Happy Birthday to BGHS!
50 years & haven’t we held our age well?! “...our present building was first used in 1960. ...there
has been a secondary school, attached to Bankstown
I believe that our youthful appearance can be cred- Public School, almost since the founding of that school
ited to a number of things: in 1915. Known for many years as Bankstown Domes-
tic Science School, it provided an education up to sec-
Positive attitude - always looking to the future, ond (Year 8), & later third year (Year9) for many
considering how we can improve, what we can do Bankstown girls. In 1960, all the pupils of Bankstown
differently or better, which means we never say Domestic Science School proudly moved across Mona
that we have “been there done that, let’s just keep Street from the old buildings, & changed their name to
doing as we always have”; Bankstown Girls High School. There were 891 pupils
at the time, and, for the first year, no class higher than
Never acting our age – being open to new things, 4th year (Year 10). The principal was Miss Boesen...
new technologies, new ways of doing business, new
ways of looking at the world & not taking ourselves It was not until 1961 that the school grew up com-
too seriously that we can’t have some fun – sing & pletely, with its first 5th Year (Year 11), & its first Leav-
dance, share our cultures & experiences & enjoy ing Certificate (School Certificate equivalent) candi-
life; dates. Five girls were successful that year, & were the
first Bankstown Girls High School students to complete
Caring about how we look – keeping healthy bodies the full course. ...
& buildings in this case. Upgrading old facilities &
adding new ones, being proud of how we appear to When this building was first opened, there were no
others, new uniforms that match the times we live lawns or gardens at all....of all the people who have
in, keeping a good profile in the community (always helped us, we owe perhaps the most to Mr Webb, who
going out looking our best), having a good self im- gave us a garden. Mr Webb was the grandfather of
age, caring about what the community thinks of us; two girls who attended the school, Kathleen & Wendy
Payne....The birdbath near the Assembly Hall reminds
Caring for our community – giving to others who us of the work of a man who gave us all this, & asked
need our support, sharing with & caring about the for nothing in return.”
people in our community & our environment, think-
ing about others not just ourselves. So Bankstown Girls High School has a long history, if
you include our original form as Bankstown Domestic
Having good family & friends – having the support Science School from before 1926, but in our current
& encouragement of our whole school community form we started in 1960 with our Official Opening on
helps everyone at Bankstown Girls High School not Friday 11 August 1961. The birdbath is a little worse
just feel good about themselves, but to achieve for wear as the photo shows but the plague is still in
their best & maintain a positive attitude even when place, “To commemorate the work of Mr. J. Webb
things are difficult. We are extremely grateful for who made these gardens.”
the community commitment to our school.
Bankstown Girls High School grows from strength to
These qualities, the Bankstown Girls High School strength based on the legacy upon of those that came
culture if you like, is not unique to our recent his- before us. How lucky we have been to have had such
tory. Looking through our archives I have found evi- wonderful, dedicated, talented, & committed people
dence of our positive & developmental attitude in working with & supporting the school over the last
previous principal’s speeches, yearbooks, school fifty years. Without the commitment of talented
magazines & news articles. staff & the support of our community, our students
would not be able to address the challenges of educa-
Our second principal, Miss Lorraine Olsen (1963 – tion and life, some of which are unique to the lives of
1976), is able to provide us with some insight into girls, with the degree of success that has been evident
how Bankstown Girls High School’s culture & beliefs over the last 50 years.
have been form through one of her speeches:
Happy Birthday to BGHS!
Some words from the first principal Mrs Thora Boe- Miss Thora Boesen
son (1960 - 1963) in a letter to her ex-students to be (1960 -1962)
read at their 40th reunion:
“When one is 90 and beginning to fail in vision, hear-
ing, gait and memory, one is allowed to be sentimen-
tal. One thing that never failed me; my affection and
gratitude to the girls and parents who held up my
hand and gave me so much support, friendships and
laughter in those early times when we lifted Bank-
stown Girls High off the ground. Since then the world
has opened out to women and I have rejoiced in hear-
ing of the careers so many of you have been able to Miss Lorraine Olsen
follow. Most of all, I have rejoiced in the kind of (1963 -1976)
women so many of you have become. Thank you for
all you have given me and may your offering to soci- Miss Brenda See
ety continue. It is needed and my best wishes go out (1976 – 1988)
to you today.”
