Mac.Robertson Girls' High School

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The Mac.Robertson Girls' High School
Mac.Robertson GHS' logo – Minerva
Albert Park, Melbourne, Victoria
Coordinates 37°50′11″S 144°58′16″E / 37.83639°S 144.97111°E / -37.83639; 144.97111Coordinates: 37°50′11″S 144°58′16″E / 37.83639°S 144.97111°E / -37.83639; 144.97111
Type Public, Single-sex, Selective, Day school
Motto Latin: Potens Sui
(Mastery of self)
Established 1905
Sister school Melbourne High School
Principal Dr Toni Meath
Enrolment ca. 950 (9–12)[1]
Campus Urban

Maroon, Green & Charcoal


The Mac.Robertson Girls' High School (also known simply as Mac.Rob or MGHS) is an academically selective, public high school for gifted students, located in the city of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Entry for Mac.Rob, which is operated by the Victoria Department of Education, is by competitive academic examination. It is unique in its status as a statewide provider for girls in years 9 to 12.[2] The equivalent for boys is its brother school, Melbourne High School. Each year, over 3000 candidates will sit the entrance examination for a total of approximately 960 places (across all four schools).

In 2001, The Sun-Herald ranked The Mac.Robertson Girls' High School sixth in Australia's top ten girls' schools, based on the number of its alumni mentioned in the Who's Who in Australia (a listing of notable Australians).[3][a] The Mac.Robertson Girls' High School has a long tradition of academic excellence with VCE scores propelling the school to be ranked 1st in the State of Victoria for seven consecutive years from 2002 to 2008, inclusive. The school was ranked 3rd in 2009, but reclaimed its No. 1 ranking once again in 2010, 2011 and 2013.[4]

The school provides an educational experience that equips girls for tertiary study and leadership roles in academic, professional and business communities, and develops interests and skills to enhance their personal lives. The school has a prestigious history, tracing its origins to the establishment of the first Victorian state secondary school in 1905. Its many eminent former students provide strong role models and inspiration for current students.


Art Deco architecture at Mac.Robertson

The Mac.Robertson Girls' High School began as Melbourne Continuation School, the first government funded school in the state of Victoria, established in 1905 in Spring Street, Melbourne. In 1912, it was renamed Melbourne High School. Originally a co-educational school, the school was segregated by sexes in 1927, with the boys moving to Melbourne Boys' High School in Forrest Hill, South Yarra, Victoria.

Girls continued to be educated in the school on Spring Street, renamed as Melbourne Girls' High School, until the building was condemned in 1930. The school was housed in the then-vacant Government House until 1933, when they moved to State School No. 1689 in King Street. In 1934, with the help of a donation from Macpherson Robertson, a new building was constructed the north-east corner of Albert Park Reserve. The school opened as the Mac.Robertson Girls' High School on 7 November 1934. The school was used as U.S Army Headquarters in 1942 and later by the R.A.A.F. The students took their classes at Brighton Road State School, Camberwell East Girls' School, and University High School during this period.

The building gained a national trust classification in 1987. It was previously gazetted as an Historic Building in 1982. The school celebrated its centenary year in 2005 with Melbourne High School in a joined assembly. Mac.Rob celebrated by inviting Premier of Victoria Steve Bracks to witness the restarting of the school clock tower (which coincidentally would not start when the time came).

The Mac.Robertson Girls' High School today continues and maintains a tradition of high academic achievement. Each year the school's VCE results are among the highest in the state, topping the statewide VCE results seven years running (2002–2008 inclusive).[citation needed]

Past principals[edit]

Period Principal
1927–1932 Miss C. Montomery
1934–1948 Miss M. Hutton
1949–1955 Miss R. Gainfort
1955–1965 Miss D. Barrett
1966–1971 Miss N. Carr
1972–1984 Miss G. Bowles
1985–1996 Miss G. Blood
1996–2004 Ms L. Boston
2004–2012 Ms Jane Garvey
2013–present Dr Toni Meath

Enrolment and structure[edit]

The school operates in a two sub-school structure. The middle school caters for students in years 9 and 10, whilst the senior school caters for students in years 11 and 12. The school's enrolment across all four year levels totals to approximately 950 to 960 students every year. A quota of 225 year 9 students are selected for enrolment every year through the year 8 entrance examination. The year 10 cohort adds another class of 25 into the year level bringing the total to 250 students. The size of both the year 11 and 12 cohorts vary slightly each year, totalling approximately 260 students each year, including the intake of few students into Year 11.


