See also A history of Kangaroo Island schools, 1836-1980 /​ researched and compiled by Leonie Bell and Fay Davidson for the Kangaroo Island Welfare Clubs , 1981 cited in Kingscote Area School History.

See also research by Geoffrey Chapman

Education in South Australia from the beginnings of the State a century ago to the present time was reviewed by the Acting Director of Education (Dr. C. Fenner) in a broadcast talk last night. He referred first to the self-education of the little band of pioneers, who in the beginning had to learn how to build up a new community and to the days of the ill-fated Captain Walter Bromley, who conducted the State's first school with about 24 pupils under a large tree on Kangaroo Island. ...

EDUCATION DURING A CENTURY (1936, May 14). The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954), p. 6.


1874 —It appears that Dr. Jung is the first Inspector of Schools who has visited Kangaroo Island. On arriving there lately he was waited upon by inhabitants of Kingscote and Cygnet River, who asked for the establishment of a school. The Inspector during a rapid tour on horseback over a large portion of the Island found a suitable person to fill the position of master. The islanders were much pleased to see him, and seem to be anxious about the education of their children.

The statement made some time since in the Illustrated London News that three women and one man, whose portraits were given, were the last surviving specimens of the Tasmanian aboriginal natives, is incorrect, as Dr. Jang found two women of this race on Kangaroo Island. They were brought there by a trader from Van Diemen's Land, and afterwards decoyed and carried away to Mauritius, whence the governing powers on hearing the facts of the case sent them back to the Island. These two lubras may be considered the remnant of the Tasmanian natives. They keep in the bush as much as possible, are very shy, and as soon as noticed by strangers shift their camp.

Latest News. (1874, May 20). Evening Journal (Adelaide, SA : 1869 - 1912), p. 2 (SECOND EDITION).



Sir—I have read with much pleasure Mr. Burnett's interesting account of his visit to Kangaroo Island. With regard to his remark about the Churches not having done more for the island, A should like to state that through the liberality of the attorneys of the S.P.G. in voting me £25 per annum towards travelling expenses I have been enabled for the last twelve years to visit the island at certain times, and I do not think there is now on the island an unbaptized child over six months of age. The gentleman after whom Penneshaw is named has also generously given the site for a Church there, which will no doubt in course of time be used. Personally I should be glad to visit the island much oftener — say every five or six weeks — but for the boat hire, which is £1 per diem. When my grant is expended I cannot afford a great deal more, and the people themselves are not in a position to contribute to the expenses of the mission. Could I obtain a boat fit for work in the Gulf, I would gladly give my services to visiting the island and the neighbouring lighthouses.

I should like to call attention to another crying want of the island— viz., schools. When I first visited it some thirteen years ago there was no school on it ; but with the assistance of the then Board of Education we were enabled to open schools at Kingscote, Cygnet River, and Hog Bay, besides half time schools at Cape Willoughby and American River. Under the new system all these have been closed, except the one at Hog Bay. At Cygnet River there are over thirty children growing up in ignorance. At Kingscote there are also a number of children, and even a half-time school at these places would be of great service. But it is useless to apply to the Education Department for help. The reply in all cases is a non possumus. The old Board of Education received a great deal of abuse, but under it, at least, the outlying districts were encouraged to help themselves, and children in the bush did learn to read and write. Now one reads of constant appeals for schools, and people have to supplicate for that as a favour which they should demand as a right. I trust the Commission on Education will consider the question of these bush schools. At present money is lavishly expended on building schools in populous neighbourhoods, which the people do not appreciate, whilst the educational destitution in the outlying districts is simply lamentable. According to my experience, the old Board did more to help the country people with the limited means at its disposal than the Education Department has ever done with the enormous sums at its command. Trusting that some other country people will call attention to this matter,

I am, Sir, &c, G. W. MORSE. Yankalilla, January 8

SCHOOLS AND CHURCHES ON KANGAROO ISLAND. (1883, January 10). South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), p. 6.

[1884] The need of schools is greatly felt by the inhabitants of the Island numbering over 600 and rapidly increasing, for whom only one school is provided at Penneshaw. The rising generation are growing up in sad ignorance, to remedy which the establishment of day schools will do much provided compulsory education is enforced, and if the education be made free, instead of 35 days being the number of days per quarter demanded'for the attendance of the children at least four days a week should be the number onforced some in case of sickness as it is really almost criminal to see the care taken by parents to see that their children do not attend more than 35 days per quarter keeping them at work in and out, during which time the children forget nearly all they learned while at school. Some parents seem to realise little of the responsibility they incur by undertaking the parentage of human beings, "but as it was in the beginning, so it will be for ever and ever world without end,"—I won't say amen, for the scribe who would for such a state, of things to continue, should never take a pen in hand again. However if only by little may the ignorance grow less and the elevation of the masses—as Matthew Burnett would say—become one spoke in the wheel of perpetual motion.

NOTES ON KANGAROO ISLAND. (1884, July 1). Yorke's Peninsula Advertiser (SA : 1878 - 1922), p. 3.

Island Schools.

[1923] The teachers of the public schools on K.I. and the average attendance is given in the Educational Gazette as under :— Kingscote, Mr Clyde H. Pearce (Head Teacher), Miss Annie Lipert (Assistant), average attendance 60.2; Hog Bay, Mr John Murphy, 32.1 ; Cygnet River, Mr Lewis H. Moar, 21.4 ; Shoal Bay, Miss Doreen Brown, 15.5 ; Emu Bay, Miss Annie Norton ; 15.3 ; Wisanger, Miss Edith Leahy, 11.7; Muston, Edwin W. H. Jaensch, 11,4 ; American River, Miss Minneta Ford, 10.0 ; Wattle Grange, Miss Una Underwood, 7.0.

ISLAND SCHOOLS. (1923, February 17). The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), p. 2.

American River School

Cygnet River School

Kingscote School

Muston School

Pandarna School

Penneshaw School Hog Bay

Shoal Bay School see a photo of 1934 pupils

Stokes Bay School

Wisanger School also Emu Bay

Other Smaller Schools: American Beach, American River, Brownlow, Salt Lagoon, Willson's River, Cuttlefish, Antechamber Bay, Hog Bay River, Wattle Grove, Western River

Comment from Geoffrey Chapman:

"I noticed some inaccuracies in Chris Ward's article on KI schools in the KIPA and have attached my file on KI schools which I have researched for at least 10 years . Hope this helps - I have plenty of references to back up everything.

I have no knowledge or records of a school at Brownlow which is about 3 km west of Kingscote - everyone walked or rode a horse! I lived at Brownlow from the time I was 4 until I was about 11 years and walked each day to school for at 4 years.

At that time there was only 6 buildings there and two ruins. One of the ruins was called " the manor" which was near the rifle ranges just east of Tiggemann's and the other ruin was opposite Tiggemann's- I cant remember the names of the families that lived there

I think the Brownlow Centre has nothing to do with KI.

I went to the Parndana Primary school in the 1950's and are classes were in the open tin shelter shed - Joe Giesler was the second teacher [ my brother in law]. When I left to go to the Kingscote area school all the wooden buildings were transported to the new Parndana Area School ..."