The Southport School

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The Southport School
The Southport School crest. Source: (TSS website)
Latin: Palmam Qui Meruit Ferat
Let him who deserves the palm of victory bear it.
Southport, Gold Coast, Queensland
Australia Australia
Coordinates 27°59′8″S 153°24′52″E / 27.98556°S 153.41444°E / -27.98556; 153.41444Coordinates: 27°59′8″S 153°24′52″E / 27.98556°S 153.41444°E / -27.98556; 153.41444
Type Independent, Single-sex, Day & Boarding
Denomination Anglican
Established 1901
Founder Rev. Horace Henry Dixon
Chairman Fraser Perrin
Headmaster Greg Wainoss
Enrolment ~1,305 (R-12)[1]
Colour(s) Maroon, Navy & White

The Southport School (TSS), is an independent, Anglican, day and boarding school for boys, located in Southport, a suburb on the Gold Coast of Queensland, Australia.

Established in 1901 by The Right Reverend Horace Henry Dixon, TSS is the oldest Anglican boys' boarding school in Queensland and the only all-boys boarding school on the Gold Coast.[2] The school has a non-selective enrolment policy and currently caters for approximately 1305 students from Pre-school to Year 12, including 276 boarders from Years 7 to 12.[1]

The school is affiliated with the Australian Boarding Schools Association (ABSA),[1] the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA),[3] the Independent Primary School Heads of Australia (IPSHA),[4] Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ),[5] and has been a member of the Great Public Schools' Association Inc (GPS) since 1920.[6]

Early History[edit]

The Southport School 1934

In 1898 Bishop William Webber recruited Horace Henry Dixon for the role of deacon to Queensland in 1898. Arriving in Brisbane in 1899, he was assigned to Southport, an immense parish covering more than 2000 sq. miles (5000 km²) from Beenleigh to the New South Wales border; he had to cover it all on horseback. He was constantly reminded that Southport was the main seaside resort of southern Queensland, and it occurred to him that the town was the natural centre for a school. He discussed the idea in 1901 with two men who knew the district well, E. J. Stevens, M.L.A., and Dr R. S. Berry, who practised in Southport. Both promised support. A group of buildings on the Nerang River, known as 'Government House and Estate' had been used as a summer residence by governors of Queensland but was no longer required. Dixon secured a one-year lease of the property rent free if he paid for repairs, with an option to purchase after three years for £1000. Webber was sympathetic but the diocese was unable to finance the scheme and it was eventually arranged that Dixon would accept personal responsibility. If the school proved successful, the Church would take it over as soon as possible as a diocesan school for boys.

Financed by a loan from his sponsors, the repairs were undertaken by Dixon and helpers. Two boarders entered the school in September 1901. There were six boarders and 1 or 2 day-boys at the beginning of 1902, about 35 boys at the end of 1903 and 45 at the end of 1904. That year the number of applications encouraged him to proceed with purchase of the buildings and four acres (1.6 ha) of land as soon as the lease expired. He relinquished his incumbency of St Peter's parish, Southport, in 1905. Help was difficult to obtain and he found his spare time occupied with carpentering, woodcutting, clearing, road-mending or repairing machinery; electric light did not reach the school till 1920 and town water about 1930.

Energetic and a visionary, Dixon stamped himself as a colourful schoolmaster. He aimed at 'the highest possible moral and physical attainment'. By a combination of showmanship and bluff and intimate knowledge of his pupils, he earned great popularity with them. Sometimes stern and hard, he was often witty and full of fun, enjoyed a practical joke, and respected those who could take it and look after themselves. He had a most impressive sonorous voice and manner so that congregations listened to him almost with awe. About 1903 the boys nicknamed him 'Jimmy', and his assistant master 'Joey', after the Aboriginals Jimmy Governor and his brother Joe, outlawed in New South Wales. The name stuck to Dixon all his life.

