Toowoomba Grammar School

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Toowoomba Grammar School
Toowoomba, Queensland
Coordinates 27°33′54″S 151°58′5″E / 27.56500°S 151.96806°E / -27.56500; 151.96806Coordinates: 27°33′54″S 151°58′5″E / 27.56500°S 151.96806°E / -27.56500; 151.96806
Type Independent, Single-sex, Day & Boarding
Motto Latin: Fidelis in Omnibus
(Faithful in All Things)
Denomination Non-denominational
Established 1875
Headmaster Peter B Hauser[1]
Enrolment ~1250 (P-12)[2]
Colour(s) Blue and Gold, formerly Blue and White
Slogan "A quality education designed for boys"

Toowoomba Grammar School is an independent, non-denominational, day and boarding grammar school for boys, in East Toowoomba, Toowoomba, Toowoomba Region, Queensland, Australia.

Toowoomba Grammar has a non-selective enrolment policy and currently caters for approximately 1250 students from Prep to Year 12, including 300 boarders from Years 5 to 12.[2]

Toowoomba Grammar School, circa 1902


Toowoomba Grammar School, sketch prior to construction, 1875

The school was founded in 1875 as a consequence of the Grammar Schools Act of 1860 passed by Queensland's first parliament. The original building was designed by Willoughby Powell. The foundation stone was laid on 5 August 1875; it was to be laid by the Governor of Queensland, William Cairns but due to his illness, Justice Charles Lilley performed the ceremony. A bottle (time capsule) was placed in a cavity in the stone containing two local newspapers, coins of the realm and a parchment commemorating the event and listing the names of the foundation trustees:[3]

the architect and contractor:

  • Willoughby Powell (architect)
  • John Garget (contractor)

and the aldermen of Toowoomba:

  • Robert Aland (mayor)
  • John Garget
  • James Campbell
  • Daniel Donavon
  • Henry Spiro
  • Malcolm Geddes
  • Richard Godsall
  • R. J. Barry
  • J. Reuter

The building was completed in 1876, first opening its doors to boys on 1 February 1877.


The school has been a member of the Great Public Schools' Association Inc (GPS) since 1920.[4] It is also affiliated with the Australian Boarding Schools Association (ABSA),[2] the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA),[5] the Junior School Heads Association of Australia (JSHAA),[6] and Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ).[7]


The school uses the Queensland Curriculum throughout its education with the school broken down into several categories:

  • Junior School (Prep - Year 6)
  • Transition (Year 7)
  • Senior School (Year 8 - Year 10)
  • Senior (Year 11 - Year 12)

Students from Junior and Transition have set subjects which is decided upon by the class teacher whilst students who are in Year 8 move between classes and are exposed to various subject selections the school offers. Once a student gets into Year 9 they can select three of their eight subjects and then in Year 11 they are allowed to choose four of their subjects as well as selecting their strands in their selected core subjects.

School colours program[edit]

Students are encouraged to have their half colours by the time they complete Year 10, and they are required for prefectship applications.

Student representative committee[edit]

The Junior Representative Committee is available for any boys in Years 8/9 to join who meet with the headmaster once a term to represent and discuss issues in relation to the school's day-to-day operation. They also put on small events such as sports days from the younger boys in the Senior School Community.

The Senior Committee is composed of boys who were members of the Junior Committee who are now in Years 10/11. They also meet with the Headmaster once a term as well as representing a portion of their particular house. Students may also be asked to represent a particular activity at the school and provide feedback on the opinion and operation of this activity. These students provide a liaison between the house pastoral care system and the School Prefects. They hold larger events for the entire school community such as the Annual Grammar's Got Talent Talent Competition.

School Prefects[edit]

The School has used a prefects system very similar to that used in British Public Schools since its early years.

House Pastoral Care System[edit]

The school also maintains various leadership groups within each house.

School Spirit Squad[edit]

Boys also have the opportunity to be members of the School's Spirit Squad which is a group of boys involved in maintaining the student body's morale and spirit for the school. They lead the school is many warcries as well as other events such as organising the many Prefects' Assemblies throughout the year.

The House System[edit]

The School originally had incorporated a system of nine houses. In the schools original formation these were separate boarding and day houses with the Junior School utilising the Senior School houses soon after its formation in 1997. These houses have since amalgamated and some removed. For consistency and to promote House Spirit, the Junior School maintains the same five Houses as the Senior School.

Existing Houses[edit]

Taylor House Taylor House was named in honour of the Hon. James Taylor, the first Chairman of the Board of Trustess at the School. In the first colonial parliament, he represented the Western Downs in the Legislative Council and then later as Mayor of Toowoomba. He was well known for his contributions to the Benevolent Society and the hospital, as well as being the first president of the School of Arts and his promotion of the foundation of the Darling Downs Agriculture Society. As well as Active Development of the Clifford Park Race Way.

Prior to 1992, Taylor House was the Boarding House for the Year Nine Students at the school, and in 2004 combined with Gibson House to form a combined Day/Boarding house. This boarding house is the smallest of the six currently on campus with plans for a new boarding house to be situated on the Parents and Friends' Oval, and the boarding house be renovated into the new "Engineering and Vocational Training Centre". The House's Colour is Black.[8]

Boyce House Boyce House takes its name from an old boy of the school, Mr Leslie Atherton George Boyce. Mr Boyce entered the school in 1911 as a Scholar of the State. In 1915 he entered the AIF and served in France, later to be wounded in 1917 and hence awarded the Military Cross for "conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty when in command of his platoon during an attack". On returning to Toowoomba, he became the Chief Executive Officer of the Toowoomba Foundry, remaining as the Director until 1976.

