Burwood Girls High School

Not for ourselves alone

Telephone02 9747 3355


School history

The following history contains paraphrased extracts from the booklet published in 2004 for the school’s 75th Anniversary celebration.

Full 75th Anniversary book (8MB PDF).

Additional information was researched from the Burwood GHS archives and personal accounts by past and present staff and students.

The beginning

During the ten years after WWI, the demand for education beyond the primary stage had increased in areas of large population such as Burwood. Burwood Public School, aka Burwood Superior Public School, founded 1871 in Conder Street, Burwood, was in need of expansion. It was first proposed to erect a new building for the Domestic Science and Intermediate High section on the same site as the primary school in Conder Street. Later, it was decided to obtain a new site altogether. The current location, consisting of two properties on the corner of Cheltenham Road and Queen Street, Croydon, was purchased by the Department of Education on 28 February 1924.

Plans for the new building were completed in June 1925 and in October the then Minister, Mr TD Mutch, approved the work being carried out. Mr W Stoddart was the supervising architect.

The following is an extract taken from the Sydney Morning Herald, 28 April 1926:

“A contract has been let for the erection of an Intermediate High School for boys at Burwood. The work also includes the erection of a domestic science school for girls. The whole will be located in one large two-storied brick building, with the exception of the cookery classrooms, for which an annexe will be provided in a single-story building. The site of the new building is at the corner of Queen Street and Cheltenham Road. The main façade faces Queen Street. There will be 20 ordinary classrooms, ten on each floor, also a large science room, well equipped for the use of the boys. There will be two large cookery classrooms and kitchens attached, fitted with the latest appliances for the girls. There will be an assembly room for boys and girls as well as head master’s and mistress’s rooms, and apartments for the teaching staff. A large sewing room will be provided. The construction of Public Building secured the contract at Pds 31,384. The brickwork of the building is well advanced. In order to give the local municipal council the right to widen the road, the Department of Education dedicated a strip of 6 feet from the land. The grounds are to be laid out and trees planted.”

The new building was ready for occupation by 31 January 1927 but not finished until August 1927. At the end of 1927, the boys attending the Burwood Intermediate High School section of the Queen Street building were transferred to Summer Hill, with the opening of the Boys Intermediate High School there. This left the Queen Street building a totally girls’ secondary school known as Burwood Domestic Science School, but still under the authority of the Headmaster of Burwood Public School, Mr E Dash, with Miss HM Anderson as Mistress of the girls’ department.

BGHS history

The school finally achieved its own separate and independent identity as Burwood Central Domestic Science School on 1 January 1929 with the appointment of Miss HM Anderson as Principal, with an enrolment of 834 students.

Five names

1929 – Burwood Central Domestic Science School (BCDSS)

1942 – Burwood Central Home Science School (BCHSS)

1944 – Burwood Home Science High School (BHSHS)

1957 – Burwood Girls’ High School (BGHS)

2002 – Burwood Girls High School (simply the loss of an apostrophe, but still a change)

School motto

The original motto of the school was ‘PLAY THE GAME’ which appears to have been brought to the Burwood Domestic Science section of the school when the girls department was transferred from Burwood Superior Public School. This remained until 1958, the year the school status was elevated to that of full high school, when it was changed to the present motto ‘NOT FOR OURSELVES ALONE’.

Original school song

Words by E. Loeffler, sung to the tune 'Men of Harlech'.

Schoolgirls we in life’s clear morning,
Treading paths of sport and learning,
Sing with school-love in us burning
Burwood! Play the Game.

On the sports field thriving,
With our lessons striving,
Play or work, we never shirk,
The best in each all giving.

Blue and Gold our Flag floats o’er us,
Symbol of the Land that bore us,
Let us raise our voice in chorus,
Burwood! Play the Game.

Eyes with eager hopes are gleaming,
All of distant goals are dreaming,
Sing as upward we go climbing
Burwood! Play the Game.

Guiding us in learning,
Right from Wrong Discerning,
To keep us true in all we do,
Our teachers all are yearning.

Blue and Gold our Flag floats o’er us,
Symbol of the Land that bore us,
Let us raise our voice in chorus,
Burwood! Play the Game.

When our carefree youth is over,
And life’s troubles round us hover,
One phrase unsullied stands forever,
Burwood! Play the Game.

