Robert Crawford and Doris Crawford with Mr Little 1935

1934 — Head Teacher Robert Crawford, at the request of the Chief Protector, creates a new school syllabus for Cherbourg and other settlement Schools.

Using the 1930 State School Syllabus as a guide, the new model is created with the aim of preparing pupils for life on the settlement.
The new syllabus consists of four grades of schooling carried out over eight years. An increased emphasis is placed on vocational subjects, Domestic Science for girls and Manual Training for boys. This reflects Cherbourg’s ongoing role as a labour depot and the role young Aboriginals are expected to occupy.
The new syllabus is introduced in 1934. Some boys attend Murgon Rural School for instruction in sheetmetal work, leatherwork, blacksmithing and woodwork.

“It seems far more important to me, that they should be instructed in this practical work than in history and geography. Once they can read, write and do simple arithmetic, that would seem all that is required.”
— Governor Leslie Wilson, 6 June 1934, after a visit to Cherbourg


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The Cherbourg Memory is an initiative of the Rationshed Museum and brings together the photos, videos, oral history recordings, documents and other artifacts of our lives on this settlement. It a website, an archive, an educational resource, a recording project, a research data-base, a store of the people’s stories and an interactive space for comments and engagement. We encourage the people of Cherbourg, the Indigenous communities in Australia and others who have experience of our settlement to help us create a living archive of Barambah-Cherbourg. So find out a little more about the Cherbourg Memory, discover how you can Participate, or find out how you can Contribute to the development of the Cherbourg Memory.