Sydney Boys High School is an academically selective high school for boys conducted by the NSW Department of Education and Training.
The school was founded on October 1 1883 and moved to its current site at Moore Park in 1928. The school is bounded by Moore Park, Anzac Parade, Sydney Girls High School and Cleveland Street (aerial view at right).
The concept of the Foundation was driven by Robert Outterside, Headmaster 1977-2001, who had taught in the Mathematics Department of the School 1958-1960 and was well aware of the ethos of the School. After three years as Headmaster of Manly High School 1974-1976 he also understood the relationships between the Department of Education and its schools. Fundamental to the formation of the Foundation was the desire for the separation of decision-making powers untrammelled by Departmental imperatives.
Following its 1983 Report the NSW Government introduced, in 1990, its policy on the establishment of Councils in all of its schools. At Sydney High the new School Council engaged itself in planning issues and governance, ratification of broad school policy, defining educational priorities and goals and co-ordinating the activities of school bodies as set out in government guidelines. It also approves the School budget, though it has no funds or an account of its own.
The Foundation took charge of the administration of the Fairland Pavilion, the McKay Playing Fields and the Outterside Centre from the previous School Council. It also took over its asset acquisition and management roles. Prior to 1951 these were the roles of the OBU and the P&C through such bodies as the Rowing Committee established in 1924 and the McKay Sports Ground Committee in 1935. Foundation's objects include acquiring, holding and managing real property on behalf of Sydney High School and entering into legal arrangements to preserve, develop and maintain facilities on behalf of the School. As an incorporated body it has the appropriate powers to carry out its objects.
It is important to note that there was an important link between those early committees, which had displayed considerable vision, and the present-day SHS Foundation Inc. That link was the formalised co-operation between the OBU and the P&C which was simply carried on under a corporate model.
In furtherance of its objects the SHS Foundation has an outstanding record of achievement which includes, inter alia: the establishment of the Foundation High Store and the purchase of a cash register with special software for an inventory system; the refurbishment of the original tennis courts; continued renovations of the Fairland Pavilion with funding assistance from parents and old boys; the finalisation of a Deed of Licence between the Foundation and the Centennial Park & Moore Park Trust; the completion of Stage II of the Abbotsford project with loan funds made available by The High Club; the creation of a Staff Computer Room; a joint venture with the Department of Education on the Senior Studies Centre and the later supply by the Foundation of air conditioning; and, the addition to the Outterside Centre of The Barris Cottage and the new pontoon.
Along with its many other responsibilities the Foundation continues with its management of the Fairland Pavilion and the McKay Playing fields under the terms specified in its Deed with the Trust. The major asset of the Foundation remains the Outterside Centre whose land and buildings are held in trust by the Foundation which alone, as sole trustee, has the constitutional power to make decisions about the development and use of its asset.
Situated in the grounds of Centennial Park The Fairland Pavilion stands alongside the main oval of The McKay Playing Fields on Grand Drive. The Pavilion and the Playing Fields are inexorably linked, not merely by virtue of their location, but more so because they stand as memorials to two old boys whose vision and hard work provided these adjuncts to the School.
While there were many other old boys and parents who shared the workload, the two names which stand out are Robert Thomas McKay and Charles Adam Fairland. It was through their efforts that the historical relationships between Centennial Park and Sydney Boys High School were first developed.
With the announcement in 1925 that a new school building would be erected at Moore Park and the start of a Sports Ground Fund with 800 pounds donated by old boys, a site for the School's playing fields was selected in Centennial Park. It was a swampy depression formerly used as the park rubbish tip. The School moved to Moore Park in 1928. With a government permissive occupancy agreement on 19 acres of swampland work on reclamation started in 1929. The main oval with its arris-rail fence was completed early 1932, its first year of use.
The necessity for a dressing shed brought a ready response from two more old boys, architects Charles and Sid Hirst, who designed the building and supervised its erection. It was opened in 1933. In 1935 a Sports Ground Committee was formed consisting of three delegates from each of the School, Old Boys Union and the Parents & Citizens Association. The Committee later affiliated with The School Council formed in 1951 to co-ordinate School activities. Sid Hirst again assisted with the addition of a storey significantly expanding the amenities offered. In 1952 the completed building was fittingly named The Fairland Pavilion.
Following its formation in 1986 The Sydney High School Foundation Inc took over the administration of The Fairland Pavilion and The McKay Playing Fields. In 2000 a Deed of Licence for Use of Sporting Facility was drawn up between the Foundation and the Centennial & Moore Park Trust. In the Deed the Trust acknowledges its unique and longstanding historical association with the Foundation and the improvements it has made since 1929. The Trust also recognises the construction of the Fairland Pavilion around 1933 and its subsequent extensions and refurbishment by the Foundation and its predecessors.