Message from the

​​​​In celebrating 150 years as an institution, we can take pride in the remarkable successes of the Brisbane Grammar School community. It is a diverse community that starts with current students and includes Old Boys, current and past parents, current and past staff, and friends of the School. It is also a global community that extends far beyond the school gates.

As well as our celebrations, I think this is an opportunity to consider our potential and think about extending th​e School's journey into the next 150 years.

Compatible with our origins, it is our mission to educate all-rounded, motivated students who embody our school community and Brisbane's diversity. Our vision is to grow our Bursary Fund to $20 million by 2020. This will enable BGS to increase our provision of bursaries for students in financial need, now and into the future.

I encourage you – as part of the BGS community – to reflect on your connection with the School and share your stories with us. Thank you to each of you who make up our community. Together you make Brisbane Grammar School what it is today.

Message from the

As Brisbane Grammar School turns 150 in 2018, we celebrate a special milestone in our great school's journey.

The theme for this birthday is BGS: Celebrating our Community. The BGS journey started with the aspi​rations of a few, initiated by members of the Brisbane community who had the foresight and determination to raise enough funds to create a Grammar school. On 29 ​February 1868 the foundation stone was laid and a year later the gates opened to 94 students.

Throughout our history, BGS has been a pioneer in providing an outstanding education, as well as nurturing a diverse p​opulation of young men to become thoughtful and confident leaders. Our Old Boys have given their lives in war for their country, risen to the top of their chosen fields, and have become global citizens who give back to their communities.

During 2018/2019 we will host a number of events to reflect on and celebrate our successes over 150 years.

I look forward to you joining us in 2018 to celebrate BGS150. 

Did you know?
For all the legends of BGS sport, and there are many, perhaps the greatest was Dr Otto Nothling. As one of just two men to become a dual cricket and rugby international, he is regarded by some as one of Australia’s greatest ever sportsmen. A brilliant fullback he was voted one of the 100 best Wallabies of all time, but his largest claim to fame may have come in cricket, when he replaced Don Bradman in the Test team in 1928.

The Don, who went on to forge a career that made him arguably Australia’s greatest ever sportsmen, became a lifelong friend of Nothling. After his distinguished sporting careers, Nothling went on to become a medical doctor and served in WWII as a major in the Australian Army Medical Corps. The Function Room at Northgate Playing Fields was named in his honour.
Four BGS Old Boys and a former BGS teacher/boarding master combined on the famous Wallabies 1984 Grand Slam tour. Props Andrew McIntyre and Cameron Lillicrap were joined by former Wallabies captain Chilla Wilson, who managed the side and assistant coach Alec Evans. The team itself was coached by former BGS master Alan Jones.
Brisbane Grammar School’s association with boarding dates back to its opening in 1869. Homestay arrangements were offered by teachers, with the rare surviving example of a row of attached cottages on Petrie Terrace, housing some of the first boarders.

The Petrie Terrace cottages were built by Queen Street chemist, grocer and developer William John Costin in 1863, and originally known as ‘Costin’s Cottages’. Costin’s son, William, attended Brisbane Grammar School from 1875 to 1879.
Headmasters’ wives played a traditional and essential part of the fabric and functioning of Brisbane Grammar School’s boarding house. From 1887, when the Roe Building opened as the first onsite boarding house, headmasters’ families lived there until the headmaster’s residence was built in 1962. In such close confines their lives intersected daily with generations of boarders.

Headmasters’ wives nurtured these boys, and two – Martha (Mattie) Bousfield and Maud Carson-Cooling – between them devoted 34 years’ service in this role. It was unpaid work, and they were ‘on duty’ seven days a week.
Prior to the opening of The University of Queensland in 1911, Brisbane Grammar School graduates travelled beyond the state to pursue higher education. The range of destinations and number of scholars demonstrate the aspirations and success of BGS students in those early years.

To qualify for university entrance, boys had to pass the senior matriculation exam. In 1876 the School entered students in the Melbourne University exam, securing 11 passes. Then from 1877 to 1910 the School entered the Sydney University senior exam, securing a further 203 passes. Across this time BGS won 64 separate subject medals in the Sydney exam and on 11 occasions achieved first place in that exam.
BGS Old Boy Ronald Miller Rice (1908) became a distinguished linguist in the British Foreign Office, working in the consular service for the Ottoman Dominions. Rice studied Arabic, Persian, Russian and Turkish at Pembroke College Cambridge. To earn his place he had to pass exams in French, Italian, German, Latin and Greek.
Justice Sir Charles Powers who was a Brisbane Grammar School foundation student in 1869 was a parliamentarian, cricketer and justice. A fine cricketer who captained a Queensland team against a touring English side, Powers had a distinguished career as a legislator and judge. He was Postmaster-General and Education Minister in Queensland and appointed the first Commonwealth Crown Solicitor in 1903. He was raised to the High Court in 1913. Powers also attended Ipswich Grammar School.
Arthur Stanley Roe, who attended BGS from 1899, went on to become a captain in WWI. He was Queensland’s first Rhodes Scholar and studied at Balliol College, Oxford. He became Queensland’s first urologist.
Dr Eleanor Bourne who has the incredible distinction of technically being Brisbane Grammar School’s only ever female ‘Old Boy’. Dr Bourne passed the Sydney senior exam at BGS in 1896. She went on to become the first Queensland woman to study medicine, before serving as a lieutenant of the Royal Army Medical Corps during World War I.
BGS Old Boy David Malouf (1950), who is a talented novelist, memoirist, essayist, short story writer, poet and art aficionado, received the Lifetime Achievement in Literature award at the 2016 Australia Council Awards.

Malouf has numerous awards, including the Miles Franklin prize for The Great World (1990), while Remembering Babylon (1993) was short-listed for the Booker Prize. His first novel Johnno draws on his time at BGS.
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