State Education in Queensland: The First Schools, Universities and More

The state of Queensland today is reckoned for its versatile and excellent education options. Here the government has developed infrastructure and gathered resources to provide early childhood education, establish primary/secondary/special schools, college education and much more. Due to high development in the education sector, Queensland has high internal and international migration. However the state wasn’t always the hub of good schools and colleges it is today. Keep reading to learn about state education in Queensland, the first schools, universities, and more.


The First School

Conducted in 1824 by Mrs Esther Roberts the first school of Queensland consisted of only sixteen pupils. They were the children of soldiers and convicts from the first settlement of people in Moreton Bay. Another fun fact is that for this small school Mrs Roberts was paid £20 annually.


As the population of Brisbane increased in 1842 after the city wasn’t a convict settlement anymore and free settlers were allowed to live here, the need for education increased. All this happened while Queensland was a part of New South Wales and in 1850 the first national school was founded in Toolburra. It was after the separation of Queensland from NSW in 1859 did the state become responsible for education within its borders.


Thus, technically, the first national schools of Brisbane were established in 1860 and named Brisbane Boys and Brisbane Girls. It was also the year when the Education Act was passed placing all the primary education under one umbrella system governed by the Board of General Education. Afterwards the Grammar Schools Act was established and in the year 1863 the first grammar school was opened in Ipswich.


Later in year 1869 provisional schools were introduced where parents found the building and teacher and the state paid the teacher’s wage.


First Colleges and Universities

After establishing the schooling system in Queensland, the first technical college was founded named the Brisbane Technical College by the Brisbane School of Arts. It is not until 1910 that the University of Queensland was officially found and it was the first university in the state run by the government. However, teaching didn’t start until 1911 and it started in Old Government House on George Street in Brisbane. There were three streams – Arts, Science, and Engineering and the total number of students was 83 out of which 23 were women and 60 were men. Once the World War I was over, the university grew exponentially.


The first private and non-profit university of Australia and Queensland was the Bond University in Gold Coast. It was founded in 1987 and attained university status in the same year. Educational establishments such as the Central Queensland University, Griffith University, James Cook University, University of Southern Queensland, and University of the Sunshine Coast were built and founded afterwards.


It is important to note that although the Queensland University of Technology was established in 1908 it was granted university status in the year 1989.



Today Queensland is reckoned for its great schools and universities especially in its most popular cities like Brisbane, Gold Coast, and Sunshine Coast. Through this article, you can learn a lot about the establishment of educational facilities in the state and how the systems evolved with time.

Our Patrons

Bond Cleaning Brisbane Experts
brisbane City
Removalists Brisbane, QLD
state library of queensland
Queensland Museum
Professional Removalists Sunshine Coast
Business for sale Brisbane
Bond Cleaning Sunshine Coast