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History of Our School's Current Location

The Sunbury Industrial School located on Jackson's Hill in Sunbury, Victoria, Australia, was a school developed to educate and house destitute children from 1864 until 1879.


A 1,000-acre (4.0 km2) site was put aside in Sunbury following the implementation of the Neglected and Criminal Children's Act of 1864. Destitute or orphaned children were sent as wards of the state to learn a trade in the belief that this may then provide them with the skills necessary (once they were old enough), to provide and care for themselves. The school consisted of ten large, unheated, bluestone buildings arranged in two rows of five.


The site was used as an asylum for the mentally ill from 1894 until around 1912. By 1914 at its peak, the Sunbury Lunatic Asylum housed 1000 patients. The asylum was renamed a psychiatric hospital and then a mental hospital. By 1968 until 1992, the site was called the Caloola Training Centre for the Intellectually Disabled.


In 1999 Sunbury Primary School relocated from it's original site on Macedon Street to Jackson's Hill. If you look at the map, the buildings of our schools mirror each other in a beautiful display of the architecture of the 1860s. The Sunbury and Macedon Ranges Specialist School occupies the buildings that were on the female side of the Industrial School (added to the site in 1865), and Sunbury Primary on the male side (The first buildings upon the site in 1864.) Our School administration building is the once living quarters of the 5 teachers and 7 trade educators of that time.


We are very proud to be part of Sunbury’s earliest history and proudly pay tribute to the founding members of the town in various ways.  

Our current buildings were occupied by both the Sunbury Asylum and Caloola Training Centre during the 1900’s. Their history is just as extensive and detailed as our own. Where possible, we are able to educate our students and the parent community on this incredible history with a fortunate location to do so.

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