AT UKRAINIAN CENTRAL SCHOOL

Mission

Our mission is to apply the best Ukrainian language teaching techniques to meet the individual needs of our students. The school provides its students with a safe, happy, nurturing and stimulating environment. We impart to the students an appreciation of the culture and the customs of their ancestral homeland, Ukraine.


Available Classes

Kindergarten/Pre-school

Preparatory Ukrainian

Intermediate Ukrainian

Advanced Ukrainian


Classes are held Saturdays 9.30 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.


Location of a School

The school is located in its own purpose built building, adjacent to the Ukrainian Community Hall at 51-57 Joseph Street, Lidcombe NSW 2141


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Our History

Ukrainian community schooling in the centre of the city was organised in early 1951 by the Association of Ukrainian Women in the [IMKA] YMCA [Young Mens Christian Association] building at 325 Pitt St. They named the school the Princess Olha Ukrainian Community School. Instruction used the most basic resources as there were little to no Ukrainian teaching-learning materials other than whatever Ukrainians happened to bring with them. The Ukrainian Womens’ Association of Sydney came to be the driving force for its development and organization.

After the Sydney Hromada (formed in October 1949) purchased a residential building at 51 Pitt St. Redfern in October 1952, for community needs, the following year the Princess Olha Ukrainian Community School transferred its teaching activities to the community premises (hromadskyi dim) where it continued until late 1959.

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The initial Director of the community School was Ivanka Mamchak during 1951 and 1952. She was followed by Yevhenia Koziolkowska from 1953 to 1958 inclusive. In the years of transition from the central city location to the hromada premises in Lidcombe, 1959 and 1960, Pavlo Lopata headed the School.

Succeeding Directors of the community school were:

• Vera Prots - 1961 through to end of 1972

• Tykhin Korinets - 1973 through to end of 1978

• Ivan Zhestovskyi - 1975 through to end of 1991 - the 40th anniversary year of the School’s continuous operation.

In the Lidcombe location the community School was able to develop into an important educational focal point with the creation of the Ukrainian Studies Programme for the increasing number of older youth that led to [Community] Teacher Training Courses.

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From the beginning schooling operations were funded by the Parents Committee, the Sydney (Hromada) Community Co-operative and donations from the community. The first Head of the Parents Committee was M. Kozak-Karmelita.

The Parents Committees worked within the organisational framework of the community’s own Education Advisory Council, which itself had been formed in 1951 as the Ukrainian Council for the Promotion of Education of Ukrainian Children in New South Wales under the inaugural chairmanship of Dr. Ye. Pelenski. Incidentally, he was also author of the first Ukrainian text books published in Australia. He was succeeded by Ivan Shestowskyj, Marta Sybaczynskyj and later Hryhorii Dubyk. This community organisation with its coordinating and overseeing role was later turned into the Ukrainian School Council of NSW that in 1957 and headed during its first five years by Irena Pelensky.

This Ukrainian community school has continued operating through to the present day after having transferred its location to the Sydney hromada premises at Joseph St, Lidcombe after the Redfern community premises was sold in 1959. The premises at Lidcombe, known as the Narodnyi Dim, was purchased by the Sydney hromada (Ukrainian Society Co-operative Ltd) for use by the Ukrainian community in Sydney.

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A community strategy was developed by the end of the 1950s and early 1960 to combine resources and the Ukrainian schools in various suburbs into a central school in Lidcombe that would serve all of Sydney. The belief was that this would be more efficient, effective and cheaper for the community.

In 1961 Vira Prots became the Director of the Princess Olha Community School which conducted its classes in the facilities of the Community [Hromada] Hall [Narodnyi Dim].

The school reached a high point in 1968 with a 125 students (not including evening classes); 14 teachers and the grand opening on the 28th of September 1968 of the newly built school premises through the efforts and funding of community activists and the Sydney Hromada. On the same day the name of the community school was changed to the Ukrainian Central (Community) School [Ridna Shkola] in hon. of Princess Olha, Sydney.


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