History | Thomas Hassall Anglican College

History

Thomas Hassall Anglican College was established by The (Sydney) Anglican Schools Corporation in the year 2000. The College commenced with 150 students in Kindergarten to Year 7 and has experienced rapid growth to create the vibrant learning community that is it today, comprising over 1600 students from Prep to Year 12.
Rev Thomas Hassall
The College is named after the Reverend Thomas Hassall (1794-1868) who arrived in New South Wales after a treacherous sea voyage with his missionary parents, Rowland and Elizabeth Hassall, in 1798. As a young man, Thomas established the first ‘Sunday Schools’ in Australia which taught reading, writing, mathematics and the Christian faith. He returned to the United Kingdom to complete training as an Anglican clergyman and then when back in Australia, with his wife Anne, founded a number of Anglican churches and schools. Rev Hassall was given the affectionate title of the ‘the Galloping Parson’ because he travelled on horseback between his home of thirty years, ‘Denbeigh’ near Cobbitty, and Parramatta and Goulburn. He was a frequent traveller along Cowpasture Road, which was just a track at the time … how surprised he would be to see four lanes of bustling traffic today!

We are thrilled to be the only school in Australia named after the Reverend Thomas Hassall and to this day remain very connected to members of the Hassall Family who are now scattered throughout Australia and the world. Each year, the Hassall Family present a very prestigious perpetual award to the most outstanding all-rounder senior student of the College and we often have representatives of the family attend significant events and milestones in College life.

In 2015, the College named their newly opened learning centre after Thomas’ wife, Anne Marsden, daughter of another famous early settler, chaplain, missionary and farmer, Reverend Samuel Marsden.

Thomas had a passion for teaching and learning, a warm heart for people and a deep love for the Lord Jesus Christ. He was a staunch advocate of the connection between education and Christianity and therefore an inspirational namesake for the College.