Gilmore Primary School

An ACT Public School

Our History

When did we open?

Gilmore Primary School opened in 1987 in the days of rapid growth and expansion in the Tuggeranong Valley.

The suburb is named after the poet and journalist, Dame Mary Gilmore. Streets are named after journalists, especially female journalists. It is next to the suburbs of Macarthur and Chisholm and is bounded by the Monaro Highway, Isabella Drive and Hambidge Crescent.

In 2007, Gilmore Primary School celebrated 20 years of providing quality education to the students of Tuggeranong.

Who is Dame Mary Gilmore?

Dame Mary Gilmore was an author, journalist, poet, patriot and tireless campaigner against injustice and deprivation.

Dame Mary Gilmore was born on 16 August 1865 at Cotta Walla (near Goulburn) New South Wales. Educated mainly at small country schools in the Wagga Wagga district, in January 1883 Mary became a pupil teacher at the Superior Public School, Wagga Wagga.

Between 1886 and 1895 Mary served as a school teacher at Beaconsfield, Illabo, Silverton, Neutral Bay and Stanmore.

Mary's passionate desire for social reform gained political momentum in the radical and nationalist ferment of the 1890s. Sensitive to the conventions of the day, Mary guarded her teaching career during this time by writing under noms de plume, including Em Jaycey, Sister Jaycey and Rudione Calvert.

In 1886, Gilmore went to Paraguay in South America to join a group of Australians who planned to set up a new colony where everyone would be equal and would work together.

In 1897 she married William Alexander Gilmore and the following year gave birth to their only child William Dysart Cameron Gilmore. Disillusioned with the breakdown of the Cosme community and the departure of William Lane in 1899, the Gilmores left Paraguay returning to Australia in 1902 and lived at Casterton, Victoria.

In 1912 Mary moved to Sydney with her son Billy, while William Gilmore established the first of the family properties at Cloncurry in North Queensland.

In 1908, the Australian Worker, responded to Mary's request for a special page for women by inviting her to write it herself. The popularity of the column was unprecedented, with Mary remaining editor of the Women's page until 1931.

Through the column Mary campaigned for a wide range of social and economic reforms, such as the women's vote, old age and invalid pensions, child endowment, the relief of the poor and the just treatment of Aborigines.

In 1952 Mary commenced a regular column for the Tribune. Mary Gilmore's 'Arrows', venting her egalitarian and democratic views, appeared in the newspaper until shortly before her death in 1962.

In 1961 Australian Trade Unions honoured Mary's contribution to the labour movement, crowning her May Queen for the May Day procession.
Dame Mary Gilmore died on Monday, 3 December 1962. Three days later on Thursday, 6 December 1962 Sydney witnessed the first State funeral accorded to an Australian writer since the death of Henry Lawson forty years earlier.A special feature of the school is the presentation of the annual Dame Mary Gilmore Awards.  These awards are given for excellence in writing and are adjudicated by an external literary judge.

Gilmore Primary artwork of students

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