1980-1989 Potted History

Information sourced from A Jubilee Retrospective by Robert Ewins and CHESS newsletters 

Throughout the 1980s, conservative staff and parents ensured the senior school maintained a high academic standard. Camping in regional Victoria and Outdoor Education was introduced. Considerable discussion occurred about a collaboration with Wattle Park HS, but eventually it was decided that CHS would remain a “single site, co-educational Year 7-12 high school with a ceiling of 850 students”.


  • For a short time, the school was declared “marginally disadvantaged” because a number of students came from a one-parent or a pensioner family.
  • The Importance of Being Ernest and Calamity Jane were staged.


  • The Council authorised spending $500 on light-weight camping equipment.
  • The Real Inspector Hound was produced.


  • Sport was revived when a Sport Co-Ordinator and a School Sports Captain were appointed. Houses designed and made their own flags.
  • Junior and Senior Bands were revived and performed at the Royal Show.
  • The musical Salad Days was staged.


  • Energetic SRC and house captains introduced a Slave Auction of Year 12 students, a talent quest, debating competitions and a 1984-time capsule.
  • The revived Choral Festival was a huge success.
  • The musical Free as Air was performed.


  • Students in Year 10 commenced a Computer Awareness elective.
  • 42% of students came from migrant backgrounds. Main languages spoken at home were Greek, Vietnamese and Chinese.
  • At the House Swimming Sports cheer squads helped build team spirit and encouraged student participation.
  • The musical Anything Goes was performed.


  • 43 Year 11 students went camping to Central Australia for the first time.
  • Pastoral care and a Peer Support Programme were introduced. Eleven students were trained to look after Year 7 students in small groups.
  • The rock ‘n roll musical Grease was staged.


  • Ann S. Rusden commenced as Principal. She was the 8th Principal and the first to be appointed by a school based assessment panel.
  • The Year 11’s enjoyed the opportunity to “whinge, whine and complain” to teachers during the Students’ Response Day. “For conservative CHS, this marked “an entirely new, open and fresh approach to our life at school.”
  • The musical Me and my Girl was performed.


  • The Drama Festival was revived. Each House presented a 30-minute play.
  • Music was one of the school’s major drawcards because of its high profile.
  • The Concert Band went on tour to Western Australia.


  • The Concert Band and Choir performed in Sydney.