I am pleased to say that that support and encourage-
ment continues to this day from our whole school
community. I feel privileged to be have been an ex-
student and the current principal of such a school as
Bankstown Girls High and proud to represent it on
such an occasion as this – 50 years of outstanding
On behalf of all the current students and staff I thank
you all and hope as many past parents, students and Miss Margaret Parker
staff can share our celebrations on the 6th and 7th (1989 – 1992)
August. We do indeed have something to celebrate
and be proud of. Congratulations everyone.
Mrs Barbara Barraclough
Betty Harper (1993 – 2003)
Principal, Bankstown Girls High School (2004 - )
Our cherished birdbath
still has pride of place at
The Swinging Sixties
In the 1960s girls were wearing culottes, box-shaped PVC dresses, go-go boots.
The bikini came into vogue and so did the mini-skirt.
The French manicure we have today was started by US First Lady
Jackie Kennedy, as were false eyelashes and the pillbox hat.
If you were a woman of the 1960s you would be wearing blue-green eye
shadow and heavy eyeliner. Chances are you would also be wearing
psychedelic colourful prints all over your mini dress.
Hits of the 1960s
Movies & TV
Stop! In the name of Love—Aretha Franklin
Born to be wild—Steppenwolf
Pick a Box
Space oddity—David Bowie
I Love Lucy
I say a little prayer—Aretha Franklin
To Sir With Love
I can’t get no satisfaction—Rolling Stones
BGHS in this decade
The school officially opened on
11 August 1961
There were 41 teachers, 2 clerical assistants and
The Principal was Miss Thora Boesen
A prayer was read by a local Reverend and the
choir sang, The Lord is my Shepherd
Students would recite God Save the Queen at
Always Best—The School Song
Bankstown Girls High School we cherish
Proud our colours gold & blue
Let us praise her, laud & honour
This her name in all we do.
By our school rules we abide
Ever onward we shall stride
Chorus: Semper Optime our aim
Voices ring, let us sing
To her honours let us bring.
Here is life & here is learning
Scholarship & care for truth.
Here we’ve loved & laughed & sorrowed
Known the griefs & joys of youth.
As our vision grows & clears
Rich & full the days & years. Our girls in the 60s as they are today, fresh faced, eager to
learn and in full school uniform.
The Nineteen Seventies
In the 1970s, women still wore minis, but they also started to wear lots of denim,
in particular, bell-bottom jeans. One distinct trend was platform shoes. Worn by
both men and women, these often had soles up to 7cm thick!
It was a mishmash of fashion with prints such as the hippy tie-dye being popular,
contrasting with the glam rhinestones, glitter, hotpants and lycra that were
popular in discos. Punk was coming in, & baseball shirts were huge for guys.
Girls had straight hair, often parted down the middle and later in the decade, the
shag came in to vogue in a massive way!
Hits of the 1970s
Movies & TV
The God Father
Tired of being alone—Al Green
Saturday Night Fever
Brown Sugar—Rolling Stones
Don’t stop til you get enough—Michael Jackson
BGHS in this decade
The Principal was Brenda See
Star students, Cathy Porreca and Betty
Harper started in the early 1970s
Ms Jackson and Ms Templeman started in
the late 1970s
A young Betty Wong prepared the artwork
for the front cover of the 1975 year book
Which caring Counsellor favoured velvet flares?
Which Principal hitched her skirt up so high?!
The Electric Eighties
In the early 1980s as both men & women began to wear looser shirts & tight,
close-fitting pants. Men wore power suits to display their wealth & women wore
shoulder pads as a display of their power.
There were lots of fashion trends going on. Glamorous but romantic lace, the
cha-cha shirt & midriff baring top, leotards,leg-warmers, tight jeans with zips at
the ankles. We also saw the Thriller look, acid-wash denim & Doc Martens.
