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School of Arts

Sir Henry Parkes Memorial School of Arts Photo by Reichlyn Photography

Temporary Closure
Sir Henry Parkes Memorial School of Arts
– Cinema, Theatre and Museum

Tenterfield Shire Council ceased operating the Sir Henry Parkes Memorial School of Arts – Cinema, Theatre and Museum on 30 July 2023.

Tenterfield Shire Council recognises the importance of this nationally significant museum and historical asset and is in discussion with the asset owner, the National Trust Australia (NSW) for the re-establishment of operations under the management of the National Trust. Unfortunately, budgetary constraints mean difficult decisions are needed to be made to ensure long term sustainability of core Council services.

For further information and updates visit the Chief Executive Office Updates of Council website.

The Sir Henry Parkes School of Arts offers a fresh and exciting approach to Australian history, culture and environment, with a focus on Federation.

Stories of Australia’s history are told through exciting and innovative displays and the museum features the Banquet Hall, where Sir Henry Parkes delivered his famous Federation speech in 1889. A display of memorabilia from Parkes’ personal life, including a compelling portrait by Julian Ashton, ivory carvings and journals is situated in the gallery.

The School of Arts is owned by the National Trust, and in 1957 was the first building in NSW to be gifted to the trust by an act of parliament. The National Trust of Australia is committed to promoting and conserving Australia’s indigenous, natural and historic heritage through advocacy, conservation and educational programmes. Members of the National Trust receive free entry into the museum.

The complex also features the Tenterfield Cinema & Theatre. This charming cinema features state of the art digital projection and screenings of all the latest movies, as well as live performances of music and theatre.