New England Girls' School

New England Girls' School
New England Girls' School
New England Girls' School crest. Source: (NEGS website)
Latin: Quodcumque Facitis Ex Animo Operamini
Whatsoever you do, do it heartily
Armidale, New South Wales, Australia Australia
Coordinates 30°31′9″S 151°38′24″E / 30.51917°S 151.64°E / -30.51917; 151.64Coordinates: 30°31′9″S 151°38′24″E / 30.51917°S 151.64°E / -30.51917; 151.64
Type Independent, Single-sex, Day and Boarding
Denomination Anglican
Established 1895
Chairman John Cassidy
Principal Ian Downs
Employees 39[1]
Key people Florence Emily Green (Founder)
Enrolment 310 (P–12)[1]
Colour(s) Navy Blue, Red and Light Blue

The New England Girls' School (NEGS), is an independent, Anglican, day and boarding school for girls, located in Armidale, a rural city in northern New South Wales, Australia.

Established in 1895 by Florence Emily Green, NEGS is a non-selective school, and currently caters for approximately 310 students from Pre-Preparatory (4 years old) to Year 12 (18 years old),[1] including 140 boarders from Years 5 to 12.[2] NEGS is affiliated with the Association of Independent Schools of New South Wales (AIS NSW),[3] the Junior School Heads Association of Australia (JSHAA),[4] the Australian Boarding Schools' Association (ABSA),[2] the Alliance of Girls' Schools Australasia (AGSA),[5] and is an affiliate member of the Association of Heads of Independent Girls' Schools (AHIGS).[6] NEGS Limited in its capacity as Trustee administers the school on behalf of the Anglican Diocese of Armidale.[7]



The New England Girls' School was founded in 1895, by Florence Emily Green,[8] a deeply religious educator from Oamaru, New Zealand.[9] The aim of the school was to provide an all-round education for girls, with a strong emphasis on Christian values, in order to prepare students for the challenges of the new century. The schools first building was named 'Akaroa', and contained a large classroom, an office and boarding facilities. Today the building is the school’s administration centre, with the original classroom now used for meetings and functions, and named the 'W.H Lee Room' after the school’s architect.[8]

Under Miss Green's guidance NEGS became one of the largest girls' boarding schools in Australia.[9] In 1907, NEGS was purchased by the Anglican diocese and a school Council was appointed.[8] Miss Green subsequently moved to Victoria in 1908 to act as caretaker headmistress to Firbank Church of England Girls' Grammar School, in Brighton.[9]

NEGS' first brick building, later known as "Northern and Southern", was opened in 1911. This building contained an assembly hall, gymnasium and boarding facilities.[8]

In 2006, due to financial difficulty and falling enrolments, the Armidale Diocesan Council announced that NEGS was to be sold to the Presbyterian Church and would be merged with the Presbyterian Ladies' College, Armidale.[10] A Save NEGS group was immediately formed by the Parents and Friends Association, the NEGS Old Girls Union and members of the community in order to campaign against the sale of the school, and formulate an alternative plan.[11] On 19 October 2006, the Anglican Diocese of Armidale accepted the proposal submitted by the group, the $4 million funding of which was underwritten by John Cassidy, Chancellor of the University of New England. It was agreed that a company limited by guarantee, known as NEGS Limited would acquire the school and operate it as an independent Anglican school, with Mr Cassidy as Chairman of a new interim Board, thus preventing the sale of NEGS.[12]


NEGS Chapel, 1949
Period Details[6]
1895 – 1907 Miss Florence Green, Founder
1907 Miss May Bird
1907 – 1913 Miss Margaret Murray
1913 – 1917 Miss Clarinda Murray
1918 – 1925 Miss Juliet Lyon
1925 – 1939 Miss Nona Dumolo
1939 – 1959 Miss Ethel Colebrook
1959 – 1969 Miss Loyalty Howard
1969 – 1972 Miss Yvonne Grubb
1973 – 1989 Dr Jan Milburn
1990 – 2000 Mrs Anna Abbott
2000 – 2004 Mrs Helen Trebilcock
2004 – Mrs Denise Thomas, Interim Head
2004 – 2006 Dr Rebecca Ling
2007 – 2009 Mr Mark Harrison
2009 – present Mr Ian Downs


The New England Girls' School is situated on over 50 hectares (124 acres) of landscaped gardens and parkland, in a rural environment. The school is located in the city of Armidale, situated midway between Sydney and Brisbane on the New England Tablelands of New South Wales.[13]

Some notable current facilities of the college include:

  • The NEGS Multi-Purpose Centre with gymnasium facilities
  • The Aytoun Young Resource Centre
  • Arts and Crafts complex
  • Outdoor swimming pool
  • All-weather tennis courts
  • Several sports ovals
  • Indoor and outdoor netball and basketball courts
  • Hockey field
  • Indoor and outdoor Equestrian arenas
  • Equestrian cross-country course
  • Polocrosse field
  • Computer laboratories
  • Library
  • Four Boarding Houses
  • Health Centre
  • Chapel of St Michael and All Angels


The New England Girls' School badge was designed shortly after the opening of the school, and is highly symbolic. The badge colours of scarlet and sky were chosen by Miss Green to be the official school colours. The shield of the badge is surmounted by the Bishop's mitre symbolising the power of the Holy Spirit, and the authority of the Church. On the shield itself, three figures are depicted:

All three together are drawn from the final verse of the school Bible reading:

So faith, hope and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
— 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

Beneath the shield is the school motto, Quodcumque facitis ex animo operamini, based on Colossians 3:23, which may be translated as "Whatsoever you do, do it heartily".[14]


All pupils at NEGS follow the NSW academic curriculum, completing numeracy and literacy tests in junior school, the NSW School Certificate in year ten and the NSW Higher School Certificate in year twelve. Senior school students are also tested in all of their subjects at the middle and end of each academic year, allowing classes in English and Mathematics to be streamed according to ability.

