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Hall's Peace Garden opened

Hall's Peace Garden opened

In July 1919 thirty trees were planted on the Hall school site in recognition of the work of members of the Red Cross who had worked tirelessly in support of those serving overseas during the Great War.... more »

Group visits prove popular

Group visits prove popular

Forty or so members of the Melba Mens Shed were the latest of a growing number of group visits when they arrived this morning to view the various exhibitions and the old school. Interestingly, the current... more »

Rolfe descendants special visit

Rolfe descendants special visit

One of the most enjoyable and rewarding aspects of putting on exhibitions on aspects of local history and heritage is when members of the district's pioneer families pay us a visit. Denise Fogarty (Bathurst)... more »

Minister Mick Gentleman launches Ginninderra exhibition

Minister Mick Gentleman launches Ginninderra exhibition

The Museum's latest exhibition - 'Rediscovering Ginninderra' - was officially opened by Minister for Heritage, Mick Gentleman today. The Minister arrive in good time for a preview of the exhibition, and... more »

Rediscovering Ginninderra

Rediscovering Ginninderra

"I hereby notify you that the land hereunder described......has been acquired by the Commonwealth of Australia under the Land Acquisition Act 1906". These fateful words, in a letter to Edmund Rolfe of... more »

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'Rediscovering Ginninderra' - new Exhibition

This new exhibition will help you rediscover the 'lost’ village and community of Ginninderra. Where was it? How and when did it begin? Who were the movers and shakers? When and why did Hall take over?

'Ginin-ginin-derry' was an aboriginal locality first traversed by Europeans in the early 1820's and first settled by them around 1826, at ‘Palmerville’. From the 1860's for half a century Ginninderra flourished, and in its prime could boast a church, two schools, store, police station, post and telegraph office, School of Arts, boot maker, nursery, Farmers Union hall, annual show, sports teams and a hotel.

A very productive agricultural area, Ginninderra supplied grain to the Araluen and Majors Creek goldfields, then wool to the Sydney markets. William Davis, then Tom Gribble, Edmund Rolfe, 'Babe' Curran and others helped build a fine reputation for agriculture. But by 1915 Ginninderra was fading away. What happened? What is left?

The exhibition will feature some well-known buildings in miniature, family profiles for the entire ‘class of 1905’ at Ginninderra School, and the story of George Harcourt’s home ‘Deasland’, now under threat as a ‘Mr Fluffy’ building. Other subjects are 'Palmerville', the Cricketers Arms Hotel, the Ginninderra blacksmith shop and the Ginninderra Farmers Union.

Honorary Curator Phil Robson says: "This exhibition is informed by the prodigious research and writing of leading Canberra historian Lyall Gillespie, whose collection we now hold. There will be further displays on Ginninderra to come, and we have firm plans for ‘Ginninderra online’. Meanwhile we hope that recent arrivals to the ACT, descendants of settler families, and everyone else curious about what was here 'B.C.' (Before Canberra), will take the opportunity to 'rediscover Ginninderra' ".

Read 'Gang Gang's' take on the Exhibition

The exhibition is previewed by the Canberra Times 'Gang Gang' columnist Ian Warden - 'Lost Ginninderra found again, displayed for Heritage Festival'. Gang Gang comments: "The centrepieces of Rediscovering Ginninderra are three exquisite miniature models of three buildings of that old Ginninderra that survive today, albeit in varying degrees of decay and danger. They, the miniatures, "restored" to be as they were in 1910, are an old school house and schoolmaster's residence, a blacksmith's smithy with some of its tin roof lifted aside to allow us to see the brawny blacksmith plying his trade, and the substantial residence, Deasland".

Information for visitors

Where : Former Hall Primary School, Victoria Street, Hall. Easy parking; disability access.

Cost: Free - but your donations very much appreciated

Hall Market days 11.00 - 4.00pm. Thursday mornings 10.00-12.30 pm; groups by appointment - 0408 259 946.

'Rediscovering Ginninderra' is supported with funding from the ACT Government's Heritage Grants

Our ANZAC Exhibition: 'When Hall answered the call'- still open.

This 2015 Exhibition has been extremely well received, and remains open for the time being. Here is some of the Visitor feedback:

Andrew Leigh, Member for Fraser : "It was a treat. You’ve done an extraordinary job on the exhibition, and it was a real honour to be there to acknowledge the efforts of you and the team".

