On Friday and Saturday, 16-17th of September, Berinba Public School will be holding an Art Show to celebrate the 50-year anniversary since the school was opened in 1972. 

Berinba 50 year Anniversary – Kindergarten 1979

On Friday, art and photography from both students and local professional artists will be on exhibition at the school during the evening. The following day on Saturday, the school will also be exhibiting art and Berinba history, as well as holding a Fun Day for children. The Fun Day will include jumping castles, a barbecue, and stalls and markets. Later, on Saturday evening, the school will hold an alumni reunion dinner at the Yass Golf Club, during which some long-awaited time capsules will be opened. 

Berinba Public School has been organising their Bicentennial Art Show event for several months now, with a group of former teachers, administration staff, and students working to pull together 50 years of Berinba Public School history. The team has been working to create large displays for the community and visitors.

‘The amount of connections we have made has been phenomenal’, said Berinba School Principal Ms Malena Waibel. The school also had a large response to their pavers for former Berinba families. Many have bought pavers which will be installed in the school. Ms Waibel hopes these pavers leave a lasting legacy at Berinba for the next 100 years.

1972 Class E

‘A long time ago the P&C used to run an art show that was from professional artists around the area, state, and country, we even had some international artists. We just thought the 50th anniversary would be a great time to revive that,’ said Ms Waibel

The school has been focusing on both art and local history in the classroom this year, exploring the period 50 years ago when the school opened, what Yass looked like then, how different it is, and how much the town has changed.

Teachers have worked the Art Show into the existing curriculum, organising activities in the classrooms, including having an artist of the month. The Art Show will be an extension of that, as the school loves to display student artwork and achievements. 

Tyahn and Scott Bell have designed a 50th Anniversary hoodie and polo shirt which showcases Berinba’s Indigenous Australian history through visual story-telling. The clothing design includes a compass pointed South because ‘Berinba’ is the Ngunnawal word for ‘to the south’. Also featured is the Ngunnawal eagle totem animal and the Ngunnawal symbols for the school motto ‘caring, sharing, achieving.’ Footsteps illustrate walking on Ngunnawal land and colours brown and white pay homage to the school’s original uniform.

Have you ordered your commemorative hoodie or shirt yet? Students show off the striking design on sale at Berinba Public School.

Berinba Public School has a reputation for fantastic anniversary celebration events, as many teachers and former students will recall the whole-school ‘Back to the Future’ musical that marked Berinba’s 40th year. In 2012, students musically revisited the school’s history decade by decade, from an authentically 2000s style kindergarten performance of Owl City’s ‘Fireflies’ to the 3/4 class’ 80s style ‘We Will Rock You Queen performance. 

A decade later, the school is again showcasing its talented students and rich history of learning through the arts. This September, the Yass community can look forward to a weekend of fantastic art, fascinating history, and so much fun at Berinba Public School.

Photo at top: Berinba School Captains 1977 Ian Bullman and Fiona Wykes

Southerly Jones