Brisbane Boys' College

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Brisbane Boys' College
Toowong, Queensland
Coordinates 27°29′17″S 152°59′9″E / 27.48806°S 152.98583°E / -27.48806; 152.98583Coordinates: 27°29′17″S 152°59′9″E / 27.48806°S 152.98583°E / -27.48806; 152.98583
Type Independent, single-sex, day and boarding
Motto Latin: Sit Sine Labe Decus
("Let Honour Stainless Be")
Denomination Presbyterian and Uniting Church
Established 1902[1]
Headmaster Graeme McDonald (Headmaster)[2]
Employees ~121[3]
Enrolment ~1,550 (P–12)[3]
Colour(s) Green, white and black

Brisbane Boys' College (BBC) is an independent, Presbyterian and Uniting Church, day and boarding school for boys, located in Toowong, a suburb of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.[4]

Established in 1902, the College has a non-selective enrolment policy and caters for approximately 1,550 students from Prep to 12,[3] including 140 boarders from Years 5 to 12.[5]

Brisbane Boys' College is a school of the Presbyterian and Methodist Schools Association (PMSA),[1] and is affiliated with the Australian Boarding Schools Association (ABSA),[5] the Junior School Heads Association of Australia (JSHAA),[6] and the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA).[7] The school is also a founding member of the Great Public Schools' Association Inc (GPS).[3]

Some of the Brisbane Boys' College Buildings are listed on the Queensland Heritage Register.[8]


A Taringa-Toowong property map from 1929. The land for the then-proposed Brisbane Boys' College is at the mid-right (bordered by Miskin/Union streets).

Brisbane Boys' College was established in 1902 by Mr Arthur Rudd.[9] Rudd arrived in Brisbane in 1901 by boat from Melbourne and started a school in Clayfield. The school officially started in March 1902 with just four students.[10]

In 1912, the school moved to a new location on the corner of Bayview Terrace, near the tram terminus, needing more room. Even with the new land, due to space constraints sporting activities were out of the question, so for many years the boys walked to the nearby Kalinga Park.[11] In 1908, there were 80 students and a cadet corps was formed with the impending 1914–1918 war. The school suffered the losses of eight Clayfield Collegians during the war.[12] In the late 1920s the school was moved, again due to a lack of room for new facilities, to its current site in Toowong with support from its owners, the daughters of the late Premier of Queensland, Sir Robert Philp.[8] The Clayfield campus became a primary school department of Somerville House, which later developed into the independent Clayfield College.[10]

Today BBC is owned by the Presbyterian and Methodist Schools Association, which was formed in 1918, and owns other private schools in Queensland.[1]


Period Details
1902–1930 Mr Arthur W Rudd OBE
1931–1946 Mr Patrick M Hamilton OBE
1947–1955 Dr Thomas Ross McKenzie OBE
1956–1973 Mr Alfred J Birtles
1974 – 1989, 1996 Mr Graham E Thomson AM
1990–1995 Mr George Milton Cujes
1997–2001 Mr Michael G Norris
2002 – present Mr Graeme E McDonald


Front entrance
Main Building
College Hall
Middle School precinct with Junior School playground in foreground

BBC's campus is located in the Brisbane suburb of Toowong on land bordered by Moggill Road, Kensington Terrace and Miskin Street, with the main entrance from Kensington Terrace.[13][14]

The main building dates from the early 1930s, when the school moved to the site, and is characterised by its arches and clock tower in the Mission Revival architecture style.[9] The Rudd and Hamilton wings, built in 1963, form a T-shape extending away from the main building, and the modern glass fronted Resource Centre, built in 1996, fills the quadrant. Other buildings on the site include McKenzie wing (built in 1983), Barbara Helen Thomson Sports Complex (opened in 1987), Birtles wing (built in 1973). The main Junior School precinct was completed in early 2008, and a separate building catering exclusively to Prep students was completed in 2007. The Junior School precinct was designed in light of the introduction of Years Prep to Grade 3 in 2007.[15] The old College Hall (built in 1979) was demolished in late September 2009 and a brand new College Hall was constructed and opened in early June 2011. The present College Hall includes an air conditioned auditorium capable of seating 695 people, the Phil Bisset Gallery, and facilities for the music department.[16] In 2014, a new state of the art Middle School precinct was completed, which is situated next to the Junior School buildings.[17]

There are three ovals included within the BBC grounds: the John Noblet Oval, the Parents & Friends Association Oval, and Miskin Oval. BBC also makes use of the Oakman Park ovals, Toowong College (QASMT), University of Queensland and St Lucia, Queensland playing fields. The school plans to build new sporting facilities in a location detached from the main school, possibly in Corinda, though this has sparked local residents' concerns about traffic problems and noise pollution.[18]