Prior to 1992, Boyce House was home to Year 10 students and in 2004 along with the other houses was amalgamated with Henderson. The boarding house exists next to the Margaret School entrance and is planned to be renovated into the "Culture Centre" focusing on all walks of artistic excellence on campus. With a new boarding house to be constructed alongside the new Taylor Boarding House. Within the boarding house it maintains four internal dormitories, these being Woodward, Fortescue, Robertson, and Clownes in Honour of famous Old Boys who gave their lives in the Great War and World War II. The House's Colour is Maroon. [8]

Mackintosh House Mackintosh House is the oldest of the schools houses, and is named after the School's Inaugural Headmaster, Mr John Mackintosh who was appointed as Headmaster in 1876. Born in Scotland in 1836, he excelled academically at Edinburgh University before sailing to Australia in 1861. Unfortunately he became immortalised at the school after he was killed when he was thrown from his horse while on a riding expedition to Helidon below the range.

Mackintosh House was the home to the Year 12 boys prior to 1992, and in 2004 merged with Chauvel to form its combined house. It was originally situated in the two upper floors of the School's original building. In 2011 the decision was made to move them out of this facility and renovate it to Staff Offices. As a result of this, the Mackintosh House is situated in the newest Boarding House on campus. Located in between the existing Taylor and Boyce Houses. The Houses's Colour is Red.[8]

Groom House Groom House holds the highest prestige after being named after Sir Littleton Groom In 1901 Sir Littleton was elected as the first federal representative of the seat of Groom (named after him, although he held the seat of Darling Downs) and later the first speaker of the house. He then held this seat for 36 years. Sir Litleton is listed on the Old Boys' Wall of Achievement.

Prior to 1992, Groom House was home to Year 8s, and was merged with Freshney in 2004. The boarding house from Groom House is currently located on the lower floor of the original Stephens House (Which was originally a two story boarding house) when the Junior School occupied its original boarding house to create Corfe House. This boarding facility is located on the Herries Street side of the campus and is in a traditional red brick construction. It is one of few boarding houses where the Boarding Housemaster lives in the building itself and not a separate detached building. The Houses's Colour is Green.[8]

Stephens House Stephens House was named after the undisputed founder of Toowoomba Grammar School Mr Samuel George Stephens. Mr Stephens was born in Wales and having been educated at the School for Captains' Sons, joined the Merchant Navy. On one of his adventures, the ship was wrecked on the Victorian Coast near Melbourne. He eventually moved to Toowoomba where he and his wife built a house in Herries Street, where he then raised six daughters. He was the Honorary Secretary of the first board of Trustess and his oldest son was the first boy to be enrolled at the school.

Prior to 1992, Stephens House was the home for Year 11 students, and further in 2004 was merged with the Day House Partridge to form a combined house. Located in the same Boarding House as Groom House, Stephens House also has a Boarding House Master that lives inside the Boarding House rather than a detached building. The Houses's Colour is Royal Blue.[8]

Amalgamated houses[edit]

  1. Chaulk (Removed 1997)
  2. Gibson (Removed 2004)
  3. Henderson (Removed 2004)
  4. Chauvel (Removed 2004)
  5. Freshney (Removed 2004)
  6. Partridge (Removed 2004)
  7. Baynes (Removed 2015)
  8. Lavers (Removed 2015)
  9. Parkinson (Removed 2015)

Notable alumni[edit]

Politics and public administration[edit]

Culture and the arts[edit]




Dave Graham Bullying[edit]

The school has been subject to concern regarding bullying and obscene behaviour, particularly in it's boarding community.[11] In particular, it was heavily highlighted in the Australian Story piece regarding Dave Graham, whereby bullying had been highlighted as an emotional turning point for Dave. Dave's sister, Sharyn noted "I walked into the dorms and I could hear all these boys chanting and ... picking on him. My brother just cowering in the corner with this huge group of boys. I just scooped him up, just scooped him up and took him away."[12]

The school's official standpoint on this was "no such complaints were received and ‘bullying is not tolerated" and is displayed in the end card for the episode.[12] The headmaster of the school responded with a piece in The Toowoomba Chronicle, however the article has been criticised for being a public relations response and not implementing in depth reform.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "From the Headmaster". Toowoomba Grammar School. Retrieved 15 September 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c "Toowoomba Grammar School". Schools. Australian Boarding Schools' Association. Archived from the original on 17 November 2007. Retrieved 27 December 2007. 
  3. ^ "The New Grammar School, Toowoomba, Queensland.". Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1907). Sydney, NSW: National Library of Australia. 21 August 1875. p. 21. Retrieved 11 May 2014. 
  4. ^ "GPS Schools". Sport and Music. Brisbane State High School. Archived from the original on 31 August 2007. Retrieved 27 December 2007. 
  5. ^ "AHISA Schools". Queensland. Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia. November 2007. Archived from the original on 2 November 2007. Retrieved 27 December 2007. 
  6. ^ "JSHAA Queensland Directory of Members". Queensland Branch. Junior School Heads' Association of Australia. 2007. Retrieved 27 December 2007. 
  7. ^ "Toowoomba Grammar School". School Search. Independent Schools Queensland. Retrieved 27 December 2007. 
  8. ^ a b c d e Toowooomba Grammar School Diary
  9. ^ "Clive Palmer - Extended Interview Transcript - Part One". Australian Story. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 7 May 2012. Retrieved 14 August 2015. 
  10. ^ "Australian Story - The Farmer Wants A Life - Transcript". Retrieved 2016-10-18. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ a b
  13. ^

External links[edit]

Media related to Toowoomba Grammar School at Wikimedia Commons