Strengthened by our Training,
All sordid things disdaining,
Pure and Good, Staunch Womanhood,
Naught our clear souls staining,
Our Flag in vision floating o’er us,
Will recall the School that loved us,
We’ll sing no matter what befalls us,
Burwood! Play the Game.

Note: The line ‘Burwood! Play the Game’ was altered with the changing of the school motto in 1958 to ‘Not for Ourselves Alone’.

School song – current version

Written in the late 1980’s by an English teacher, Tim Patson. Still sung to the tune 'Men of Harlech'.

Burwood Girls from many lands
Striving with our minds and hands
Now as one we proudly stand
Not for ourselves alone.

Who knows what lies ahead?
Different paths we’ll tread,
No matter what the challenges
We’ll face with all our skills.

In studies or in sport, our knowledge
Working honestly with courage,
In the future we will flourish
Not for ourselves alone.


1939-1953 - Miss Zillah Bocking

1954-1960 - Miss Isla Wilson

1961-1976 - Mrs Ermyn W Krippner

1978-1983 - Mr Jack Hensley

1984-1988 - Miss Elaine Peterson

1989-1990 - Mrs Nel Moody

1991-2001 - Ms Larissa Treskin

2002-present - Mrs Mia Kumar

School houses

1929 – North, South, East, West

1959 – Cumbora, Kayeroo, Kurrajong, Yorrell, Myall, Eurabbie

Myall and Eurabbie were later dropped to leave the four houses we have today: Cumbora, Kayeroo, Kurrajong and Yorrell.

Our house colours





School hall

The Ermyn Krippner Auditorium (school hall) was opened on 8 March 1980 by the Hon WF Crabtree, MP Minister for Lands and Services representing the Hon EL Bedford, Minister for Education. Reflecting the music of the time, piano solos were performed of ‘Song for Guy’ and themes from ‘The Godfather’, ‘Love Story’ and ‘The Entertainer’. Guests included Mrs Krippner.


The original library was situated upstairs in the rooms now occupied by languages and creative arts. The current school library was completed in 1971 - a great change from the old library dating back to 1926. A plaque in the library commemorates Ms Janet Cockell, a dedicated librarian at Burwood GHS for 17 years. Ms Cockell retired at the end of 1991 and unfortunately passed away soon after. The Janet Cockell Memorial Award was presented each year to a student who had demonstrated an outstanding commitment to her education.

Official opening of the gymnasium

On 17 March 1955, eight new gymnasia were officially declared open by the Hon RJ Heffron, MLA, at a function at Granville Secondary Technical School. Two groups of students from Burwood took part in the evening’s programme. A new PDHPE complex was built in 2009.

Upgrading of facilities

A new science wing, including the canteen area below, was opened in August 1959. The latest section that houses the science labs and library was completed in 1971.

Ms Dianne Nicol was a respected Head Teacher Science who passed away in 1991 after about seven years’ service at the school. The Dianne Nicol building was commemorated on 14 September 1992 in honour of her work in 'Science for Girls'. The annual Dianne Nicol Prize for excellence in the Independent Science Research Project for Year 10 students was established in her honour.

The music wing, at the Blair Park end of the main building, was built in 1959. Two portables near the music wing burnt down in 2002. These were replaced with the music sheds which were officially opened in 2005. Music room 23 was extended in 2010 to accommodate our growing ensemble program and regular music classes.

In May 2009, the school undertook a major capital works project, including refurbishment of science laboratories and knockdown and rebuild of the PDHPE facilities, including a fitness lab, movement studio, PDHPE staffroom and classrooms. The library roof was reconstructed, which meant no more leaks. Covered walkways through the playground area, two lifts and a security fence around the perimeter were also installed around this time. The official opening of the new facilities was attended by the Hon Virginia Judge MP, Member for Strathfield (representing the Hon Verity Firth MP, Minister for Education and Training) and the Hon John Murphy MP, Federal Member for Lowe.

In 2013, the school started using new sporting fields and two netball courts adjacent to the school in Cheltenham Road.

In November 2013, a new commercial kitchen for hospitality classes was officially opened and a new deck added in 2014.

P&C Association

A Mothers’ Association was formed at Burwood Home Science High School in June 1954. In March 1959, at the request of the Education Department, the name was changed to Burwood Girls’ High School Parents’ and Citizens’ Association. Current P&C.