Staff appointments have been compiled from the Government Gazettes and is supplemented with information from newspapers and letters. The number of staff working in the school increased from the date of the establishment of the school in August 1867 to a total number of ten1 and this number remained relatively consistent during the period the school remained at Newcastle with only short periods during changeover of personnel when numbers were less for a short time. CLARKE confirmed that there were ten staff at the beginning of 1870.2


  1. G. W. JACKSON never took up his appointment as superintendent at Newcastle resigning before any girls were arrested.
  2. Agnes KING was initially appointed as Matron but was subsequently appointed Matron-Superintendent after JACKSON's resignation. She administered the Newcastle Industrial School from its opening until she was suspended by the Colonial Secretary in November 1868 as a response to her dismissal of Richard and Bridget SADLIER.3
  3. Captain Joseph Hines CLARKE took up the appointment as Superintendent in November 1868. He acknowledged his receipt of the official notice in a letter to the Colonial Secretary on 30 November 1868.4 His wife, Marian, was appointed Matron. CLARKE resigned on 18 March 1871, amidst much controversy.
  4. George LUCAS took up his appointment in the Newcastle Industrial School on 18 March 1871,5 but his appointment was not made official until 26 May 1871.6 His wife, Mary Ann, was appointed as Matron. The couple were dismissed and the report of their superintendency was critical of their treatment of the inmates. LUCAS wrote denying the accusations7 and requesting that both sides be heard.8
  5. Mr John Ledger DALE was appointed temporary Officer in Charge of the Biloela institution from the date of suspension of George LUCAS on 27 November 1873.9 He was replaced by Selina WALKER on 17 March 1874.10
  6. Selina Georgina WALKER nee CAMPBELL11 (1833 - 1912) eventually was appointed as the superintendent on Biloela. Two of her eight children, Marion (b. 186312 - 1920) and Beatrice (187013 - 1941), were living with her on the island in 1876.14 WALKER was never appointed to Newcastle.


  1. Agnes KING was appointed on but operated as matron and superintendent until
  2. Marion CLARKE nee WRIGHT15 became Matron about 28 November 1868. Her appointment was acknowledged by her husband in a letter written on 30 November.16
  3. Mary Ann LUCAS (1826-1900)17 became Matron of the Newcastle Industrial School on 18 March 1871, the day her husband became the Superintendent and her appointment was made official on 26 May 1871.18
  4. Margaret P. KELLY replaced Mary Ann LUCAS after her suspension on 27 November 1873, but it is still uncertain whether this was a permanent or temporary position for KELLY.19

Clerk and Storekeepers

  1. Thomas McCORMACK20 was appointed Clerk and Storekeeper at Newcastle on 16 September 1867. He was dismissed by Agnes KING on 7 April 1868.
  2. Frederick CANE was appointed Clerk and Storekeeper21 on 22 April 1868. CANE was appointed to the Biloela staff on 26 May 1871,22 so transferred with the girls to Biloela. He returned to Newcastle as the Superintendent of the Lunatic Asylum for Imbeciles and Institute for Idiots that opened on the site of the Newcastle Industrial School in April 1872.23


  1. Richard HARRIS was appointed visiting surgeon on 11 November 1867.24


  1. Mrs BARTON was Agnes KING's daughter and it is as yet unknown whether she had an official role at the school.


Mrs Margaret P. KELLY had been working at Newcastle since 3 October 1867, and was allowed quarters and receive a ration of provisions, fuel and light.25 Margaret transferred with the school to Biloela and was officially appointed there on 26 May 1871.26 After the suspension of Mary Ann LUCAS, KELLY was appointed as the Matron at Biloela.

House Matron

  1. Martha Ward RAVENHILL
  2. Mrs ELLIOTT who resigned about April 1871.
  3. Marianne ROWLAND replaced Mrs ELLIOTT27 and was officially appointed to the staff at Biloela on 26 May 1871.28 She spent only about a month at Newcastle before the transfer to Biloela. Two of her children, Mary (b.c. 1867) and Ida (b.c. 1871), were living with her on Biloela in 1876.29
  4. Mrs FOOTT30 who may have only begun working at the time the school moved to Cockatoo Island.31

Assistant Matron

  1. Sarah RICE32
  2. Emma E. HOLDEN
  3. Bridget Therese SADLIER nee LYSEIGHT (1836-1901)


  1. Richard SADLIER (?-1909)

Agnes King


  1. James KING


  1. Mary HEAL


  1. Catherine CASBURN
  2. Charlotte PERRY
  3. Sarah Jane WILDGUST
  4. Mary Ann DEVENEY


  1. Constable WOOD was appointed specifically to the school on 11 November 1867, to assist in controlling of the girls. He was placed on the 'rations scale' by KING. He had a wife and children who KING objected to 'taking in' and also possibly placing on the rations. No indication of the name of his wife and KING's specific objections are located in this correspondence.33 They may possibly be located in CSIL: 67/6721 as this pencil notation was made on the later correspondence.
  2. Helenus SCOTT was the Newcastle Police Magistrate who lived beside the Industrial School premises and to whom both KING and CLARKE occasionally went for advice concerning the best ways of dealing with any refractory inmates. His brother was the Police Magistrate in Sydney, David SCOTT, who had sent many of the Sydney girls to Newcastle.

Updated February 2017

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