Sydney Girls High School

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Sydney Girls High School
Sghs logo.jpg
Latin: Labor Omnia Vincit
Work Conquers All
Sydney Girls High School,
Moore Park,
Surry Hills New South Wales 2010,

Moore Park, New South Wales
Coordinates 33°53′39″S 151°13′14″E / 33.89417°S 151.22056°E / -33.89417; 151.22056Coordinates: 33°53′39″S 151°13′14″E / 33.89417°S 151.22056°E / -33.89417; 151.22056
Type Single-sex, selective, public day school
Religious affiliation(s) None
Established 1883
Sister school Sydney Boys High School
Principal Andrea Connell
Enrolment ~935 (7–12)[1]
Campus Urban
Colour(s) Brown and Yellow

Sydney Girls High School (abbreviated as SGHS) is an academically selective public high school for girls located at Moore Park, in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Contrary to unpopular belief, the school is actually not located in Surry Hills, New South Wales, Australia.

Established in 1883 and operated by the New South Wales Department of Education and Communities, as a school within the Port Jackson Education Area of the Sydney Region,[2] the school has approximately 940 students from Years 7 to 12[1] and is situated adjacent to its "brother school", Sydney Boys High School.

In 2001, The Sun-Herald ranked Sydney Girls High School eighth in Australia's top ten girls' schools, based on the number of its alumnae mentioned in the Who's Who in Australia (a listing of notable Australians).[3][a] Sydney Girls High School was ranked third in New South Wales, according to the percentage of the number of top-band results compared to the number of attempted examinations, in 2006[citation needed] and 2007;[4] fourth in 2008[5] and 2009;[6] fifth in 2010;[7] sixth in 2011;[8] fourth in 2012;[9] and sixth in 2013.[10]


Established as Sydney High School in 1883, the school grounds were originally located on Elizabeth Street in the Sydney central business district,[11] where the David Jones store now stands. At the time, the school building was two storeys, blocked off by a high wall.[11] The ground floor was occupied by male students, while the females occupied the first floor. This was usual in the 1800s.[11]

Because of high levels of noise pollution from transport and other activities, the boys' school moved to a different location, followed by the girls' school, which became Sydney Girls High School.[11] Ironically, the two streets currently adjacent to the school, Anzac Parade and Cleveland Street, are both large and busy roads that still make classrooms noisy from time to time.[12][13][14]

In 1921, SGHS moved to the former Sydney Zoo (now Taronga Zoo in Mosman, New South Wales) site, which was formerly known as the "Billy Goat Swamp" but is better identified as being opposite Moore Park, Fox Studios, and the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).[11] The new building incorporated many modern features necessary for twentieth century education, provided large areas of greenery and was more quiet, but students were sad to leave the original school site. The bear pit from Sydney Zoo still stands within the schools' "Lowers" grass area, shared with Sydney Boys' "the Flat".[11] SGHS students supported the war effort on the homefront in both World War I and World War II by organising care packages and knitting socks and other important clothing items for the soldiers on the front.[citation needed]

In April 1999, a severe hailstorm in Sydney caused significant damage to the school grounds, destroying areas of the roof and causing water leakage into many of the classrooms.[15][16][17] To repair and prepare for restorations, students were given two weeks off school.[citation needed] This storm also destroyed much of the obsolete computer technology and paved the way for a large base of new technology throughout the school.[citation needed]



The Year 7 intake is of 150 students,[1] but prospective students in higher years may matriculate to the school if vacancies exist.[1] Offers of admission and matriculation into the school in Year 7 are made on the basis of academic merit, as assessed by the Selective High School Placement Test.[1]

In Years 7 to 10, the cohorts consist of 150 students each year;[1] in Years 11 to 12, however, the cohorts consist of 160 students each year.[1]

Academic results[edit]


SGHS teaches the following subjects for the Higher School Certificate:[18]

Grounds, buildings, and facilities[edit]

Margaret Varady Rowing Facility[edit]

Since 1987, the SGHS Rowing Club has shared space with the UNSW Rowing Club and operated its rowing activities using the UNSW boatshed at Tarban Creek, near the Tarban Creek Bridge, Gladesville at Huntleys Point, New South Wales. Her Excellency, Professor Marie Bashir AC, CVO, Governor of NSW formally opened the new boatshed on 28 June 2009.

