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History

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Cairns State High School was founded in 1917 as an annex of Cairns Central State School and celebrated the Centenary in 2017

The high school was moved to its present site in 1924 which at the time, hosted the high school and technical college.  The foundation stone for the administration block was laid in 1939.  By early 1980 the TAFE College had transferred to its current site. This move left Cairns State High School as the sole occupant of a 5 hectare block located 5 minutes walk from the Cairns city centre and 3 blocks back from the Cairns Esplanade. The school is a 10 minute drive from the Cairns International and Domestic Airports and is serviced by both school and city bus routes.  

Throughout its history, Cairns State High School has served the needs of generations of many Cairns families, including a significant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population from Yarrabah to the Cape through the 1970s and 1980s. Cairns State High School is currently the largest secondary school in Cairns with a very proud and distinguished history.  It enjoys an exceptional reputation and is regarded as a genuine alternative to private schooling both locally and elsewhere. 

Cairns State High’s Guiding Statement aligns the school’s mission statement, goals, values, effective practices and programs. This statement is the foundation for the school’s future focus, describes the Cairns High learner attributes and ensures a global outlook. The statement also provides the framework for future school decision making and is directly linked to the school’s strategic plan.

The Administration Block at Cairns State High was successfully added to the register as a State Heritage Place in May 2014. The Queensland Heritage Council recognises the significance of the building as part of Queensland’s cultural heritage and a place of cultural significance.

The history of Cairns State High School has been collated and made into a book which was launched as part of our Centenary Celebrations.  Electronic copies are available for sale from the school.

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Last reviewed 22 March 2020
Last updated 22 March 2020