Ravenswood School for Girls

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Ravenswood School for Girls
Ravenswood School for Girls Logo.png
Gordon, New South Wales
Coordinates 33°45′33″S 151°9′20″E / 33.75917°S 151.15556°E / -33.75917; 151.15556Coordinates: 33°45′33″S 151°9′20″E / 33.75917°S 151.15556°E / -33.75917; 151.15556
Type Independent, Girls, Day and Boarding
Motto Latin: Semper ad meliora
(Always towards better things)
Denomination Uniting Church[1]
Established 1901[2]
Chairman Mark Webb
Principal Vicky Steer
Employees ~209[3]
Key people Mabel Fidler (Founder)
Enrolment ~1100 (K–12)[4]
Colour(s) Navy Blue, Gold and Red         
Slogan "Ravenswood widens her world"

Ravenswood School for Girls (often referred to as Ravenswood) is an independent, Uniting Church, day and boarding school for K-12 girls, situated in Gordon, an Upper North Shore suburb of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Established in 1901 by Mabel Fidler (1871–1960),[5] Ravenswood currently caters for approximately 1100 students from Kindergarten to Year 12, including 20 boarders from Years 10 to 12.[4] The school has been an IB World School since June 2004, and is authorised to offer the IB Diploma Programme.[6]

Ravenswood is affiliated with the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA),[7] the Independent Primary School Heads of Australia (IPSHA),[8] the Australian Boarding Schools' Association,[9] the Alliance of Girls' Schools Australasia,[10] and is a member of the Association of Heads of Independent Girls' Schools (AHIGS).[11]


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.[12]

Fidler retired from Ravenswood in 1925, a year after the school was 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.[12] 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.[5] Ravenswood became a day and boarding school in 1935, with the enrolment of the first two boarders.[12]

The 1960s saw the introduction of the school anthem, Kindle the Flame, and the fourth school House, all houses named, by the students, after the Royal Houses of Britain: Stuart, Tudor, Windsor and York.[12] In 1975, 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 royal blue and gold uniform was also introduced at this time.[12]

In its Centenary Year in 2001, the school celebrated with the official opening of The Centenary Centre for Performing Arts, by His Excellency the Honourable Sir William Deane, AC, KBE, Governor-General of Australia (1996–2001). Further change was seen on 5 September 2007, with the introduction of a new school uniform that now reflects the original navy blue and gold Ravenswood colours.


Period Details[11]
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 MBE
1987 – 1992 Miss Coral Dixon AM
1993 – 2004 Mrs Lorraine Smith
2005 – Present Ms Vicki Steer


Mabel Fidler Building, Ravenswood School for Girls by BVN Architecture

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.[13]

The school grounds feature quadrangles and courtyards, a multi-purpose complex with heated swimming pool, 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.[13]

The newest addition to 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.

Junior School students are catered for within the Junior School centre with a Resource Centre, playground and play equipment area, adventure playground and adjacent Assembly Hall.[13]


In Years 11 and 12, students may choose to take either the Higher School Certificate (HSC) course or the International Baccalaureate Diploma Course (IB).[6]

In 2013, 54% of Year 12 Ravenswood students who sat the Higher School Certificate (HSC) examinations achieved an ATAR of 90+. Out of the 22 Year 12 students who completed the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma, five girls achieved a score of 40+ (out of a possible maximum 45), equating to an ATAR of 99.80. The average IB score was 36 (ATAR 94.30).



Ravenswood has a tradition of debating, and students are offered opportunities to participate at competitive or social levels. Ravenswood competes in three inter-school debating competitions: the Independent Schools Debating Association (ISDA), the Archdale Debating Competition and the Independent Primary School Heads of Australia (IPSHA). Girls may also participate in House debating.[14]


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.[14]

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.[14]

Students who perform well at IPSHA or IGSSA level may be invited to compete in NSW Combined Independent Schools' (CIS) competitions.[14]

Army Cadet Unit (KGSACU)[edit]

Ravenswood is an active part of The Knox Grammar School Army Cadet Unit (KGSACU), joining the program in 2012 as part of the 13th platoon, E company. The KGSACU has approximately 800 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 Ravenswood girls from 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 to be held by Ravenswood girls were attained at the annual Singleton camp, as section commanders. Since then girls have attained roles as a LCPL,CPL, SGT and WO2 and have gone on to achieve rank in external specialist platoons.[citation needed]

The Unit participates in a 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, 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.[citation needed]


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.[citation needed] 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).[15]

Notable alumnae[edit]

Media, entertainment and the arts
Medicine and science
Politics, public service and the law

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ravenswood". Directory. Sydney's Child. Archived from the original on 2007-10-23. Retrieved 2007-10-29. 
  2. ^ "Ravenswood School for Girls". School Directory. SchoolSeek. Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  3. ^ "Ravenswood Annual Report 2013". Our Publications. Ravenswood School for Girls. 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-02. 
  4. ^ a b "Ravenswood School for Girls". New South Wales. School Choice. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2008-01-02. 
  5. ^ a b Jacobs, Marjorie (1981). "Fidler, Mabel Maude (1871 - 1960)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Melbourne University Press. pp. 492–493. Retrieved 2007-04-23. 
  6. ^ a b "Ravenswood School for Girls". IB World Schools. International Baccalaureate Organization. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  7. ^ "AHISA Schools". New South Wales. Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia. November 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-11-02. Retrieved 2007-12-17. 
  8. ^ "IPSHA". New South Wales Branch. Junior School Heads' Association of Australia. 2014. Retrieved 2014-06-30. 
  9. ^ "Ravenswood School for Girls". Schools. Australian Boarding Schools' Association. 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  10. ^ Butler, Jan (2006). "Member Schools". Members. The Alliance of Girls' Schools Australasia. Retrieved 2007-12-17. 
  11. ^ a b "Heads of New South Wales Independent Girls' Schools". About AHIGS. Association of Heads of Independent Girls Schools. Retrieved 2007-11-28. 
  12. ^ a b c d e !-- Bot retrieved archive --> "History of Ravenswood" Check |url= scheme (help). History & Location. Ravenswood School for Girls. 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-07-02. Retrieved 2007-08-06. 
  13. ^ a b c "Facilities". Explore Ravenswood. Ravenswood School for Girls. Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  14. ^ a b c d "Co-Curricular Activities". Explore Ravenswood. Ravenswood School for Girls. Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  15. ^ "Ravenswood School for Girls" (PDF). Case Studies. Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency. 2001. Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  16. ^ Australian Dictionary of Biography: Bower, Helen Rosalie (Ros) (1923 - 1980) (accessed:06-08-2007)
  17. ^ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm7204654/
  18. ^ Australian Dictionary of Biography: Petrie, Winifred Marion (1890 - 1966) (accessed:11-07-2007)
  19. ^ Rees, Peter (2004). 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. 

External links[edit]