Other comments:

"The real stories of real people. Wonderful variety and displays"

"Evidence of a huge amount of careful research and preparation"

"Such lovely work! You've all worked very hard and it shows"

"Had a most enjoyable time. Very friendly group"

"Wish to say that this exhibition is awesome! I do believe that the smaller the exhibition, such as this, the higher the quality"

"Thank you for all your hard work. I feel you have done all the men proud"

"You are an amazing group. I have so enjoyed the display and all your efforts. Came to Canberra to visit the War Memorial. I think this will be the highlight"

"Your festival events and open days are going from strength to strength - keep up the good work!"

"Wonderful. Twelve months of dedication. Congratulations."

"Truly excellent in every respect"

"What a fantastic job the volunteers have done! This is a truly unique exhibition and deserves more public recognition"

"Pleased I came. I am in awe of the display and those who put it together".

View a selection of photos of the exhibition here

Exhibition Opening times

Every Thursday Morning, 10.00 am - 1.00 pm
first Sunday of the month (Hall Market Day) (10.00 am– 3.00 pm),
Group visits by appointment . Email:

Entry is Free. Your donations will assist the Friends of the Hall School Museum. Easy parking and disability access.

When Hall Answered the Call

‘When Hall Answered the Call’ is the title of the Hall School Museum’s special exhibition to commemorate the centenary of Anzac. The official opening by Andrew Leigh MP took place on 11th April. The Exhibition, part of the ACT Heritage Festival.

There is an excellent review of the exhibition by Dr David Stephens at Honest History. The exhibition was previewed by Canberra times writer Ian Warden, who was particularly enchanted by the 'incredible inedible banquet'

Museum volunteers have been busy for a year, researching local soldiers’ histories and fitting them into the context of the Great War. Their stories are displayed together with photographs and memorabilia. A special feature of the exhibition is a re-created setting of a Welcome Home ceremony that was held at wars’ end in the local Kinlyside Hall.

The exhibition pays special attention to the district’s several Rolls of Honour, all unofficial local initiatives by civic, school, church and sporting groups. These Rolls all date from the first few years after the war, long before the Australian War Memorial and state equivalents like the Shrine in Melbourne.

The exhibition features stories from the Hall home front where families gathered together for mutual support in the absence of their menfolk. A local Red Cross Branch was formed where comfort parcels were assembled and socks hand-knitted and sent to the troops.

For further information:
email :

Hall School Museum and Heritage Centre - A brief history

The idea of a ‘school museum’ was born at the Diamond Jubilee of the School in 1961, when the original school building was set up with old furniture and memorabilia. This was much enjoyed, and many visitors felt the display should be maintained. The use of the building as a Museum was officially approved in 1980 and support from the ACT Schools Authority followed in 1984.

By this time a considerable amount of material had been collected by the Honorary Curator, Laurie Copping, who had retired in 1981 after twenty years as Principal. The Official Opening, by His Excellency the Governor-General, Sir Ninian Stephen, took place on 19th April 1986, and is marked by a brass plaque on the building. In 2004 Governor-General Michael Jeffery dedicated the Museum to Laurie Copping as the 'Laurie Copping Heritage Centre'.

Following the closure of the School in 2006, the Village of Hall and District Progress Association, in cooperation with Elizabeth Burness, has acted to protect and to promote the Museum. In 2007 the ACT government commissioned the Australian National Museum of Education to undertake a full inventory, and in 2009 the Progress Association secured a Heritage Grant to fund production of a Conservation Assessment and Management Plan. A further grant in 2010 was used to develop a 'Volunteer Guides Handbook'.

A decision was taken in 2011 to present the Museum as closely as possible as a small school of the Inter-War period - the 1920's and 1930's. The decision was made possible by gaining access to additional storage and conservation workshop space in the adjacent school building.

Following successful exhibitions on 'Bush schools of the Hall district' (2012) and 'Schools and Teachers of the Capital Territory 1913' (2013) the Centre has become a repository for information about the one-teacher bush schools of the Canberra district.

On this site

On this site you can also learn about the origins and development of the Centre, find out about the Friends of Hall School Museum and Heritage Centre and how to join, and see the latest news and photographs about our activities.

You will also find a selection of links to other sites that may be of interest to you, and a 'document register' from where you can download various documents concerning the Museum. You can return to the main Hall community website at any time by selecting the 'Hall Website' icon.

The site includes an on-line database - 'Early Canberra and district Schools' - of nearly fifty early schools of the ACT and district and the 400 or so teachers who taught at them. Click the 'blackboard' icons on the google map to find the stories and pictures of these early schools - and let us know if you have information that we can add.

We gratefully acknowledge the ACT Heritage grant which enabled us to develop this 'bush schools' database.

General Museum Opening Times:

Entry is Free. Donations will assist the Friends of the Hall School Museum. Easy parking and disability access.