Last time Bourke Street Public School held a fete student numbers were down at around 100 and there were rumblings that the 140 year old school may even close. In a remarkable turnaround, the school is now at capacity with just under 450 kids. It has a new library and hall and more importantly a whole new energy, all of which will be celebrated at the upcoming fete, to be held on Sunday October 28.
Sponsored by the TOGA Group as platinum sponsor and gold sponsors Bourke Street Bakery, So9 Restaurant, Sonoma Sourdough, Pizza e’Birra and the Fordham Company, this year’s fete has a “big top” theme.
Fete goers will be able to enjoy a haunted house and sideshow alley, with circus style performances all though the day. Other attractions include a kids’ disco, face painting and crazy hair creation and a variety of musical performers.
Ten percent of the profits will go to the Girls and Boys Brigade, which is closely associated with the school as a sizeable number of Bourke Street kids use the brigade’s before and after school services.
“You realise how lucky you are when your children go to a primary school where people really care” says Nina Fordham, a P&C member and fete organiser. She says that the Girls and Boys Brigade will receive 10 percent of the school’s fundraising for the next three years, beginning with the fete.
The balance of the fundraising will go towards a new play area at the school, based on WILD PLAY at Centennial Park and designed in consultation with parents and students.
“At the moment we just have a big soft fall area, and there’s very little space for kids to sit and play,” says Fordham. “There’s a lot of handball space, which is great, but we want to give them something else, another option.”
Fordham attributes the school’s growth to the changing demographic not just of Surry Hills but also Redfern, where many of the school’s families now live after moving into newly built housing.
The four year gap in fetes has been because of the disruption of new building at the school, but now that is finished Bourke Street is ready to celebrate its success, and invites the Surry Hills and Redfern communities to join in on October 28.