The Friends' School, Hobart is a private, co-educational Quaker school, located in Tasmania, Australia with a total enrolment of approximately 1250 (2006). It enjoys the distinction of being the largest Quaker-affiliated school in the world. It is also the only Quaker school in the southern hemisphere.

In 2004, The Australian named it one of the best Australian schools [1].

The School was founded in Quakers. Its Latin motto of Nemo Sibi Nascitur means "No one is born for self alone".

History Edit

The Friends' School opened at 60-62 Warwick Street, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). It was opened by the Cadbury family, the same family who owns the Cadbury's chocolate empire. The initial enrolment of 33 expanded so rapidly that the School moved to its present site in Commercial Road on 28 January, 1889, a move made possible by the generous loan of $A4,000 from Hobart Baptists. The first headmaster was Samuel Clemes, considered to be a remarkable reformer in education for his belief in co-education. In 1900 he resigned and set up his own family school, Leslie House, (later renamed Clemes College) in Pirie Street and then at Boa Vista, Argyle Street, where the Junior School and Clemes (Years 11-12) are now located. Clemes College and The Friends' School came together in 1946.

1923 marked the beginning of a new era in the School's history. On 28 September, the control of the school passed from London Quakers to a committee in Hobart and a week later Ernest Unwin arrived, under whose leadership the School made remarkable progress. In this period the distinctive appearance of the School changed - with the addition of the front portico, the Hodgkin Hall, the original science and art block and the boys' boarding wing. No further building programmes were undertaken until 1955 when the second period of expansion began with the opening of the Preparatory School in 1955 followed by the Sports Ground in 1958. Building on the Commercial Road site began in 1962 with the opening of the Unwin Memorial Science and Art block, continued in the 70s with the Library, the Asten Theatre, additional science facilities and in the 80s with the W.N. Oats Sports Centre. The Clemes Memorial Library in the Junior School was erected from the old Clemes Assembly Hall in 1986.

Despite being a Quaker school, there are no more than 10 Quaker teachers at the school, and barely any of the students are actually Quaker. However, students are still encouraged to participate in the Quaker acitivies, such as year group Gatherings held weekly.


Sherwood is an episode of Friends' School history looked back upon fondly by all associated with the campus. Following the Tasman Bridge Disaster of Derwent River became isolated, and were unable to attend. Some students of other schools were re-allocated to the limited eastern shore schools, but places were insufficient, and the educational standard was generally considered lower than Friends.

Whilst older students were trusted to make the ferry crossing from Clarence. A site was located in bushland above Lindisfarne and a small area was set aside for the campus.

The Sherwood campus consisted of two main inter-linked buildings, a playground, a crude gravel oval and a large area of undeveloped bushland. The school only catered for pupils from kindergarten to grade 2, as it was considered older pupils were old enough to catch transport to the main campus.

One of the features of the education system at Sherwood was the regular "nature walks" in which students from every year group would participate in regular excursions into the nearby sclerophyll bushland and learn to understand, appreciate, and get in better touch with nature. These excursions left a permanent impression upon all Sherwood students, and probably caused many of them to become environmentally aware at a much earlier stage than people elsewhere.

Much to the displeasure of all associated with the Sherwood school, it closed just a few years after opening, and ended a bright and fulfilling period when The Friends' School graced the eastern shore with its wonderful presence.


An incomplete list of School Principals:

  • Samuel Clemes (1887 - 1900)
  • Ernest Unwin (1923 - 1944)
  • William Oats (1945 - 1973)
  • Richard Meredith (1976 - 1989) (later became international secretary for society of Quakers)
  • Lyndsay Farrall and Stephanie Farrall (1990 - 1998 (as Co-Principals) )
  • Lyndsay Farrall (1998 - 2002)
  • John R. Green (2003 - 2011)
  • Nelson File (2012 - Present)


The Friends' School consists of three main parts: Morris, High School and Clemes. Morris has 400 students from Kindergarten to grade 6 and is situated in the Argyle Street Campus. The High School has 500 students from grades 7 to 10 and is in the Commercial Road campus. Clemes has 300 students in grades 11 and 12 and is in the Argyle Street campus.[2]

The school also owns a sports complex at Bell Street where there are facilities for cricket, Hockey, Softball and football. Australian Football can also be played upon the cricket ground. Along with this the school has a fitness facility on the high school campus Friends Health & Fitness.

For the purpose of internal competition, all students at Friends' are allocated into "Houses" within the School. These are referred to as Hodgkin, Mather, Ransome and Unwin, all named for famous Quakers. Each house has a distinct colour association for ease of identification during competition. They are: Hodgkin (yellow), Mather (blue), Ransome (red) and Unwin (green).

All students in the high school are members of tutor groups. Tutor groups consist of approximately four people from each grade in the high school, creating a total of around sixteen people. The school tries to place two girls and two boys per grade per tutor group, but there are exceptions. All members of a tutor group are in the one house, and each house has eight tutor groups. The Mather tutor groups are M1, M2, M3, etc, the Hodgkin tutor groups are H1, H2, H3, etc. Students begin and end the day in their tutor groups, as members of a tutor group have their lockers together in a certain room or corridor. At the beginning of the day in 'Morning Tutor' students meet in their 'tutor room' (the room nearest to their lockers, or in which their lockers are located). The student bulletin is read aloud by the tutor (a teacher or staff member. One tutor is assigned to each tutor group, generally staying with the one tutor group the entire time they spend at the High School however sometimes tutors change) and the role is checked. At the end of the day, students meet again in their tutor groups and the tutor checks the role and hands out any notices. On Fridays in period 4 (11:55 - 12:55) students meet in their tutor groups for an hour which they spend in their tutor room with their tutor. This period is basically a study period, however on special occasions, such as birthdays, tutor gatherings are held. Students who have been absent for tests in class may also use 'long tutor' as the period is named, to complete the test. With the tutor's permission, some students may also meet up with students from other tutor groups to complete homework.


Morris Edit

At Morris, Friends Students follow the IB primary years program.

High SchoolEdit

All students in the High School study the core subjects of Mathematics, English, Science, Humanities (except in grade 10), Physical Education and Health. Other subjects on offer include Languages: French, German, Japanese, Chinese; The Arts: Art, Music, Dance, Drama, Ceramics; Technologies: Design and Technology (woodwork etc.), Foods and Textiles (cooking, sewing etc.), Digital Technology, Computer Graphics, Control Technology. [3]

In year ten, students' Humanities options broaden, with opportunities to learn History, Geography, Religion, Economics Business and Law (EBL), and others.

Whilst many students insist that the lessons are uninteresting and unproductive, the results they produce say otherwise.


At Clemes, students can study for the Tasmanian Certificate of Education or the International Baccalaureate Diploma.[4]

Academic ReputationEdit

The Friends’ School has a well-known reputation for academic excellence within Tasmania and the wider community in academic competitions in fields including athletics competitions. Friends' School regularly outperforms all other schools in Tasmania in the Tasmanian Certificate of Education, for years 9-12. Alongside Launceston Church Grammar School and Scotch Oakburn College it has one of the highest academic performances of any school in Tasmania.

Until 2016 it was the only school in the state and one of 95 schools in Australia that offers the International Baccalaureate Diploma, a broad yet rigorous two-year international academic curriculum for university entrance as well as the TCE for year 11 and 12 students.


  2. The Friends' School: Campuses
  3. The Friends' School: High School handbook for 2005
  4. The Friends' School: Year 11-12 coursebook for 2007

External link Edit

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