NON SCHOLAE, SED VITAE.
"Not only for school but for life we are learning" is a translation of the Latin motto adopted in 1894 by the Rockhampton Girls Grammar School. The motto reflects the philosophy of Miss Helen E. Downs, the first Headmistress of the School (1892-1906).
In 1883 a movement began to establish a Girls Grammar school in Rockhampton and with a decision by the Trustees of the Rockhampton Grammar School to close their female department, the Rockhampton Girls Grammar School began taking enrolments. The prime site on the Athelstane Range was selected as being appropriate and in 1890 the School building, designed by E.M. Hockings, was constructed to accommodate 50 day and 20 boarding students. Extensions were added three times in 1897, 1899 and again in 1901 to meet growing demands as students were enrolled from kindergarten to matriculation.
Girls Grammar opened its doors to four boarders and thirty three day students on the 11th March 1892. With Miss Downs as foundation Headmistress, the School was officially opened on the 19th April 1892. On her departure in 1906, the School presented Miss Downs with a gold replica of the school badge, which she later bequeathed to the School to be worn by the Head Prefect each year. This appointment was to be known as the Helen E. Downs Prefect.
A platinum replica of the Helen E. Downs badge is worn during the year by the Prue McKeague Prefect. Commissioned at the suggestion of some of her classmates and the Old Girls Association, the badge of office is worn in memory of Prue McKeague, a 1985 senior who died over the Christmas holidays.
Rockhampton Girls Grammar School has been providing a quality educational environment combining its proud traditions with modern educational practices for 130 years. The School confidently and enthusiastically continues to build on this history in its second century of dedicated service to the young women who pass through its gates.
2015 saw the first exhibition in the Paterson Hall Heritage Museum. The Museum has a website of its own where you can search our extensive archival material through e-hive. This would not have been possible without the dedicated work of our Heritage Volunteers who meet weekly to process and catalogue our treasures from the past.