Bringing formal education to Menindee

The provision of education for the children of Menindee was an arduous and difficult process.

In March 1868, a petition to the Council of Education stressed the need for a Public School as there was no school within a distance of 200 miles.

A favourable response was received within a month but the community still had to find part of the teacher’s wages and cover the considerable cost of his travel expenses.

Jeremiah Cronin from Albury was appointed Menindee’s first teacher in October 1868. His trip from Albury to Menindee began with a steamer voyage along the River Murray, a rail section followed by another paddle steamer journey and finally arriving by mail coach! In total a journey of some two and a half weeks.

A dedicated school building was completed in April 1872, constructed of brick with timber window and door frames and an iron roof. It was a battle to secure basic services, like education, in remote western communities.

Teachers and students pose outside of Menindee School c1900
Teachers and students pose outside of Menindee School c1900
Taken from the book School Days — Education in Menindee by Menindee Central School, 2011