Hon John Castrilli MLA

Hon John Castrilli MLA

Former Minister for Local Government; Heritage; Citizenship and Multicultural Interests

    Balcatta SHS is heritage listed

    30/11/2011 12:00 AM
    • Balcatta Senior High School enters the State Register of Heritage Places
    • School proudly promotes multiculturalism
    Western Australia’s multiculturalism has been celebrated through the State heritage listing of Balcatta Senior High School.

    Heritage and Citizenship and Multicultural Interests Minister John Castrilli said the school was built in 1966 to cater for the wave of children born after World War II, many to parents who migrated to WA in the post-war period.

    “The 1950s and 60s population boom drove the rapid expansion of Perth’s northern suburbs, with new subdivisions proving very popular with European migrants pursuing the dream of building their own homes,” Mr Castrilli said.

    “As the northern-most school in the Perth metropolitan area at that time, many of the children of new migrants attended Balcatta Senior High School, resulting in a multicultural school population.”

    The tradition continues today and the school proudly promotes itself as a multicultural school with more than 40 nationalities represented amongst its students.

    Balcatta was built at a time of great change in the education system, and this is reflected in the school’s buildings.

    “Secondary education became co-educational and free; the school leaving age was raised to 15; and there was a focus on specialised academic and pre-vocational training courses, resulting in purpose-built science blocks.” the Minister said.

    Balcatta was also among the first government schools to be designed by private architects. Prominent architect Marshall Clifton designed Balcatta along Mediterranean lines, making it one of the few post-war Mediterranean-style public buildings in WA.

    In 1973, Balcatta was chosen as the second State school to specialise in art, which resulted in photography and graphics rooms, and a ceramics centre being built. The 1990 Specialist Art Centre is believed to be the only dedicated art gallery in the State to be located within a school.

    Fact File
    • The State Register of Heritage Places is managed by the Heritage Council of WA. For more information about the history of the school go to http://www.heritage.wa.gov.au
    Minister's office - 9213 6800