Our History

In the 1880s, the Auburn area was growing rapidly. The local authorities made plans to open a new school.

On April 8th 1889 the Auburn State School No 2948 was opened in a rented hall on Queens Ave, on the other side of Auburn Road, around one kilometre from the current school grounds.

Part of the current site on Rathmines Road was purchased a few months later in June 1889 and work commenced on the new school. It was opened on October 14th 1890 with 402 students. The first building is the one you see in the photograph above and little change has been made to the building’s facade.
Three years later, more than six hundred students and staff were crammed into six class rooms.
An adjacent hall on Rathmines Road was hired in 1899 to ease the overcrowding and in 1901 the rear of the main building was extended. More land for playgrounds was purchased in 1905.
By 1911, the school was again very overcrowded.  An infant school had been proposed and this was opened on October 10th 1913. This is the classroom block that now houses the Prep area. It was built in a similar style to the main classroom block on Rathmines Road.
 In the same year a further playground area was purchased to the North of the school and shortly after the gazebo was constructed.  This is the same gazebo our current junior students play in just behind the junior play equipment.

The War Years

While the school flourished the world was at war.   404 former students served in World War One. 70 did not return. They are commemorated on a Roll of Honour at the school.
By the end of World War One, the school had expanded to 1060 students and was again becoming overcrowded.  In 1923 and 1924 further land was purchased as it became available.
A large extension was added to the rear of the main building in 1925 adding a further eight classrooms.   A new caretaker’s house and the sandpit shed were built in 1927.  The children still play under the same sandpit structure nearly a hundred years later.

A New Name

In 1926 the school became the Auburn Central School offering classes designed for students wanting to go on to secondary school.  Despite the tough times in the 1930s, a shelter shed was built in 1930 from donations and a small cottage was purchased in 1935 to complete the frontage on Rathmines Road.
Many former students served in World War Two but the precise numbers are unavailable.
The school continued through the war and in 1952 a final parcel of land was purchased that connected the school to Harcourt Street. This land is now known as the back paddock and is a favourite spot for football in the winter months.
A school hall on the site of the new construction works was added in 1963.

Auburn Primary School

In 1971, the school became Auburn Primary School.
An art and photography centre was added in 1974 and the library was redeveloped shortly afterwards. A significant renovation in 1983 to the main building and original junior school building kept the school up to date with modern requirements.

1989 Centenary

In preparation for the school's Centenary the playgrounds were landscaped and a very well attended Back to School day was held in 1989. Many former students attended and many of the school’s photographs and archived documents were put on display.
In 1998 the main building, infant school, gazebo, and two shelter sheds were considered to be of historic significance to the State and were added to the Victorian Heritage Register (VHR 1707).
A new building was added in 2011, the spacious modern classrooms that house the Year 1 and 2 students. All other classrooms were renovated from 2012 and 2014, to enhance the open plan learning philosophy.


Today Auburn Primary experiences strong enrolment demand and has almost 500 students. The school has been zoned, restricting attendance to those in the local community.

All areas of the school have now been renovated, including the old bike shed which has been refurbished into a kitchen and Science area, and will support our garden program.

Auburn has always been known to have a strong, supportive community which traditionally maintain deep connections to the school. This was evident in the number of  former staff, pupils and families who returned to visit to mark our 125th birthday in 2014.

It is also evident in the hundreds who arrive to support the children at events such as Grandparents’ and Special Friends’ Morning, learning celebrations and social activities.

While new buildings give a sense of renewal, there is much that remains traditional, and highly valued, by the Auburn community.