Where we’re at

Good things take time. Having completed the restoration phase, the Perth Girls School precinct is currently home to the Artrage cultural community including Fringe World and Girls School Cinema. These community initiatives bring energy and ideas to the project while we go through the design and planning process. You can find out more about each phase below.

The Perth Girls School site remains a striking architectural example. At the time of completion, one newspaper declared that there was “nothing to compare with it among the educational establishments of the Commonwealth”. Since acquiring the property the owners have completed a range of heritage works in conjunction with Heritage Council of Western Australia to ensure the preservation of the heritage building.

There is cultural community growing at the school. Artrage, one of Western Australia’s foremost cultural and arts organisations, will be calling the main building their home for the next three years. They are responsible for Rooftop Movies and Fringe World. Right now, you can see a movie in the main hall at the Girls School Cinema. Theatrical tours are also being conducted through Fringe and it will again be a Fringe World hub for 2021. Co-working and artist studios are planned in the near future.

In June 2020 the Perth Girls School Precinct design guidelines were adopted by the Western Australian Government, paving the way for staged development of the site in the years to come.

To develop the new design guidelines, the project team collaborated closely with key stakeholders of the precinct, including the local community, DevelopmentWA, Heritage Council of WA and the City of Perth.

The northern portion of the Perth Girls School precinct was previously part of the East Perth Cemetery. It was closed for burials in 1916 and neglected for several years before being developed for the school sports grounds, and later became a licensing centre for the Department of Transport. Out of respect for those buried there and their relatives, it was deemed appropriate to exhume the remaining burials and to reinter the remains at Karrakatta Cemetery. A specialist team of archaeologists and forensic anthropologists undertook the fieldwork and analysis of the burials. For more information please contact the National Trust at [email protected] or (08) 9321 6088.

Now the planning framework for the precinct has been adopted by the Western Australian Government, the project team is progressing the concept design for the project’s initial stage(s). The next step is to submit a Development Application with DevelopmentWA. The initial stages of development are likely to focus on the continued activation of the heritage site and construction of a full line supermarket and associated retail outlets.