- Our School
Swan Reach Primary School is located near the banks of the beautiful Tambo River, 22 kilometres east of Bairnsdale in East Gippsland Victoria.
Originating over 140 years ago as a small private school in a bark hut close to mouth of the Nicholson River, Swan Reach Primary has evolved into a school that now caters for the education and wellbeing of nearly 100 local students.
The school has an interesting and extensive history. In 1875, it was declared Sate School Number 1631. It was known by a variety of names (including Tambo, Lower Tambo, Lower Nicholson, Tambo and Lower Nicholson, Lower Nicholson and Tambo) until June 1886, when the name ‘Swan Reach’ was officially adopted by the Education Department of Victoria.
Over the years, various locations and temporary buildings were utilised, including a flimsy portable school room on the west side of the river, where the Mechanics Institute and Free Library was later built (now privately owned).
In 1889, after much controversy, correspondence and petitioning, a two acre piece of land on the east side of the river was surveyed and recommended for a permanent school, with the site being high and within short walking distance of the river punt. The new school was built of hardwood (due to previous buildings being destroyed by white ants) and was officially opened on September 8th, 1891. The main section of this building remains and has been sensitively converted into an impressive and much utilised kitchen gardening and science hub for the school community.
Swan Reach Primary School’s colourful history is captured in ‘A School beside the Lower Tambo’, a book written in the year 2000 to celebrate the school’s 125th Anniversary. Copies of this publication are available at the office. Please contact the school if you are interested in obtaining a copy to learn more about the history of our wonderful rural school.