Rileys Hill


This publication presents the schools of the Ballina Inspectorate at this time - Education Week, 1959 - and their origins.


Delightfully situated on a slight rise off the road which connects with the Pacific Highway just two miles away, Riley's Hill School serves a community living 33 miles south of Lismore and 22 miles from Ballina. The Richmond River winds its way gracefully nearby whilst thriving dairying and sugar cane industries give the district its wealth. With quite sizeable towns of Woodburn and Broadwater six and two miles distant respectively, the population of approximately 90 live happily together.

About the middle of the last century a schooner commanded by Captain Riley had spent some time in the river now occupied by the dry dock. Captain Riley had made it his custom to enjoy the view every afternoon from the top of an adjacent hill.

The hill became known as "Riley's Hill", and the name was, in time, adopted for the locality generally.

With the opening of a sandstone quarry by the Department of' Public Works for the purpose of obtaining stone for the building of breakwaters at Ballina, quite a sizeable village had come into existence. In 1891 a school was opened.

The first teacher was Miss Campbell and the second Miss Cameron. Miss Cameron later became Mrs. P. McDonald, of Lang's Hill. Mrs. McDonald is now living at Woodburn.

Later teachers were Messrs. John Bath, J.K. Larner, T. Doolan, George Gollan (who later became a member of Parliament, was Whip in the Stevens Government, Chief Secretary, and Mayor of Ryde), Chas. Schaefer, John Mallett, F. Griffin, James Ormond and J. Wright.

The school was closed for a period, later to be reopened as a subsidised school, with Miss Bessie Walker in charge. She was followed by Miss Joan Morris and Miss Eva Hamlyn.

Increasing enrolment then requalified the school for a departmental teacher, and Mr. J C. Finucane was appointed, to be succeeded by Mr. C. Tyson, Mr. A. R. Jones and Mr. J. Ferguson. The latter is now teacher-in-charge of Uralba School.

Arthur Bailey, the present teacher, is fresh from Wagga Teacher's College. Both teacher and pupils are now enjoying a happy, healthy school environment. The children are keen to learn and progress towards a higher education.

Riley's Hill feeds two secondary schools, namely, Ballina High and Woodburn Central. Daily bus services taking children to and from these schools pass the Riley's Hill School.

An interested P. and C. Association exists to provide further amenities for the children and to assist in their education where possible. Such activities include an annual picnic and the annual Christmas Tree.


The school is a member of the Gould League of Bird Lovers, supports Stewart House Preventorium, and gives generously to sub-normal children. A school council meeting is held each month when the children are encouraged to voice opinions, and give suggestions whereby the school may be improved. Beautification of the school grounds is also encouraged by means of a garden competition.

With an effective enrolment of 13 and only 4 or 5 children to commence their schooling, the future of the school is uncertain. It is hard to realise that the present one teacher school was at the turn of the century a three teacher school of well over 100 pupils.

North Coast School Histories

North Coast School Histories: as transcribed by Kathy Pearson and posted to NorCo List. STATUS QUO MCMLIX This publication presents the schools of the Ballina Inspectorate at this time - Education Week, 1959 - and their origins.