St Marys Senior High School

St Marys Senior High School

Infobox Aust school
name = St. Marys Senior High School

motto = "Mente Manuque"
(Latin:"With Mind & Hand")
established = 1971
type = Public, Co-educational, Day school
principal = Mrs Jeanne Bathgate
city = Baulkham Hills
state = New South Wales
country = Australia flagicon|Australia
coordinates =
campus = Urban
enrolment = ~1,133 (7-12)cite web |url= |title=Baulkham Hills High School |accessdate=2008-02-22 |work=School Locator |publisher=NSW Public Schools]
colours = Green & Gold color box|#008000color box|#FFD700
homepage = []

Girraween High School is an academically selective, Public, co-educational high school, located in Girraween, in the Greater Western Suburbs of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Established in 1976 and operated by the New South Wales Department of Education and Training, the school currently caters for approximately 756 students from Years 7 to 12.


Girraween High School was opened in 1976, with an enrolment of 300 students and 20 staff. Its first Principal was Colin Bowser with Deputy Principal Harry Earp.

Shortly after the school's opening an agricultural plot was established, staffed by a part-time farm hand. The facility served as a practical application for several courses in agriculture. In 1979, students with an interest in aquaculture established a freshwater pond system.

That same year, with the assistance of Science Teacher John Flannigan, a camera club was formed. Given that the medium was not at that time part of the art curriculum, the darkrooms were installed within the Science Department. In 1980, the Camera Club's collaboration with students interested in journalism led to the publishing of the school's first yearbook.

In 1978, the school applied for a grant to build a number of buildings to represent a pioneer Australian town. Despite not receiving the funding, under the guidance of Industrial Arts teacher John Lawson, the school erected a colonial cottage that was relocated from Blacktown. The building was the first of several, including a railway station, and constituted what was to become "Daveney Village". The structures were burnt down a decade later with the school maintaining the remains in what is now part of the expanded agriculture plot.

Through the years of 1977 to 1983, Gus the Goat served as the school's official mascot. On his passing in 1983, the school newspaper was dedicated to him.

In 1989, Girraween High became a Selective school. Under principal Robert Cruikshank, specialist computer rooms and music studios were constructed, and a Sister school relationship with Hisai High school in Mie, Japan was forged. Principal Graeme Holden continued to develop the school's technological infrastructure, realising a focus on technology-based learning across the curriculum would be the most important focus for the future.

In 2008, the deputy principal Mr Wood retired and the faculty staff hired Joshua McGahen in his place.


Students take the School Certificate and the Higher School Certificate (HSC).


Students participate in a variety of extracurricular activities including the The Duke of Edinburgh's Award, agriculture club, school newspaper, music and drama, chess, mock trial, Tournament of Minds, Inter-school Christian Fellowship, Students' Representative Council, various debating competitions, the Streamwatch water monitoring initiative, and an advanced driving course. The school has also hosted an annual concert at the Riverside Theatre in Parramatta until 2006.

Performing and creative arts

In 1981, Girraween High produced its first musical, "The Boyfriend", followed in 1983 with "Annie Get Your Gun". The play was described by "Arena" Magazine as "a triumph of co-operation",Citequote the reviewer noting that "the only mistake (he) could find in the whole performance was one muffed line".Citequote The school would later perform "Cabaret", "Little Shop of Horrors" and "Bye Bye Birdie" in 2007.

The school has a concert band for more experienced players, a training band for people who would like to learn to play an instrument, a stage/jazz Band, a percussion ensemble and a number of rock bands.

MAD (Music, Arts and Drama) is an annual production of Girraween High School's Music Department. Owing to its venue, the production was originally known as the "Riverside Musicale" and was founded by Clive Lane (now Deputy Principal of the Conservatorium High School) in 1995 as a showcase of musical talent at the school, and a performance opportunity for HSC performance students. It has evolved to include a percussion ensemble and a mass choir of approximately 300 students, and now incorporates student works from both drama and visual arts.

MAD no longer takes place and many of the musical ensemble's (including a Percussion ensemble and the largest High School Marching Band in Australia) were disbanded.


* [ Melissa Curran] Poet and author of "The Long Drowning".
* Antoinette Chiha, TV and radio current affairs journalist.
* [ Brett Leigh Dicks] Photographer whose work has been widely exhibited in Australia, Europe, and the United States. Photographic critic for The Santa Barbara Independent.
* [ Nicholas Ng] Composer of "Poppies & Spice" and current PhD candidate in Composition/Ethnomusicology at Australian National University.
* Jana Rawlinson (Pittman), Gold medalist hurdler in the 2002 and 2006 Commonwealth Games and 2003 World Championships. Member of Gold Medal winning relay team at the 2002 Commonwealth Games.
* Magda Rybicki Member of Australian National Volleyball team and member of Australian University Volleyball Team at the 2003 and 2005 World University Games.
* Nicole da Silva Actress on television shows such as "All Saints" and currently appearing in "Dangerous" on Fox8.
* Harry Ward Mathematician
* [ Andrew Quah] Former member of the Family First Party
* [ Professor David R. Brown] Internationally recognised research scientist, BSE/CJD expert senior medical advisor to the UK government, appeared on TV programs including "4 Corners"


* [ NSW Department of Education and Training - Girraween High School]

See also

* List of Government schools in New South Wales
* List of selective high schools in New South Wales

External links

* [ Girraween High School website]

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