Miss Isobel Travers and Miss Audrey Morphett bravely decided to start a school in the midst of an economic depression, during a time of ferment in the world of philosophy, government and schooling. They chose to call the School Fahan, after a small village in County Donegal, Ireland, in honour of Miss Morphett's Irish heritage of which she was proud. They decided that the new school should be just outside the city in a semi-rural area on a hill. This would allow it to have space, tranquility and vistas - aspects of Fahan that we cherish today and aspects of a school that they felt were vital.
They decided too that the girls at Fahan should study Science and Drama and a wide range of other subjects that were not usually in the curriculum of all-girl schools. There was a reason for this. The founders wanted to provide an education that allowed graduates of Fahan to be known for what they had achieved not "who they were married to."
Miss Travers and Miss Morphett also had the foresight to integrate into the curriculum a sense of duty to others. In other words, Fahan stands tall as an exemplar of education for young women because it has always required of girls that they show real independence of thought and spirit and the ability to rise above shallow everyday issues. That is why we have been successful for 80 years and that is why our girls must not only understand our Fahan heritage but must also live up to and beyond it.
Miss Travers and Miss Morphett were right to believe that young women could achieve anything they wanted to. Fahan women can achieve more.
The ideals and aims of the founders were reflected in the motto they chose, 'Light Come Visit Me.' Light was not just sunlight but rather "enlightenment", which is the purpose of education.
"Light destroys darkness, reveals truth, graces good deeds; it is creative" Miss Travers.
A spreading tree with the sun behind it was selected to be the School badge, as a symbol of life and growth. The original School colours were brown, green and yellow. However, in 2002 the decision was made to modernise Fahan and the colours were changed to blue, orange and white and the uniforms were redesigned.
Fahan's three houses were formed in 1940. They were called Franklin, Freycinet and Fenton after three important figures in Tasmania's history. The Houses took their colours from the school badge. Originally Franklin was yellow and brown, Freycinet yellow and green and Fenton green and brown. Since 2002 the colours have been Franklin white, Freycinet orange and Fenton blue.
The Fahan song was given as a gift to the School in 1960. In 1960 Mr G F Davies, great-grandson of John Davies who established the Mercury newspaper in 1854, commissioned Mr and Mrs Stiasny, who had both taught at Fahan, to compose music and lyrics for a song for the School as a gift from the Davies family. The 1960 School Choir was sworn to secrecy and rehearsed the song in private. When the gift was announced in the final assembly in Term One of 1960, the Choir performed it in front of the whole school.
In honour of the opening of the new Fahan Music School in 2010, Music teacher Annie Tremayne created a new arrangement of the School Song to be performed at the opening ceremony.
Fahan who love and service merit
All within thy walls are one,
One in heart and mind and spirit,
In endeavour and in fun.
Wak'd from dream of childhood's station,
Skill of hand and mind's elation,
These have taught the invocation
'Light Come Visit Me.
' Light eternal throned in glory
Imminent transcendent God,
Knowledge here in song and story
Constitutes our highest good;
Ever in our hearts we pray thee
Through the days and years to be
High or lowly, sad or carefree,
'Light Come Visit Me.'
Fahan we hail thee Alma Mater,
Hail all those who went before,
Founders, teachers, friends and later
Those who still will throng thy door;
May they ever wisdom seeking
Hearts and minds and tongues beseeching
Words learned here still humbly speaking
'Light Come Visit Me.'
Archives - Creating lasting memories
The Fahan School Archives are housed in a room in Hedgelands, one of the original homesteads on the farm purchased for the School's use in 1939. A working group, comprised of Alumni from the Nateby Club, have been meeting regularly in the Fahan Boardroom in Nateby to continue the tasks of selecting and identifying materials donated to the school for the Fahan Archives.
We are always looking for people to donate their time to help in the Fahan Archives. For more information please contact the School at firstname.lastname@example.org