Why Ravenswood

Our History

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The whole school c.1907

In January 1901, founding Headmistress, Miss Mabel Fidler (1901–1924), commenced classes in a schoolroom built adjacent to her home, in Henry Street, Gordon. This home, shared with her two sisters and two brothers, was named ‘Ravenswood’ after their family home in Paddington, NSW.

Mabel Fidler had been a student at the highly esteemed Argyle School, the alma mater of many notable women of the day. With its advanced ideas on the status and education of women, the Argyle School contributed to the future career of Mabel Fidler and to her goals for educating girls. Many of her Ravenswood students went on to university, obtaining degrees in Medicine, Science and Arts at a time when female graduates were rare.

In 1925, the Methodist Church purchased the school ensuring its future and reinforcing the Christian philosophy. After several very independent Headmistresses who found it difficult to work under the control of MLC Burwood, a period of stability emerged when Miss Kathleen Crago (1932–1961), together with the Rev F W Hynes, who was instrumental in the introduction of boarding in 1935, guided Ravenswood to independence in 1946 and to single control in 1949.

Ravenswood has been a Uniting Church School since 1977 and a member of the Association of Heads of Independent Girls’ Schools (AHIGS).

In 2016, Ravenswood welcomed its tenth Principal, Mrs Anne Johnstone.

The school’s history: Ravenswood – Educating Girls 1901-2001 by Marjorie Binns, was published in 2001 and copies of this comprehensive publication are available from the Ravenswood Archives Office. Contact archives@ravenswood.nsw.edu.au for more information.