The College uniform varies throughout the grades, these being between Years Prep–3, 4–6, 7–11 and 12. One defining factor of the uniform is the boater, a straw hat worn to and from the school and in public that has been a college tradition since its conception. In Years 4–6, the uniform consists of a green shirt, a green and black tie, grey shorts and plain grey socks.[19] In Years 7–11, the only difference is that trousers are worn, and in Year 12 a white shirt is worn.[20]

Green, white and black striped blazers are worn in terms 2 and 3.[19] Blazers display "Colours" which are awards that warrant embroidery on the pockets of the blazer. Lines, Half-Colours and Full-Colours are displayed on the bottom, top right-hand and top left-hand and pocket respectively, and each display a line of text detailing the category of achievement and the year the award was given. Half-Colours and Full-Colours exhibit altered forms of the BBC emblem, while school captains have a gold full colour emblem.

Students in leadership positions, such as house captains and prefects, are given a badge with their name and position within the school. Prefects wear a tie and boater-band, of which both feature green, black and gold stripes.

House system[edit]

The school is divided into a house system with nine houses.

House name Named after Colours
Birtles Former Headmaster[21] Azure blue, white, gold[21]
Campbell Secretary of PMSA in the 1940s[22] Yellow, black, white[22]
Flynn John Flynn, founder of the Royal Flying Doctor Service[23] Blue, red[23]
Hamilton Former Headmaster[24] Royal blue, black, white[24]
Knox John Knox, leading Reformer of the Church of Scotland; major influence on Presbyterian churches worldwide[25] Red, white, black[25]
McKenzie Former Headmaster[26] Orange, black[26]
Rudd Founding Headmaster[27] Gold, black, green[27]
Wesley John Wesley, founder of the Methodist Church[28] Light blue, dark blue[28]
Wheller Long-serving Minister of Albert St church[29] Maroon, black, white[29]



The music department hosts string, orchestral and vocal ensembles, as well as concert and stage bands throughout the levels of the school.[30] Brisbane Boys' College maintains the tradition of conducting a pipe band,[31] which plays at public events such as the annual ANZAC Day March in Brisbane.[32] The school, together with St Aidan's Anglican Girls' School,[33] conducts biannual musicals as well as other theatrical productions.[4]


The College offers Rugby, Football, Rowing, Gymnastics, Cricket, Basketball, Volleyball, Chess, Tennis, Cross Country, Australian Rules Football, Athletics, Swimming, Waterpolo and Sailing.

Recent sporting achievements[edit]

Brisbane Boys' College has achieved sporting success as a GPS school in the following activities:

  • Track and Field-2016 *<nowki>Australian Football – 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2009 [34]
  • Basketball – 1987, 1995, 2005, 2011 [35]
  • Cricket – 2003 [36]
  • Football – 1991, 1993, 2004, 2010, 2011 [37]
  • Gymnastics – 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2007 [38]
  • Rowing – 2002, 2003 [39][40]
  • Volleyball – 1994, 1995, 1996, 2001 [41]
  • Tennis – 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 [42]
  • Sailing – 2007, 2008, 2011 [43]

Rowing club[edit]

BBC students rowing on the Brisbane River, 1935

The BBC Rowing Club is active throughout the year however the primary season is during terms 1 and 4, and is open to boys in Years 7–12. The boathouse is located on the Brisbane River, near the University of Queensland at St Lucia. The club has been successful since its first race in 1918, winning more Queensland Head of the River races than any other school.[44] The club's most recent wins were in 2002 and 2003.[45]

The club was founded in 1916, by school founder Mr A W Rudd. The first shed was built on Breakfast Creek in 1918, with the club winning its first Head of the River the following year. The shed was moved to the banks of the Brisbane River near the Regatta Hotel in 1930, where it was destroyed by flood in 1974. A new shed was built near the University of Queensland at St Lucia in 1976.

The club is split into four stages – Junior (grades 7, 8 and 9), Under 15 (grades 9 and 10), Under 16 (grades 10 and 11) and Open (grades 11 and 12). Juniors and Under 15s row in quad sculls, and Under 16s and Opens row eights. The 1st VIII has been successful at the Head of the River on 23 occasions, winning in 1919, 1934, 1937, 1938, 1946, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1956, 1957, 1961, 1962, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1972, 1974, 1990, 1992, 1993 and 2002.[45] The club's 1st VIII also won the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup at the Henley Royal Regatta in 1993, becoming the first Australian crew to do so.[44]

In recent times Brisbane Boys' College rowers have gone on to represent Queensland and Australia in Regattas worldwide. John Dickson (Alumni 2005),[46] Scott Laidler (Alumni 2007),[47] Harrison Westbrook (Alumni 2008) [48] and Cameron Stitt (Alumni 2008)[47] are just some of the examples of old boys who have performed at representative level.

