CANBERRA COMMUNITY CHINESE SCHOOL 坎培拉社区中文学校

 (FORMERLY EAAS CHINESE SCHOOL INC.)

The EAAS Chinese School was the first after-hours Chinese Language School in Canberra.  It was established in 1981 by the East Asian Art Society as one of its activities to promote East Asian culture.  The first school administrator was Dr Ian Mclean, who was also the President of the ACT Council of Cultural Societies for many years. The school used mainly the premises of the Griffin Centre to conduct classes and was registered as an ethnic school authority receiving the federal government’s “Ethnic School Program” grant.  The school was the only activity left after the East Asian Art Society had ceased functioning in mid 1980’s.  Dr Mclean remained as the school administrator until 1987. 

After a period of difficulties a group of parents decided to form a committee and took over the running of the school in 1989.  The first priority task set by the committee was to seek the incorporation of the school as a non-profit community organisation.  It was felt that as an non-incorporated organisation the risk to the committee members was too great.  The incorporation was achieved by November 1990.  The East Asian Art Society name was retained as part of the new school’s name to maintain eligibility for the federal government’s “Ethnic School Program” grant.

The constitution adopted for the school stated that:
"The objectives of the Association shall be to contribute to the development and promotion of a multicultural society in Australia through:-
    (a) The teaching, learning and maintenance of the Chinese language as a     community language;
    (b) Interests in the Chinese history and culture; and
    (c) Better communication and co-operation with other Ethnic Schools."

The next priority of the committee was to move the school to a normal school environment with proper class room facility as the Griffin Centre was only able to provide four class rooms.  After a couple of moves around different government school premises the school finally settled at the Canberra (Phillip) College site in Woden from 1991.

The School’s philosophy is to have professionally qualified teachers and maintain a high standard in curriculum and teaching.   It aims to be self supporting without relying on Government grants therefore the tuition fees are set at a realistic level.  The fees are kept low and discounts are given for early payment and family with more than one children.


The school has maintained enrolment numbers around 30 students in recent years.  The students range from 4 to 15 years of age, attending different levels of classes.  The composition of the students reflects the multicultural objective stated in the School constitution.    There are quite a few Australian students from non-Chinese speaking background.   The School teaches the Chinese Mandarin language with simplified characters and the Pinyin system.  The School also run cultural interest classes such as calligraphy, drawing and Wushu (martial art) from time to time.  

The School looks forward to continue to provide opportunities for the children to learn the Chinese language in the ACT.