In Year Nine, students are offered two electives per semester, with core subjects Maths, English, Science, Physical Education, School Singing compulsory for the entire year. Students have a semester each of Geography and History.

Year Ten students must take the core subjects English, Physical Education, Mathematics, and one language, but are also offered a selection of electives, categorised into Science, Arts/Technology, and Humanities. They choose one elective from each category and may study a Year 11 Units 1/2 subject in preparation for VCE. Electives offered include Women and Madness, Linguistics, Advanced Food and Architecture.

Year Eleven students must complete six subjects at school regardless of any external LOTE. Students can only undertake a maximum of two VCE subjects before Year Twelve providing their GPA from Year Nine and Ten is high enough. Many students choose to take Biology 3/4, Mathematical Methods 3/4 and/or and External LOTE language such as Chinese, Korean or Vietnamese.

Students in Year Twelve generally undertake four to five VCE 3/4 subjects.

School song[edit]

The school song – music by Dr A. E. Floyd, words by Mr W. Kerry, MA. – is sung in Latin at each assembly and at important occasions, such as Speech Night.

His veteribus sub tectis;
Carmen vocibus sescentis
Celebrate viginum
Mistos lusibus labores,
Strenuos dies, lucernas,
Haud ingratum otium.

Operosa, fructuosa,
Vita debet exigi.
Neu praeceptum
Sit infectum
Palladis, potens sui.

Quid si, per iocos et risum,
Occupare dona visum
Juventutis aurea.
Num quid setius explemus
Munus debitum, videmus
Quae subsint certamina.


In these halls where youth rejoices
Let the sound of many voices
Tell in song our daily round:
Exercise, and steady learning,
Active days, and lights late burning,
Leisure hours when joys abound.

Firm in striving, fine in action
Such our life should ever be;
Nor unheeded
go the precept
Pallas gives: "Potens Sui"

What if, 'mid the fun and laughter,
We may seem to follow after
But youth's golden gifts so fair;
What if we fulfil but slowly
Tasks that must be done; yet wholly
We perceive the challenge there.



The four houses and their associated colours are:

Nereids official colour is white, although throughout the years it has come to adopt purple as its secondary colour.

Notable alumnae[edit]


Mac.Robertson Girls' High School's 2015 VCE results has been ranked first out of all state secondary government schools in Victoria based on the Median Study Score[8] and Study Score 40+.[9] Median Study Score was 38 and 38.2% all study scores were at or above 40.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2006 Annual Report to the school community" (PDF). Mac.Robertson Girls' High School. 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 September 2007. Retrieved 13 September 2007. 
  2. ^ School profile Archived 2013-04-09 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Walker, Frank (22 July 2001). "The ties that bind". The Sun-Herald. p. 16. Retrieved 12 September 2007. 
  4. ^ "2009 VCE School Ranking". Retrieved 14 December 2010. 
  5. ^ "Author, 14, lands publishing deal". The Age. 27 October 2006. Retrieved 24 July 2008. 
  6. ^ a b c The Mac.Rob Portrait Gallery
  7. ^ Fenton, Andrew (25 June 2011). "Greens duo putting family first". The Advertiser ( News Corporation. Retrieved 26 June 2011. 
  8. ^ "VCE Government Schools Results Ranking – 2015 based on Median Score". Retrieved 2016-03-25. 
  9. ^ "VCE Government Schools Results Ranking - 2015 based on Score 40+". Retrieved 2016-03-25. 
  10. ^ "Mac.Robertson Girls' High School VCE Results". Retrieved 2016-03-25. 

External links[edit]