography – Hawkesbury River
  • year 10 Geography – Canberra/Goulburn
  • year 10 Geography – Hunter Valley Region
  • year 9 Commerce – The Stock Exchange
  • year 8 Commerce – Ku-Ring-Gai Council

In 1985, student numbers grew at KHS. In Year 11 there were 207 students, and in year 12 there were 167 students. The peak enrolment of 1195 at KHS included 17 students temporarily attending the Intensive Language Centre at Chatswood. There were 81 members of staff.


In 1986, KHS’s third Principal retired after ten years as Principal. KHS’s fourth Principal was appointed principal and took up his position in 1987. 

In 1986, KHS’s School Prefects combined the Prefects theme of ‘Killara Cares‘ into a theme of ‘Killara cares about Killara.’

The Prefects also decided that a major concern was the safety of transport to and from school. They produced a ‘Transport Safety Booklet’ outlining the rules and hints for getting to school safely. This was coordinated with visits from members of the police force patrolling the area after school, as well as safety lectures and posters. They also ran a competition on safety with a ‘stack-hat’ donated by the police force as a prize.


In 1987, KHS achieved the 3rd highest aggregate by a State High School in the 1987 HSC. The top schools were Dubbo South HS, North Sydney Boys HS, with 3rd place being shared by KHS, Sydney Boys HS and Wiley Park Girls HS. There were approximately thirty students throughout the entire state in both state and private schools who scored 480 or more. KHS boasted two out of that thirty.

In 1987, a new English syllabus for years 7-10 was introduced. The new assessment procedures for HSC English was now in its second year.

In 1987, thanks to funding by the P&C Association, the Social Science Department [now part of the Human Society and its Environments (HSIE)] gained ready access to a Microbee Computer and printer. The equipment was use for lesson preparation, storage of teaching programs, trialling new software packages and recording student marks.

In 1987, the staff at KHS were attempting to develop a student welfare program. A Statement of Rights and Responsibilities was also developed for both students and staff at KHS. The Discipline Committee which had been meeting in 1987 for the previous eighteen months, also recommended introducing the Levels System, which ‘offers a balance of discipline and commendation, consistency, documentation and centralised record keeping.’ The system was adapted from programs operating successfully in other schools throughout the State. A Pilot Scheme was to be introduced in fourth term, 1987, before implementation in 1988.

In 1987, KHS was internally painted throughout the school. 

In 1987, the P&C ‘let’ a contract for one year (i.e. fourteen) ‘lawn mowings’ of the school grounds for $5,000.


In 1988, KHS won the Royal Lifesaving Society’s E.A. Fry trophy for the highest number of lifesaving award points by a co-educational high school. The same trophy was awarded to KHS in 1989 also.

In 1988, a KHS ex-student, and great grandson of the founder of the company Bruce & Walsh, (Sydney jewellers since 1902), returned from Switzerland as an honours graduate in watch industry management at the CFH institute.  


In 1989, KHS was declared a Centre of Excellence in Modern Languages, in recognition of the school’s fine programs and widely known initiatives over many years.

In 1989, preliminary planning by a designated Computer Coordinator for a long-term computer education program began to take shape. The aim was to make best use of grant money that had been made available by the Government, so that the priority in 1989 and 1990 was given to staff development with the view of having the computer in use in many subject areas. The purchased of appropriate hardware and software resulted in Computer Studies being offered in 1991.

In 1989, KHS HSC Students became the first Metropolitan North pupils to receive portfolios. Issued by the Board of Secondary Education, the portfolios provide students with a record of their school achievements to present to employers. Each portfolio contains the certificates and credentials the student gained at school and suggestions for preparing a resume, a job application and dealing with interviews.

In 1989, a year 11 KHS student was invited to attend the 22nd National Summer School in Mathematics.

In 1989  the Community Relations division of the Department of Education has continued to ask KHS ‘to play host‘ to overseas educationalists and touring groups of teachers wishing to observe the fine work being done within KHS.

In 1989, the P&C provided funds to the Home Science faculty for an overlocker.

In 1989, KHS’s School Administration team were in the process of changing all school records over to the OASIS School Information System. This entailed entering all relevant information onto computer.

In 1989, a KHS History staff member was asked on behalf of KHS to consult with A.A. Hudson in their proposed restoration of ‘Rose Cottage’ – the oldest timber building in Australia. KHS was asked to advise on how it could best be incorporated into the educational process.

In 1989, forty-two year 12 KHS Physics students went on an excursion to inspect the nuclear reactor at Lucas Heights in south-west Sydney. They had a tour of the main building; an inspection of the facilities for packaging radioactive products; and viewed a film of the latest developments in the attempts to build a viable fusion reactor.

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