Celebrate Education Week and the 150th anniversary of public education in Victoria

Commemorate the past, celebrate the present, and imagine the future during Education Week in May 2022

Victoria will celebrate Education Week from Sunday 22 May to Saturday 28 May 2022.

This year's Education Week will focus on a special milestone for Victoria, as we mark the 150th anniversary of public education in Victoria. Under the Education Act 1872, Victoria made education free and compulsory for all children aged 6 to 15 years.

Around 600 schools opened across the state in the 5 years following the passing of the Education Act – setting Victoria up for its future as the Education State. Since then, public education in Victoria has seen significant change.

The Victorian Government launched celebrations of the anniversary – one of Victoria's greatest achievements – on Monday 7 March 2022. The event was held at Melbourne's oldest continually operating government school, Essendon Primary School, which opened in 1850.

The event brought together a recognition of school life 150 years ago with the technology of today, highlighted with a Mars rover from the Strathmore Secondary Science Centre. The event also announced new school builds and compared what our new schools look like to the schools of 150 years ago.

Celebrate Education Week

Education Week activities and celebrations will explore the evolution of public education in our state.

All Victorians are encouraged to commemorate the past, celebrate the present, and imagine the future of education:

  • celebrate Education Week in your school, classrooms, assemblies, or through special activities such as exhibitions, events or displays that explore your school's history
  • invite local people and community organisations to speak to students about the impact of education in your area.

Not-for-profit organisations across Victoria are invited to host free Education Week activities for school students to join.

In the Wednesday 27 April 2022 edition of In Our Classrooms, we will share a calendar of free Education Week activities and a communications toolkit to help you celebrate.

Get involved in the 150th anniversary of public education in Victoria

Throughout 2022, we will continue to explore the evolution of all experiences in public education by sharing stories, videos, historical artefacts, and records.

You and your students can get involved by:

  • digging up stories from historic school photos and records on the Public Record Office of Victoria  website
  • contributing to a 150 years' digital time capsule: send photos, documents and other vintage school treasures that tell the story of Victoria's education history to the 150 years project team by email: 150years@education.vic.gov.au
  • visiting exhibitions, story-telling sessions, and special events run by our education partners such as the State Library of Victoria and the Public Record Office of Victoria
  • diving into Victoria's education history in Term 3 with a new Victorian curriculum resource to explore the history of individuals, families, and communities.

Find out more

Visit the 150th anniversary of public education in Victoria.

For further enquiries, or to share your school's Education Week story, contact the Education Week team by email: education.week@education.vic.gov.au