100 Years of Cairns State High School

See what's planned!

100 Years of Cairns State High School

Since 1917 Cairns State High School has seen much change and has had many inspirational teachers and talented students walk through its hallways and into and out of its classrooms.

Mr Chris Zilm, Cairns State High School Principal has said about the celebrations, “This Centenary year will give many the opportunity to come together and celebrate such an important milestone for our whole community". 

This weekend's events also include a memorial service remembering a dark day in Cairns High history when 30 years ago, 8 students lost their lives in a school bus crash off the Gillies Highway.

On 4 February 1987, 135 Cairns High students were returning back to school in three buses from the Year 12 Camp. The second bus had left 10 minutes after the first and the girls in the back had just finished singing, 'Yesterday' by Paul McCartney when the brakes failed and the bus left the road rolling down the side of the mountain. The crash site was less than a kilometre from the bottom of the range.
Students recall seeing seats, people and luggage fly everywhere as the bus rolled approximately six times, until stopping on its roof thirty metres down the slope.

Pic supplied by The Cairns Post

(Pic courtesy of The Cairns Post)

Details of Cairns State High School Events:

  • Ecumenical Memorial Service – in acknowledgement of the 1987 Gillies Highway Bus Accident. Saturday 4 February, 2.00pm at St Monica’s Cathedral
  • Centenary Book Launch – launching the 400+ colour memento of history for past Cairns High students, teachers and any Cairns local. Tickets are $20 and available from the school or online. The Centenary Book will be available at the launch for $50. Sunday 5 February, 5.30pm at Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort
  • Cairns High Open Day on Friday 15 September. The school will open its doors and gates for 2 sessions welcoming members of the school community on tours and memorabilia displays.
  • Back to 1917: Jazz Supper Club - Centenary Celebrations Gala Event – the gala event will celebrate reunions of all years and will be a night filled with an exciting array of entertainment, including a 100 piece orchestra. Tickets are $50 and available from the school or online closer to the event. Food service and areas to sit are included, a cash bar will be available. Saturday 16 September, 6.30pm onwards at Cairns State High School

To stay abreast of the celebrations, you can visit the Cairns State High School's Centenary Celebrations Facebook page. 

Triple M Cairns' Mark and Juanita spoke with Principal, Chris Zilm about the events planned...