​The Boonah State School began as the Dugandan Provisional School. Soon after selectors established their homes, they looked for an education for their children. On 19th Janu​​ary 1878 James Johnson wrote to the Department of Education asking for a provisional school. With the approval of the Department, the parents quickly built a slab hut, measuring 20 by 12 feet on the new school reserve, approximately where the police station is today. The statistics for 1878 show that there were 9 boys and 12 girls enrolled. The original slab hut was soon superseded by a better building and was moved to church street to be used as a barn.​

school building in black and white school buildings and grounds in black and white

While most rural schools in Queensland remained static during this period, Dugandan school continued to grow. However it remained as the Dugandan school at Boonah until 1895 when the Department recognised that everyone in the area called it Boonah, and officially changed it's name.

At this time the school buildings sat on a 18 acre reserve.

The School and the Showground

In the early 1890's, locals began to think about having their own local show. In June 1891, they held a meeting to form a local show society. They needed land and petitioned for part of the school ground to be given to them. In late 1896, this request was granted and 5 acres was surrendered to the Dugandan Pastoral and Agricultural Society. The society held shows on this land ( where our oval is now) until 1910, when it was moved to it's current position.

The School and the Hospital

Soon after losing 5 acres for a showground, the school also ssurrendered another 5 acres for the hospital. The school committee thought this was a worthy cause and did not object to the lose of land.

The Rural School

Boonah State School was only up tp class 5. For those who were academic, examinations were held each year and a lucky one or two received scholarships to continue study at Grammar School. There was no other option. In 1916 the Department proposed opening a rural school in conjunction with the Boonah State School. The Boonah Rural School opened at the end of 1919, along with other additions to the buildings. The Rural School served not just Boonah but all the surrounding areas as well. The original building is still in use.

The Centenary - 100 years

'A glorious day fitting a glorious occasion' is how Mr Colin McDade described the Boonah State School Centenary Celebrations. The event drew an enormous crowd. The celebration started promptly at 11.30 with a procession from Dugandan to the school. Boonah school students in their house colours marched to the music of their own fife and drum band. Bullocks heaved, steel wheeled tractors crunched and women in period costume stepped proudly along the main streets.

Present Day

The Boonah State School recently celebrated 134 years as a school. With the recent addition of the multi million dollar Resource Centre and Multi Purpose Hall, the Boonah State School continues to be a vital and thriving part of the Boonah community.
Last reviewed 31 May 2022
Last updated 31 May 2022