In the coeducational junior school, students study English, Mathematics, HSIE, PDHPE and technology with their classroom teachers. The also learn languages (German, French or Latin), Music, Drama and Art from specialist teachers in the senior school.

Girls in the senior school have the opportunity to develop their interests through taking additional study units and their class choices. Girls select a language to learn in year eight, two elective subjects in year nine (choosing from Art, Music, Drama, French, Japanese or Design and Technology) and may change one of these subjects at the beginning of year ten. In years eleven and twelve classes are also offered at Vocational Education Training (VET), the Armidale Combined Schools Program and the Open High School in order to allow girls to further pursue their interests and prepare for tertiary education and their chosen careers.


NEGS has four boarding houses - Kirkwood, Dickens, White and Saumarez - to accommodate its many boarders. Boarders from years five to 10 share a room with girls from their own year group and all girls in years eleven and twelve have their own private room. In year twelve, girls move into Saumarez House, the senior boarding house allows girls to concentrate on their studies without the distraction of younger years and gives the girls more freedom with later bedtimes and more opportunities to visit town. Throughout their time at NEGS most girls will experience boarding in some way, either as a full boarder, part time boarder or a casual stay. Boarding enhances the community feeling of the school and is a fun and friendly experience at NEGS.

Notable alumnae

Alumnae of NEGS are known as Old Girls and may elect to join the schools alumni association, the NEGS Old Girls' Union (NEGSOGU).[10] Some notable NEGS Old Girls include:

Entertainment, media and the arts
  • Barbara Mary Vernon – Playwright[17]
  • Judith Wright – Australian Poet and author
Medicine and science
  • Ursula Hope McConnel – Anthropologist[18]

See also


  1. ^ a b c "2006 Annual Report" (PDF). Publications. New England Girls' School. 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-28. 
  2. ^ a b "New England Girls' School". Schools. Australian Boarding Schools' Association. 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-11-17. Retrieved 2007-12-12. 
  3. ^ "North West". NSW Independent Schools by Region. The Association of Independent Schools of New South Wales. Retrieved 2008-01-28. 
  4. ^ "JSHAA New South Wales Directory of Members". New South Wales Branch. Junior School Heads' Association of Australia. 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-17. 
  5. ^ Butler, Jan (2006). "Member Schools". Members. The Alliance of Girls' Schools Australasia. Retrieved 2008-01-28. 
  6. ^ a b "Heads of New South Wales Independent Girls' Schools". AHIGS. The Association of Heads of Independent Girls' Schools. 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-06. 
  7. ^ "Diocesan Schools". Diocesan Profile. Diocese of Armidale. Retrieved 2008-01-28. 
  8. ^ a b c d "History". About NEGS. New England Girls' School. Retrieved 2007-07-08. 
  9. ^ a b c Robin, Kelvin Grose (1983). "Green, Florence Emily (1862 - 1926)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. 9 (Online ed.). Melbourne: Melbourne University Press. pp. 90–91. Retrieved 2007-08-07. 
  10. ^ a b "NEGS OGU". Wider Community. New England Girls' School. Retrieved 2007-07-10. 
  11. ^ "Board to decide on offer to save school". National (Sydney: Sydney Morning Herald). 2006-10-19. Retrieved 2007-08-10. 
  12. ^ "NEGS rescued". Local (The Northern Daily Leader). 2006-10-20. Retrieved 2007-08-10. [dead link]
  13. ^ "Campus". Our Campus. New England Girls' School. Retrieved 2007-07-23. 
  14. ^ "The Badge". About NEGS. New England Girls' School. Retrieved 2007-08-07. 
  15. ^ Suzannah Pearce, ed (2006-11-17). "OGILVIE Bridget Margaret, Dame". Who's Who in Australia Live!. North Melbourne, Vic: Crown Content Pty Ltd. 
  16. ^ Suzannah Pearce, ed (2006-11-17). "RALSTON Deborah Eileen". Who's Who in Australia Live!. North Melbourne, Vic: Crown Content Pty Ltd. 
  17. ^ Connors, Jane (2002). "Vernon, Barbara Mary (1916 - 1978)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. 16 (Online ed.). Melbourne: Melbourne University Press. pp. 448–449. Retrieved 2007-08-07. 
  18. ^ O'Gorman Perusco, Anne (2000). "McConnel, Ursula Hope (1888 - 1957)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. 15 (Online ed.). Melbourne: Melbourne University Press. pp. 178–179. Retrieved 2007-08-07. 
  19. ^ Suzannah Pearce, ed (2006-11-17). "KENNEDY Edwina Jane". Who's Who in Australia Live!. North Melbourne, Vic: Crown Content Pty Ltd. 

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