The Friends' School


Clemes College 1890; it later amalgamated with The Friends School (AOT, PH30/1/1236)

The Friends' School (1887), established in Hobart by the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), is one of the oldest co-educational boarding schools in Australia, and from the beginning gained support from the wider community. Friends' has had a long commitment to quality and innovative education, creating a sense of community and inspiring service to others.

The first headmaster, Samuel Clemes (18871900), pioneered co-education and emphasised science, technical and physical education rather than classics. Succeeding heads, notably Ernest Unwin (192444) and William Oats (194573), introduced biological sciences, arts and Asian languages. Later innovations included collaborative leadership and an emphasis on education for international citizenship. With over 1200 students in 2005, Friends' is the largest Quaker school in the world and is seen as 'a major channel for the expression of Quaker values and principles in the Australian community'.1

Further reading and reference: W Oats, The Rose and the Waratah: The Friends' School Hobart 18321945, Hobart, 1979; A question of survival, Brisbane, 1985; and Headmaster by Chance, Hobart, 1986; S Given, In the spirit of family: The Friends' School, Hobart 19451995, Hobart, 1997.

Stephanie Farrall

Footnote:
1. W Oats, A Question of Survival, Brisbane, 1985, p 316.