Ravenswood School for Girls
|Ravenswood School for Girls|
Latin: Semper Ad Meliora
Always Towards Better Things
|Gordon, New South Wales, Australia|
|Type||Independent, Single-sex, Day and Boarding|
|Key people||Mabel Fidler (Founder)|
|Colour(s)||Navy Blue and Gold|
|Slogan||"Foundations for the future"|
Ravenswood School for Girls (often referred to as Ravenswood) is an independent, Uniting Church, day and boarding school for girls, situated in Gordon, an Upper North Shore suburb of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Established in 1901 by Mabel Fidler (1871–1960), Ravenswood currently caters for approximately 990 students from Kindergarten to Year 12, including 20 boarders from Years 10 to 12. The school has been an IB World School since June 2004, and is authorised to offer the IB Diploma Programme.
Ravenswood is affiliated with the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA), the Junior School Heads Association of Australia (JSHAA), the Australian Boarding Schools' Association, the Alliance of Girls' Schools Australasia, and is a member of the Association of Heads of Independent Girls' Schools (AHIGS).
Ravenswood was established with eight students on 28 January 1901, by the first Headmistress, Mabel Fidler, as a non-sectarian, private, day school for girls with preparatory classes for boys. The first classes commenced in a schoolroom erected on the block adjacent to Fidler's home, "Ravenswood", in Henry Street, Gordon. The school remains on this site.
Fidler retired from Ravenswood in 1925, and the school was subsequently purchased by the Methodist Ladies' College, Burwood, thus becoming a school of the Methodist Church. Subsequently, the school name was changed to Ravenswood Methodist Ladies' College. At this time, Ravenswood was the largest non-residential, private secondary school in Sydney, with an enrolment of 180, and was highly regarded for the quality of its teaching and its achievements in sport. Ravenswood became a day and boarding school in 1935, with the enrolment of the first two boarders.
The 1960s saw the introduction of the school anthem, Kindle the Flame, and the current house system, with four houses named after the Royal Houses of the British Monarchy: Stuart, Tudor, Windsor and York. In the 1970s, as the Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregational Churches came together to form the Uniting Church, the school name changed to its current form, Ravenswood School for Girls. The schools familiar blue and gold uniform was also introduced at this time.
In its Centenary Year in 2001, the school celebrated with the official opening of The Centenary Centre, by His Excellency the Honourable Sir William Deane, AC, KBE, Governor-General of Australia (1996–2001). In 2006, after considerable debate, the Ravenswood council announced that the school would be phasing out its boarding program over the next six to eight years, due to a steady decline in boarding enrolments over recent years. Further change was seen on 5 September 2007, with the introduction of a new school uniform.
|1901 – 1925||Miss Mabel Fidler, Founder|
|1926||Miss Ethelwyn Potts|
|1927 – 1928||Miss Clarice Ashworth|
|1928 – 1931||Miss Francis Craig|
|1932 – 1961||Miss Kathleen Crago|
|1962 – 1986||Miss Phyllis Evans|
|1987 – 1992||Miss Coral Dixon|
|1993 – 2004||Mrs Lorraine Smith|
|2005 – Present||Ms Vicki Steer|
Ravenswood is located on its original site, a single campus in suburban Gordon. The school has progressively expanded since 1901, with the acquisition of new properties and the addition and upgrading of facilities.
The school grounds feature quadrangles and courtyards, a multi-purpose complex with heated swimming pool, old gymnasium, Strength and Conditioning Centre and Athletics Field. The Ravenswood Centenary Centre, opened in 2001, includes a Performing Arts Theatre, Music Centre and exhibition areas.
The newest addition the campus is the Mabel Fidler building by BVN Architecture which forms a new entry and centre for learning at Ravenswood School for Girls and functions as the central hub within the school environment. The building houses the Junior and Senior school libraries known as the resource hub.
Ravenswood has a tradition of debating, and students are offered opportunities to participate at competitive or social levels. Ravenswood competes in two inter-school debating competitions: the Independent Schools Debating Association (ISDA) and the Schools Debating Network (SDN). Girls may also participate in an inter-house debating competition.
Primary School students may partake in competitive sport through the Ravenswood's membership of the Independent primary schools Association of Australia (IPSHA). These competitions are usually held on Saturday mornings and include sports such as: Softball, Tennis, Netball, Cricket, Hockey, and Soccer.
Secondary School students compete against 28 other similar type schools in the Independent Girls' Schools Sporting Association (IGSSA) competition. These competitions occur on Saturday mornings or in the form of carnivals and include sports such as: Softball, Swimming, Diving, Cricket, Tennis, Hockey, Soccer, and Gymnastics.
Students who perform well at JSHAA or IGSSA level may be invited to compete in NSW Combined Independent Schools' (CIS) competitions.
Army Cadet Unit (KGSACU)
Ravenswood is an active part of The Knox Grammar School Army Cadet Unit (KGSACU), joining the program in 2012 with a group of 40 Ravenswood girls being apart of 13th platoon, E company. The KGSACU has 630 members, ranging from recruits (RECs) to Cadet Under Officers (CUOs), and is arguably the largest Army Cadet Unit in the Southern Hemisphere. The KGSACU is a member of 26 Battalion (26 Bn) (Sydney Schools) within the NSW AAC BDE. There is voluntary participation for attendees at Ravenswood School for Girls in Term 4 Year 8. After the completion of basic recruit training in their first year, cadets may decide to either discharge from the Unit, or attend a Promotion Course to attempt to attain a higher rank. The first leadership positions ever to be held by Ravenswood girls where attained at the annual Singleton camp by cadet Dickinson, Hunter, Ryder and Wong who were appointed as section commanders. Since then girls have attained roles as a LCPL,CPL, SGT and WO2 and have also gone on to achieve rank in external specialist platoons.
The Unit participates in combined Bivouac/Annual Field Exercise at the end of Term 1, and holds its own Junior, Senior, and CUOs Promotions Courses during August/September each year. Additionally, the KGSACU holds ceremonial parades for the Old Knox Grammarians Association (OKGA), an ANZAC Day Parade to commemorate ANZAC Day (though held several weeks after the day itself), and a Passing-Out Parade at the end of the cadet year to farewell the Year 12 members at the conclusion of their service to the unit. 2013 saw the farewell of the first female cadets from the original E company.
The school has been noted for its contributions towards equality for women. In 2001, Ravenswood was the only school in Australia to be short listed for the Most Innovative Practice for the Advancement of Women Award. It is also one of a small number of companies to be nominated for an Employer of Choice for Women classification by the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA). Ravenswood has maintained this status in 2002 and 2003.
- Media, entertainment and the arts
- Helen Rosalie (Ros) Bower - Community arts director
- Gretel Killeen - Author and Host of Big Brother
- Lisa Pryor - SMH columnist and author
- Tammin Sursok - Dani from Home and Away and Jenna from Pretty Little Liars
- Medicine and science
- Politics, public service and the law
- Juanita Nielsen - Publisher, anti-development campaigner, heiress to the Mark Foy's retail fortune. Disappeared in mysterious circumstances (believed kidnapped and murdered) from Kings Cross, in 1975. Subject of films, Heatwave (1982) and The Killing of Angel Street (1981)
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- "Co-Curricular Activities". Explore Ravenswood. Ravenswood School for Girls. Retrieved 2008-01-17.
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- Rees, Peter. Killing Juanita: a true story of murder and corruption. Crows Nest, N.S.W: Allen & Unwin. p. 15. ISBN 1-86508-684-3. Retrieved 2007-09-18.