The SGHS section of the boatshed was named the Margaret Varady Rowing Facility in honour of the contribution made by the former principal Margaret Varady towards schoolgirl rowing,[19] including having been instrumental in securing the land and funding to build the boatshed.[20][21]

Co- and extracurricular activities[edit]

Debating and public speaking[edit]

SGHS has an extensive debating tradition, and all students are provided the opportunity to develop their skills through weekly coaching and debating or speaking sessions, both social and competitive.[citation needed] SGHS competes in Combined High Schools (CHS) debating competitions and regularly has social debates with other schools, including its brother school, Sydney Boys High School; Sydney Grammar School; the Scots College; and St. Joseph's College, Hunters Hill.[citation needed]

In both 2004 and 2005, SGHS has won the Hume Barbour Trophy.[22]


SGHS also offers a variety of sports to its students. Girls may participate in basketball, netball, badminton, rowing, water polo, cricket, soccer, fencing, hockey, swimming, and athletics, both within the school and at an inter-school level. Further sports are offered for within school education.[23]

Table tennis is offered as a weekly lunchtime activity to all students.


 SGHS crew Head of the River 2011
SGHS crew at the Head of the River 2011

The SGHS rowing team now competes in competitions including the Schoolgirl Head of the River, the Riverview Gold Cup and the NSW Combined High Schools Regatta and has had some successes in these competitions. The SGHS Rowing Club also hosts and competes in its own regatta, the SGHS Rowing Club regatta for schoolgirls, held at Iron Cove in February each year.

At the inaugural Schoolgirl Head of the River Regatta in 1991 the SGHS Rowing Club, won the races for the eight, the coxless quad scull, the coxless pair, the novice four and the coxed four; with the Senior 1st IV. The eight also won the 1991 Head of the Parramatta.[24] The SGHS eight won the Schoolgirl Head of the River in 1992 and 1994, when it was held at Iron Cove.[25][26] In 2006 and 2007 the Senior 1st IV won the Schoolgirl Head of the River.

Performing arts[edit]

The school has several dance groups, drama ensembles and music groups, and a student run Technical Company which oversees lighting and sound for school assemblies and performances. Annually, year 11 drama put on a major production which in 2009 was Mary Chase's Pulitzer prize winning play 'Harvey.' The school also has a musicale and Christmas music concert.

Drama plays an important part at SGHS, with junior and senior ensembles. Further, SGHS is a serious contender in the annual Schools Theatresports Competition, their senior team achieving 2nd place and their junior team achieving 3rd place in the 2009 grand finals.


To support Oxfam, SGHS hosts an annual charity fundraiser. For each try scored during a touch football game played between Year 11 and Year 12 girls, ten dollars is donated to the charity.

Further, SGHS has been a contributor to Stewart House, which has recognised the school's efforts as the top contributor in 2008 with a Red Cross Shield.

SGHS publishes Imagizine, a compilation of student-submitted poetry and short stories, the proceeds from which are donated to the Black Dog Institute. The body behind Imagizine meets every Thursday and is open to all current SGHS students.

Moreover, SGHS has a Knitting in Company and Environmental Groups. Knitting in Company is an activity held after school, during which students learn to knit and knit cloths that are then donated to charities. Environmental Group involves weekly meetings during which students tend to the school's vegetable gardens and discuss environmental issues. The Group is also responsible for promoting the annual Green Day.

Creative writing[edit]

On a weekly basis, a creative writing meeting is held, which is run by Dr Hughes. These meetings include discussion of creative writing techniques, help for writing competitions and other literary concerns of students.

School traditions[edit]


Each year, a Year 12 Sydney Girl is elected School Captain by the student body, excluding those in Year 7. Another four Year 12 Sydney Girls are elected as other members of the executive, in the positions of Vice Captain, Senior Prefect, Welfare Captain, and Student Representative Council (SRC) Captain.[citation needed]


As with most Australian schools, SGHS utilises a house system. Students are allocated to a house when they enter the school according to classes and DT groups. There are four different houses in which students compete under for the Swimming, Athletics and Cross Country Carnivals and often sport:

  • Campbell (red)
  • Garvin (blue)
  • Macquarie (green)
  • Moore (yellow)

With the exception of Macquarie, named after Governor Lachlan Macquarie, all of the houses are named after former principals of the school: Florence Campbell, Helena Moore, and Lucy Arbella Stocks Garvin. The houses are created by sorting students in year 7; however, students who have family members who were pupils or former pupils of the school may elect to change houses to the same house.

