Open main menu

The Forest High School (New South Wales)

The Forest High School, (abbreviation TFHS) is a government day school located in Frenchs Forest, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, on Frenchs Forest Road. It is a co-educational secondary school operated by the New South Wales Department of Education with students ranging from grades 7 to 12. The school was established in 1961 as a secondary school for the Northern Beaches area. Students at the school come predominantly from Frenchs Forest, Oxford Falls, Beacon Hill, and Allambie Heights.

The Forest High School
The Forest High School Crest
Coordinates33°45′0.88″S 151°13′49.59″E / 33.7502444°S 151.2304417°E / -33.7502444; 151.2304417
TypePublic, secondary, co-educational, day school
MottoLatin: Spectemur Agendo
(Let Us Be Judged By Our Actions.)
EstablishedJanuary 1961[1]
PrincipalRosemary McDowall
Enrolment~718 (7–12)[2]
Campus135 Frenchs Forest Road
Colour(s)Green, gold and red             


The formation of The Forest High School was the result of a campaign by a representative body known as The Forest High School Promotion Committee formed on 1 November 1958. The committee members were anxious to have established a co-educational high school that would cater for the educational needs of the suburbs of Frenchs Forest, Forestville, Beacon Hill and Terrey Hills and Narraweena.[3]

On 31 January 1961, Stage One of construction was completed and The Forest High School opened with an initial enrolment of 318 students and a staff of 14 teachers under the principalship of Edward George Bell, who had been headmaster of Fairfield Boys' High School.[4][5] The latin school motto Spectemur Agendo - let us be judged by our actions - was chosen by the pioneer students and staff, while the school crest was designed by the art teacher. Originally called "French's Forest High School", on 2 August 1961 the Minister for Education, Ernest Wetherell announced the name had changed to "The Forest High School".[6]

By 1963, Stage Three of the building program was completed with the three major buildings and enrolments had increased to 963 students. 1963 also saw the completion of the Assembly Hall in time for the second annual Speech Night on 9 April. The School magazine, "Yarrabee", was first issued in the same year.[3]

By 1964 it was considered that the school had reached the level necessary for an official opening. This occurred on Saturday 24 October 1964, attended by the Director-General of Education, Harold Wyndham, the state Member for Wakehurst, Dick Healey, and the Minister for Education, Ernest Wetherell, and was officially opened by the Governor of New South Wales, Lieutenant-General Sir Eric Woodward.[3]

The 1960s witnessed the beginnings of the musical program with the formation of the school orchestra, band and choir. The Forest high won the 1963 trophies for Inter-Zone junior athletics and swimming. In 1969 D block and the gymnasium were opened to accommodate the growing number of students. The final stage of building was completed in 1976 with the opening of the Library.[3]

Potential school moveEdit

In late 2016, it was revealed that the site of The Forest High School was being considered for rezoning by the Department of Planning and Environment, which would see the school replaced by a new high-density Frenchs Forest town centre next to the Northern Beaches Hospital and the school moved to a new site in the suburb at or near the Warringah Aquatic Centre on the other side of Warringah Road.[7][8] However, this draft plan remains in public consideration and no decision has yet been made as of March 2018.[9]


Years Principal
1961–1965 Edward George Bell B.Sc. Dip.Ed.
1966–1977 F. Bailey B.Ec.
1977–1983 L. R. Woods B.Sc. Dip.Ed.
1984–1985 J. Hensley B.A. Dip.Ed.
1986–1992 M. Armstrong B.A. Dip.Ed.
1992–2002 Patrick Kidd B.A. Dip.Ed
2002–2008 Peter Gillam M.Ed. B.A. B.Ec. Grad.Dip.Ed.
2009–present Rosemary McDowall B.A. B.Ed. Dip.Ed.

Notable alumniEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "The Forest High - Cumberland". History of New South Wales government schools. NSW Department of Education. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  2. ^ "The Forest High School". School Locator. NSW Public Schools. Retrieved 5 September 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d "A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE FOREST HIGH". The Forest High School. Archived from the original on 1 October 2009. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  4. ^ "Annual prize-giving day at Fairfield High School". The Biz (2870). New South Wales, Australia. 7 June 1961. p. 8. Retrieved 28 March 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  5. ^ "RETIREMENTS—TEACHERS". Government Gazette Of The State Of New South Wales (14). New South Wales, Australia. 4 February 1966. p. 539. Retrieved 28 March 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  6. ^ "NEW HIGH SCHOOL". Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (81). New South Wales, Australia. 11 August 1961. p. 2351. Retrieved 28 March 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  7. ^ Patterson, Robbie (29 October 2016). "Frenchs Forest zoning: High school to be rezoned for units as part new town centre around hospital". Manly Daily. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  8. ^ Brown, Michelle (1 December 2016). "Frenchs Forest high school may relocate to make way for high-rises in new northern beaches town centre". ABC News. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  9. ^ "NB Hospital Precinct Plan". The Forest High School. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  10. ^ a b c "Revealed: Sydney spots where INXS got its kick". Manly Daily. 8 February 2014. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  11. ^ Bennett, Rod (29 November 2013). "Leak draws on reality for show: Portrait guru to hit gallery". Manly Daily.
  12. ^ Summary of Interview with Bill Leak, painter and cartoonist by interviewer, Ann Turner, 1998
  13. ^ Alan Whiticker/Glen Hudson: Encyclopedia of Rugby League Players. 1995 (ISBN 1875169571).

External linksEdit