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Brisbane Boys' College". Schools. Presbyterian and Methodist Schools Association. Archived from the original on 16 February 2008. Retrieved 5 December 2007. 
  2. ^ "Our story". Brisbane Boys College. Retrieved 12 November 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d "2006 School Report" (PDF). Reporting. Brisbane Boys' College. 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 October 2007. Retrieved 5 December 2007. 
  4. ^ a b [1] Study QLD Provider information for BBC Archived 12 November 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ a b "Brisbane Boys' College". Schools. Australian Boarding Schools Association. Archived from the original on 17 November 2007. Retrieved 5 December 2007. 
  6. ^ "JSHAA Queensland Directory of Members". Queensland Branch. Junior School Heads Association of Australia. Archived from the original on 12 April 2008. Retrieved 5 December 2007. 
  7. ^ "AHISA Schools: Queensland". Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia. November 2007. Archived from the original on 2 November 2007. Retrieved 5 December 2007. 
  8. ^ a b "Brisbane Boys College (entry 600337)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 22 July 2009. 
  9. ^ a b "Brisbane Boys' College – Queensland Heritage Register". West Toowong Community. West Toowong Community Association Inc. Archived from the original on 14 September 2009. Retrieved 15 June 2009. 
  10. ^ a b "BBC: A brief history of BBC". Brisbane Boys' College. Brisbane Boys' College. Retrieved 15 June 2009. [dead link]
  11. ^ OurToowong page for BBC
  12. ^ BBC official brief history
  13. ^ [2] QAGTC map Archived 3 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ CIC fields pamphlet
  15. ^ BBC official campus map
  16. ^ "College Hall". Sons of the College. Brisbane, Australia: Brisbane Boys' College. October 2009. p. 7. 
  17. ^ 21st century learning
  18. ^ Southwest News – Brisbane Boys' College plans for expansion under fire
  19. ^ a b Junior School Handbook (PDF). Brisbane, Queensland, Australia: Brisbane Boys' College. p. 32.  Archived 17 January 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
  20. ^ [3] BBC College Shop pricelist Archived 16 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  21. ^ a b Portal 2002 (in English (Australia)). Brisbane, Queensland, Australia: Brisbane Boys' College. 2002. p. 31. 
  22. ^ a b Portal 2002 (in English (Australia)). Brisbane, Queensland, Australia: Brisbane Boys' College. 2002. p. 33. 
  23. ^ a b Portal 2002 (in English (Australia)). Brisbane, Queensland, Australia: Brisbane Boys' College. 2002. p. 34. 
  24. ^ a b Portal 2002 (in English (Australia)). Brisbane, Queensland, Australia: Brisbane Boys' College. 2002. p. 36. 
  25. ^ a b Portal 2002 (in English (Australia)). Brisbane, Queensland, Australia: Brisbane Boys' College. 2002. p. 38. 
  26. ^ a b Portal 2002 (in English (Australia)). Brisbane, Queensland, Australia: Brisbane Boys' College. 2002. p. 40. 
  27. ^ a b Portal 2002 (in English (Australia)). Brisbane, Queensland, Australia: Brisbane Boys' College. 2002. p. 42. 
  28. ^ a b Portal 2002 (in English (Australia)). Brisbane, Queensland, Australia: Brisbane Boys' College. 2002. p. 44. 
  29. ^ a b Portal 2002 (in English (Australia)). Brisbane, Queensland, Australia: Brisbane Boys' College. 2002. p. 46. 
  30. ^ BBC Music page
  31. ^ "Brisbane band here to learn". Otago Daily Times. 26 June 2009. Retrieved 22 September 2011. 
  32. ^ BBC Pipe Band page
  33. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-11.  St. Aidans Co-curricular activities page (incl. school musical)
  34. ^ BBC Australian Rules Football
  35. ^ "The Great Public Schools' Association of Qld Inc". SportingPulse. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  36. ^ Portal 2003 (in English (Australia)). Brisbane, Queensland, Australia: Brisbane Boys' College. 2003. p. 165. 
  37. ^ Portal 2004 (in English (Australia)). Brisbane, Queensland, Australia: Brisbane Boys' College. 2004. p. 208. 
  38. ^ BBC Gymnastics
  39. ^ Portal 2002 (in English (Australia)). Brisbane, Queensland, Australia: Brisbane Boys' College. 2002. p. 143. 
  40. ^ Portal 2003 (in English (Australia)). Brisbane, Queensland, Australia: Brisbane Boys' College. 2003. p. 189. 
  41. ^ BBC Volleyball
  42. ^ BBC Tennis
  43. ^ "Brisbane Boys College wins team racing". Archived from the original on 13 August 2008. Retrieved 21 January 2010. 
  44. ^ a b [4] BBC Rowing History Archived 24 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  45. ^ a b [5][dead link] GPS Head of the River Rowing Championships
  46. ^ [6][dead link] AYOF07 profile for John Dickson
  47. ^ a b College News – 19 June 2009 (page 3)
  48. ^ Athlete profile: Harrison Westbrook

External links[edit]