in 1906 Dixon recruited Arthur Charles Campbell Thorold to help assist in the establishing of the school. Thorold would become instrumental in the schools early years and would implement many later traditions in the school. Thorold attended Winchester College and was admitted to Worcester College Oxford in 1892 obtaining his Bachelor of Arts degree in December 1899. Thorold was appointed at TSS in 1906, and during 1908, Thorold agreed to construct his own residence, large enough to incorporate boarding accommodation. Thorold was responsible for the establishment of the first official School magazine The Southportonian, he also established the school's boat club (1907), the oldest school boat club in Queensland, and suggested and implemented the House Shield competition. Thorold was also responsible for the introduction of the representative blazer. Thorold Boarding House was established in 1908.[7]

The school became recognized in 1907 as the diocesan school for boys and in 1913 it was taken over by the diocese and renamed the Southport School. Dixon carried on, participating keenly and successfully in football, cricket, tennis, shooting, rowing and cadets, besides teaching in class and acting as chaplain. He retired in December 1929, leaving one of the best-known and largest boarding schools in Queensland with over two hundred boarders.

Dixon had been a controversial figure who was not always appreciated. He was a strong man who rarely failed to get his own way, but the academic standards of the school and its emphasis on sport were criticized. Few of the sons of graziers who made up the great majority of the boys were interested in proceeding to higher education; but in the late 1920s standards did improve markedly. [8] [9]

The Southport school currently has the largest Tri-Service cadet force of an school in Australia as of 2014. Participation in either the Army, Navy or Airforce cadets is compulsory in years 8 and 9 and optional from years 10 to 12.


Rev. Horace H. Dixon and son
Period Details
1901 – 1929 Rt. Rev. Horace Henry Dixon OBE
1930 – 1935 Bertram George Lawrance
1936 – 1940 Rev. Verney Lovett Johnstone
1941 – 1950 John Norman Radcliffe
1950 – 1971 George Lawrence, OBE
1972 – 1987 Samuel Dawson, AM
Greg Wainoss

House system[edit]

As with most Australian schools, The Southport School utilises a house system. The Senior School is divided vertically into the twelve Houses: eight day boy Houses and four Boarding Houses. Whilst the Preparatory School is divided into four houses. The Senior Houses are. [2]

Name Day/Boarding Colours
Atkinson Day          
Biddle Boarding               
Delpratt Boarding          
Kaiser Day          
Maughan Day          
McKinley Boarding          
Melbourne Day          
Radcliffe Day          
Surman Day          
Thorold Boarding          
Turnock Day          
Walker Day          

The three original houses Dellpratt, MicKinley & Thorold, were founded in 1909, 1909 & 1908 respectively, the inaugural house shield competition was held in 1910, won by MicKinley. The additional Day houses were added between the 70's & 80's and the forth boarding house, Biddle, added in 1985. To date the most successful House in the House Shield competition has been Thorold House, achieving its 40th House Shield victory in 2014, MicKinley has won 31 house shields and Dellpratt 21 as of 2014.


TSS has a strong sporting tradition and over the years has produced many Australian and international athletes of note. The school currently offers the following sports to its students Basketball, Chess, Cricket, Cross Country, Debating, Football, Gymnastics, Rowing, Rugby, Swimming, Sailing, Tennis & Track & Field. TSS is a member of the Great Public Schools' Association Inc (GPS) since 1920.[6] The school has achieved many sporting premierships during its membership.

GPS Premierships (official GPS records)

  • Rowing (20) 1918-20-21-23-30-31-33-53-54-58-59-70-78-85-86-87-89-91-00 -2006
  • Cricket (17) 1920-23-26-27-28-29-70-71-72-73 -74 -80-81-82 -10-11 -2014
  • Rugby (9) 1922-26-33-38-01-03 -06 -07 -2010
  • Tennis (8) 1921-24-26-30-34-56-00-2001
  • Gymnastics (7) 1935-36-62-63-08-09 -2010
  • Swimming (6) 1922 -04-05-07-08 -2013
  • Athletics (5) 1918-19-22-29-1933
  • Sailing (2) 2002-2003-2014
  • Soccer (3) 2012-2013-2014
  • Basketball (2) 2009 -2012
  • Cross Country (1) 1990
  • Shooting (4) 1956-63-67-71 (suspended 1974)

Associated Schools Championships

  • Basketball 1980-81 (1979 - 1986)
  • Soccer 1978-80-81-84-87-88-90 (1978 - 1991)

Notable alumni and members of the School community[edit]

Old Southportians' Association Logo

The Old Southportonians Association (OSA) is the alumni organisation for Old Boys of the school. The OSA celebrated its 100 years as a recognised body in 2007.

