Downlands College

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Downlands Sacred Heart College
Downlands Logo Thumbnail.tif
Downlands College entrance.jpg
Ruthven Street entrance, 2014
Toowoomba, Queensland
Australia Australia
Coordinates 27°32′07″S 151°57′27″E / 27.53528°S 151.95750°E / -27.53528; 151.95750Coordinates: 27°32′07″S 151°57′27″E / 27.53528°S 151.95750°E / -27.53528; 151.95750
Type Private, Secondary, Day & Boarding
Motto Latin: Fortes in Fide
(Strong in Faith)
Denomination Catholic
Established 1931
Founder Jules Chevalier (founder of the MSC)
Principal Mr Stephen McIllhatton
Grades 5–12
Gender Coeducational
Enrolment ~900
Colour(s) Royal blue and cardinal red         
Affiliations Missionaries of the Sacred Heart

Downlands College, officially named Downlands Sacred Heart College, is a private, secondary, coeducational, day and boarding school at Harlaxton in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia. Founded by the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart in 1931,[1] the College began as a boarding school for boys with a total enrolment of 68.

Downlands is Queensland's only Catholic, coeducational, day and boarding school years 5-12. The school offers boarding for both boys and girls and demand for co-educational boarding is high as it allows families and siblings to remain together.[citation needed] The school has an enrolment of approximately 290 boarders from regional Queensland, interstate and overseas, including indigenous students from communities such as Kowanyama and the Tiwi Islands. The school also provides casual boarding to its day students. Downlands College is one of the biggest boarding schools in Queensland.[citation needed]

Heritage listing[edit]

The grounds of the school contain the heritage-listed Tyson Manor.

College Badge[edit]

The Downlands College Badge consists of a horizontally-divided field in the College colours, royal blue and cardinal red. The upper of the shield carries a gold gryphon, and the lower half bears the Maltese Cross of the State of Queensland. The shield is surmounted by the heart crest with the letters SHC (Sacred Heart College) supported by a ram's horns and ears of wheat, to symbolise the College's setting in the Darling Downs. The college motto, Fortes in Fide, meaning Strong in Faith[1] is emblazoned under the crest.

House system[edit]

Downlands, like many Australian schools, uses a house system in the College. Students are randomly assigned to one of six houses which compete against each other during swimming and athletics carnivals, as well as a drama festival. The Downlands houses are:

Vandel House – Green- Piperon House – Purple- Treand House – Red- Jouet House – Blue

Extracurricular activities[edit]

Downlands College is known as the School of Choice, offering an extensive and varied curriculum and co-curricular offering.


Downlands has long been recognised as one of the strongest sporting schools in Queensland. Rugby union, football (soccer), netball, cricket, tennis, touch football, softball, Australian rules football, hockey, basketball, athletics and swimming are the main sports played at the College, with a large number of students taking part in organised sport throughout the year. Downlands is a member of the Catholic Secondary Schoolgirls' Sports Association. The College's mascot is the Gryphon, who makes appearances at certain inter-school competitions.


One of the newest facilities at Downlands is its large Performing Arts department, catering for all age groups. The College choirs and musical ensembles, as well as individual students, are regular participants in the Toowoomba Eisteddfod. Downlands runs a musical every two years with participation across all grades. Recent musicals have included Crazy For You (2018), Les Miserables (2016), High School Musical 2, Footloose (2008), The Wiz (2007), Disco Inferno (2006) and SherWoodstock (2005). The College also enters teams into the Queensland Debating Union, with much success.

Notable alumni[edit]


Years Principal
1931–1935 Fr R Hyland MSC
1935–1938 Fr H Asprey MSC
1938–1945 Fr J Doyle MSC
1945–1949 Fr R Campbell MSC
1949–1956 Fr V Dwyer MSC
1956–1962 Fr T Kelly MSC
1962–1969 Fr J Mooney MSC
1969–1974 Fr Harold Baker MSC
1975–1981 Fr Val Patterson MSC
1981–1986 Fr James Littleton MSC
1987–1990 Fr Roy O'Neill MSC
1991–1999 Mr D McIntyre
2000–2005 Fr Denis Uhr MSC
2006–2010 Fr John Mulrooney MSC
2011–present Mr Stephen McIllhatton


  1. ^ a b "Downlands College Toowoomba – Welcome". Archived from the original on 11 September 2009. Retrieved 19 September 2009. 
  2. ^ "Who's Who in the Legal Zoo: Sir Gerard Brennan AC, KBE – Former Chief Justice of the High Court". Archived from the original on 30 September 2011. Retrieved 12 August 2011. 
  3. ^ Angus Innes, "Sir Walter Campbell Pt. 2", Shoulder to Shoulder: The Journal of the Society of St. Andrew of Scotland (QLD), (Brisbane: Society of St. Andrew of Scotland, June 2000).
  4. ^ a b c "News of Past Students". Downlands Past Students Union. Archived from the original on 22 August 2011. Retrieved 12 August 2011. 
  5. ^ "Students hand loss to Old Boys". Toowoomba Chronicle. Archived from the original on 29 September 2011. Retrieved 12 August 2011. 
  6. ^ "Alethea Beetson". Queensland Museum. Archived from the original on 18 August 2016. Retrieved 18 August 2016. 
  7. ^ "Dirty Black Denim Heathcote Sangiovese Novello 2016 - The Wine Front". Archived from the original on 23 October 2017. Retrieved 18 April 2018. 

External links[edit]