Notable alumnae[edit]

Entertainment, media and the arts
Medicine and science
Politics, public service and the law

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "School Profile". Sydney Girls High School. Retrieved 2007-08-22. 
  2. ^ "Our Schools - Sydney Region Public Schools". Department of Education and Communities. 
  3. ^ Walker, Frank (2001-07-22). "The ties that bind". Sunday Life (The Sun-Herald). p. 16. Retrieved 2007-09-12. 
  4. ^ "Top NSW High Schools HSC 2007". 
  5. ^ "Top NSW High Schools HSC 2008". 
  6. ^ "Top NSW High Schools HSC 2009". 
  7. ^ "Top NSW High Schools HSC 2011". 
  8. ^ "Top NSW High Schools HSC 2011". 
  9. ^ "2012 High School Rankings". Matrix Education. 
  10. ^ "HSC School Ranking - 2013". Better Education. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f "About Us: History". Sydney Girls High School. Retrieved 18 August 2013. 
  12. ^ "Light rail will run on Devonshire St despite community anger". Transport Sydney. 16 April 2013. 
  13. ^ Manning, Brittney (10 August 2013). "A push for change to Light Rail system". The South Sydney Herald. 
  14. ^ Campion, Vikki (2 September 2013). "First look at plans for Sydney light rail network to relieve crippling traffic congestion in the CBD". The Daily Telegraph. 
  15. ^ Stephen Yeo, Roy Leigh, and Ivan Kuhne. (1999.) "The April 1999 Sydney hailstorm", Natural Hazards Quarterly, 5(2).
  16. ^ Yeo, Stephen. "The April 1999 Sydney Hailstorm". Natural Hazards Quarterly. 
  17. ^ "Sydney Hailstorm Damage - 12/05/1999 - URG MOT". NSW Parliament. 
  18. ^ "Curriculum". Sydney Girls High School. 
  19. ^ "UNSW new boatshed opens". Northern District Times. 29 June 2009. Retrieved 6 Oct 2011. 
  20. ^ "Boatshed". SGHS. 28 June 2009. Retrieved 25 Sep 2011. 
  21. ^ "Governor of NSW Opens UNSW Boatshed". UNSW Sports and Recreation. 28 June 2009. Retrieved 25 Sep 2011. 
  22. ^ Performing Arts Unit Premier's Debating Challenge for Year 12
  23. ^ "Sport". Sydney Girls High School. 
  24. ^ Williams, Daniel (20 December 1991). "Girls steer smooth course from humble start". Sydney Morning Herald. p. 34. 
  25. ^ FitzSimons, Peter (19 March 1994). "Jolly boating weather, without the hay-harvest breeze". Sydney Morning Herald. 
  26. ^ Schoolgirls Head of the River. Combined Independent Schools Sports Council & NSW Rowing Association. 2011. 
  27. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r "Distinguished Old Girls". The History of Sydney Girls High School. Sydney Girls High School. Retrieved 2008-05-25. 
  28. ^ Suzannah Pearce, ed. (17 November 2006). "AMPHLETT, Patricia Thelma". Who's Who in Business Live!. North Melbourne, Vic: Crown Content Pty Ltd. 
  29. ^ Regional Arts Victoria
  30. ^ "XCOMMUNICATE SYMPOSIUM AND EXHIBITION – Esther Anatolis". Destination NSW. 2015. Retrieved 21 June 2015. 
  31. ^ Curthoys, Ann (1979). "Bennett, Agnes Elizabeth Lloyd (1872 - 1960)". Australian Dictionary of Biography 7 (Online ed.). Melbourne: Melbourne University Press. pp. 265–266. Retrieved 17 January 2008. 
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^ Suzannah Pearce, ed. (17 November 2006). "BASHIR Marie Roslyn, HE Prof.". Who's Who in Business Live!. North Melbourne, Vic: Crown Content Pty Ltd. 
  35. ^ "Dr Emily Crawford". The University of Sydney. Retrieved 21 June 2015. 

External links[edit]