Arts, Media and Sciences
Business and politics
Rhodes Scholars
  • Peter G Annand - 1972[12]
  • Ronald O Bennett - 1931[12]
  • Ainslie G. Ross Sheil - 1956[12]
  • Harley C Stumm - 1935[12]
School cricket team ca. 1912
Name Sport Team/Club/Affiliation
Peter Norman[13] Athletics Australia
Clark Keating[13] Australian rules football Brisbane Lions
Broc McCauley Australian rules football Brisbane Lions
Brad Moran[14]o Australian rules football Adelaide Crows
Trent Durrington Baseball Anaheim Angels
John Buchanan[13] Cricket Australia
Scott Muller[13] Cricket Australia
Adam Scott[13] Golf PGA Tour
Shannon Eckstein[13] Ironman Northcliff Surf Life Saving Club
Caine Eckstein Ironman Northcliff Surf Life Saving Club
Duncan Free[13] Rowing Australia
Josh Graham Rugby league Gold Coast Titans
Mat Rogers[13] Rugby league, Rugby Union Gold Coast Titans, Kangaroos, Waratahs, Wallabies
Wally Fullerton-Smith Rugby league Queensland Australia
Peter Jackson Rugby league Queensland Australia
Nathan Stapleton Rugby league Cronulla Sharks
Caleb Brown Rugby Union Queensland Reds
Lloyd Johansson[13] Rugby Union Queensland Reds
Nathan Grey Rugby Union New South Wales Waratahs
Max Neilson Rugby Union Western Force
Vitori Buatava Rugby Union Fiji
Tom Lawton Rugby Union Australia
Nathan Sharpe[13] Rugby Union Australia
Luke Morahan Rugby Union Australia
Rob Simmons Rugby Union Australia
Scott Higginbotham Rugby Union Australia
Mathew Belcher[13] Sailing Australia
Bill O'Chee Skeleton Australia
Griffin McMaster Soccer Brisbane Roar[13]
Andrew Baildon Swimming Australia
Leigh McBean[13] Swimming Australia
Adam Brown Swimming Great Britain
Marco Loughran Swimming Great Britain
Grant Turner Swimming Great Britain
Richard Charlesworth Swimming Great Britain
Bernard Tomic Tennis Australia
Courtney Atkinson[13] Triathlon Australia
Marcus Marshall[13] V8 Supercar Britek Motorsport
Chris Atkinson[13] World Rally Championship Subaru

Student Exchange Program[edit]

The Southport School is a member of Round Square and as such has an extemsive network of partner schools with which it performs many student exchanges. TSS is involved in a Student Exchange Program with the Baylor School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States of America and Collingwood School in West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Pacific Cable Station[edit]

The Pacific Cable Station was relocated to the school in 1982. Largely untouched from its original form, the cable station is now a heritage listed building and serves as the schools music department.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "The Southport School". Schools. Australian Boarding Schools' Association. Archived from the original on 2007-11-17. Retrieved 2007-12-27. 
  2. ^ a b "TSS Prospectus" (PDF). Enrolment Information. The Southport School. Retrieved 2007-12-27. 
  3. ^ "AHISA Schools". Queensland. Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia. November 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-11-02. Retrieved 2007-12-26. 
  4. ^ "JSHAA Queensland Directory of Members". Queensland Branch. Junior School Heads' Association of Australia. 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-27. 
  5. ^ "Brisbane Grammar School". School Search. Independent Schools Queensland. Retrieved 2007-12-27. 
  6. ^ a b "GPS Schools". Sport and Music. Brisbane State High School. Retrieved 2007-12-27. [dead link]
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Our History and Tradition". About TSS. The Southport School. Retrieved 2007-12-27. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h The Old Southportonian's Review No. 127 April 2006 (accessed:20-06-2007)
  11. ^ The Scots College Press Release Retrieved 16-09-2007[dead link]
  12. ^ a b c d Queensland Rhodes Scholars (accessed:18-05-2007)
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p TSS Sport Hall of Fame (accessed:18-05-2007)
  14. ^ Brad Moran

External links[edit]