Girraween High School
|Girraween High School|
Latin: Mens Conscia Recti
Mind aware of right
|Girraween, New South Wales, Australia|
|Type||Selective, Public, Co-educational, Day school|
|Colour(s)||Black, Gold & White
Established in 1976 and operated by the New South Wales Department of Education and Communities, the school currently caters for approximately 756 students from Years 7 to 12.
Girraween High School was first opened in 1976, with an enrolment of 300 students and 20 staff. Its first Principal was Colin Bowser and the Deputy Principal Harry Earp.
Shortly after the school's opening, an agricultural plot was established, staffed by a part-time farm hand. That same year, with the assistance of Science Teacher John Flannigan, a camera club was formed. Given that the medium was not at that time part of the art curriculum, the darkrooms were installed within the Science Department. In 1980, the Camera Club's collaboration with students interested in journalism led to the publishing of the school's first yearbook.
In 1978, the school applied for a grant to build a number of buildings to represent a pioneer Australian town. Despite not receiving the funding, under the guidance of Industrial Arts teacher John Lawson, the school erected a colonial cottage that was relocated from Blacktown. The building was the first of several, including a railway station, and constituted what was to become "Daveney Village". The structures were burnt down a decade later with the school maintaining the remains in what is now part of the expanded agriculture plot.
Through the years of 1977 to 1983, Gus the Goat served as the school's official mascot. On his passing in 1983, the school newspaper was dedicated to him, although now the newsletter is called Etcetera.
In 1989, Girraween High became a Selective school. Under principal Robert Cruikshank, specialist computer rooms and music studios were constructed, and a Sister school relationship with Hisai High school in Mie, Japan was forged.
At Presentation Day on 15 December 2008, former Premier Nathan Rees promised that a school hall would be added to the state's Capital Works program. In September 2009 a $400,000 grant was announced to extend the school gym and construct a stage.
Students participate in a variety of extracurricular activities including the Duke of Edinburgh's Award, agriculture club, school newspaper, music and drama, chess, mock trial, Tournament of Minds, Inter-school Christian Fellowship, Students' Representative Council, semi-formal committee, jersey committee various debating competitions, the Streamwatch water monitoring initiative, state drama and an advanced driving course. The school has also hosted an annual concert, MAD (Music, Art, Drama/Dance) at the Riverside Theatre in Parramatta until 2006. In 2009 MAD started up again at the Q Theatre, Penrith.
Girraween High School has four houses named after famous sporting personalities:
- Chappell (Green)
- Fraser (Blue)
- McKay (Yellow)
- Newcombe (Red)
Performing and creative arts
The school has produced The Boyfriend, followed in 1983 with Annie Get Your Gun, Cabaret, Little Shop of Horrors and Bye Bye Birdie in 2007, as well as a variety of smaller-scale performances by various drama classes throughout the years.
In 2005 the Ensembles Program was established by Mr Dane Ropa. This program included a concert band for more experienced players, run by Ms. Lyndall Hord, a training band for people who would like to learn to play an instrument, run by Daniel Capizzi and Morgan Biddle, an Intermediate band for those students in the middle, run by Belinda Smith, a stage/jazz band, a percussion ensemble and a number of rock bands.
MAD (Music, Arts and Drama) is an annual production of Girraween High School's Music Department. The concert followed the school's annual production which was originally known as the "Riverside Musicale" and was founded by Clive Lane (retired Deputy Principal of the Conservatorium High School) in 1995 as a showcase of musical talent at the school, and a performance opportunity for HSC performance students. MAD was a completely new take on this idea and included performances by all of the ensembles, auditioned soloists with the highlight being a number of combined concert band and massed choir items that involved more than 300 students. An art exhibition was also incorporated to showcase Yr 12 Body of Works.
- Professor David R. Brown - research neuroscientist
- Kunal Sharma (School Dux 2006) - New South Wales Rhodes Scholar for 2013 
- Nicole da Silva - television actress
- "Girraween High School". School Locator. NSW Public Schools. Retrieved 2008-02-21.
- Sydney Morning Herald of 31 October 2013