We are pleased to announce that the new STEAM building at Fintona, formerly known as the Beyond Science Centre, has been named the Annie Hughston Centre after Fintona's founding Principal, a teacher of mathematics and a trailblazer in girls' education.
Picture: Annie Hughston with her niece Kitty Craig in 1903
Here are a few things you might not know about Fintona's first Principal:
- Miss Hughston was a senior Mathematics teacher "when some thought mathematics was bad for the female brain" (The Lady Principal p 11).
- Under Miss Hughston's leadership Fintona grew to be the largest girls' school in Melbourne.
- Miss Hughston added Physics and Chemistry to her curriculum in 1915. We believe Fintona was the second girls' school in Melbourne to introduce these subjects.
- Miss Hughston signed the 1891 Women's Suffrage petition
- Miss Hughston embraced the notion of 'open-air education' in the 19-teens as a way to encourage girls to be outdoors, more active and to suppress infectious diseases like diphtheria. In this respect some of her pupils perceived her as ahead of her times.
Rachael Falloon, Fintona's current Principal, said of the new name, "Miss Annie Hughston’s understated but innovative, ideas driven, and future focused pursuit to provide an outstanding and broad education for the girls at Fintona was clear from the outset. As our founding Principal, a teacher of mathematics, and leading a girls’ school in providing a full Science education well ahead of the times, I believe our Beyond Science Centre could have no finer name than the Annie Hughston Centre."
Staff have been busy moving resources and equipment into the new building and it won't be long until the rooms are filled with dynamic learning pioneered by Annie Hughston at Fintona.