Past and present students lament Hurlstone farm land sell-off

It’s a rare school where children can be striding through concrete hallways one minute and the next minute be knee-deep in paddocks surrounded by farm animals.

However, all that is set to change for students at Glenfield’s Hurlstone Agricultural College from 2020 when school is renamed, it’s farm land sold off, and the it’s agriculture transferred to a new Hurlstone at the Western Sydney University Hawkesbury campus.

Past and present students – including year 12 student Kylie Chen – are not impressed.

“Personally, I think it’s a poor justification by the government to sell-off the land,” the 17-year-old said.

“There is a lot of culture and tradition at the school and it’s a precious part of the community – particularly for alumni and the teachers.”

Ms Chen said the initial feeling of “disbelief” when the sell-off was announced in 2015 had been replaced by a feeling of “disappointment”.

She said they were feelings also experienced by current students and teachers.

“There are quite a lot of teachers who have taught here for 10 years or more,” she said.

“I definitely think those making the decision (to sell-off the land and relocate to the school to Hawkesbury) should considered the consequences of what they are really doing.”

Former student Vincent Anthony – who graduated from the school in 2015 – shared was also dismayed by the government’s decision.

While his days of education at the Glenfield site are over, he feared for the education future students would experience at the Glenfield site.

:Hurlstone was the best thing that happened to me,” he said.

“I went there in year 8 after being at a private school and the learning experience was really unique.”

Mr Anthony said the agriculture and the history of the school were a vital part of the Glenfield community.

“Agriculture is an integral part of Hurlstone,” he said.

“I do understand that the school has evolved over the years but it’s one of the only agricultural schools that are close to Sydney city.

“There are also a lot of heritage buildings there.

“Moving to Hawkesbury will rip apart that heritage and history from the community in Glenfield.”

Macquarie Fields MP Anoulack Chanthivong (Labor) was pleased two young people stand up for their school.

“Isn’t it wonderful that we have current and former students standing up for the school community, it’s history, it’s heritage and it’s future,” he said.

“Maybe Education Minister Rob Stokes might want to listen to these students.”