Another item that people used to wear were scrunchie socks. These were worn
proudly with any type of shoe. Stirrup pants were also a hot item. They tapered
gradually in towards the ankle, where they an elastic strap fit under the heel.
Even on the best of figures, stirrup pants had a tendency to make the tops of
your legs look big. They created a triangle-leg effect was not very flattering.
Hits of the 1980s
Music Movies & TV
Call Me – Blondie Raiders of the Lost Ark
Celebration - Kool & The Gang Grease
Another One Bites the Dust - Queen Continuation of the Rocky series
You Shook Me All Night Long - AC/DC Continuation of the Star Wars series
Whip It - Devo The beginning of Neighbours
BGHS in this decade
In 1989, the Principal became Margaret Parker
Archie and Mehitabel & All Together Now were memo-
rable school concerts that starred both teachers & stu-
Our girls are thrilled that the Bulldogs were the champi-
ons of the NRL
Can you guess the identity of this
bow tie wearing young man?
Hint: He has something to so with
A classic item of the 1990s were overalls. Worn with a simple blouse, overalls
were short & long. They were often worn with flats or runners.
Flary jeans/pants were also popular. They wore worn with any type of top and
were a massive hit. Flary sleeves were also a big trend.
Baby doll dresses were fashionable as well. Fluorescent clothing throughout the
90’s varied, from dresses, to shirts, sweatshirt, shoe laces, bumbags, socks, hair Guess Who?
scrunchies & even pants. The nineties clothes were very bright and eye-catching. Have the years been
kind to this man?
Hits of the 1990s
Music Movies Books
Baby Got Back - Sir Mixx-A-Lott Goodfellas The Plains of Passage
Unbelievable - EMF Reversal of Fortune Four Past Midnight
Macarena - Los Del Rio Hunt for Red October The Burden of Proof
Groove Is In The Heart - Deee-lite Total Recall Memories of Midnight
Can you put a name to the faces of
these young beauties? Three of
them are still here. Guess Who? How many teachers can you identify?
BGHS in this decade
This was the era of short shorts!
In 1989, the principal became Barbara Baraclough
C Block, Administration building, the library and Art areas were finally built.
Our school when from strength to strength in its sporting achievements.
Military clothes were all the rage throughout this decade. They
were army like pants, worn with any sort of top, preferably singlets.
These days, everyone wears skinny jeans, tight jeans that literally
stick to your hips.
The 2000s had different types of shoes, varying from flats, to boots,
Air Walk sneakers to Converse and many more. Bags in the later
2000s were oversized and coloured.
Hits of the 2000s
Music Movies & TV
I Try—Macy Gray Harry Potter
I’m like a bird—Nelly Furtado
Bad Romance—Lady Gaga Men in Black
BGHS in this decade
Paulini became a finalist on Australian Idol
Change in principal to Betty Harper in 2004
BGHS performed at the 2000 Olympic Games
Ex-student Marianne Perkovic becomes CEO of a ASX
BGHS was joined by a number of inspirational teach-
ers, many of whom are still here today.
Guess Who? How many teachers can you
recognise in the above photograph?
Happy Birthday Dear School!
At 97 years of age, Mrs Waugh is one of Another letter we received came from our past prin-
our oldest ex-students and was so proud to cipal, Mrs Barbara Baraclough:
have been able to attend our special birth-
day. Dear Betty and Staff,
Both Mrs Sparks and Mrs Waugh helped to Thanks you so much for inviting me to the school’s
cut the enormous birthday cake, celebrat- 50th anniversary celebrations. It was a joy to be
ing our first 50 years. back in my very old home. The girls are as beautiful
and an hospitable as ever and the staff, still enthusi-
astic and hard working.
Below is an excerpt from one of the won-
derful cards of thanks we received from It was good to see the school had moved from having
our many special guests. only ethnic based dance groups, to having a multicul-
tural dance group. Well done.
To dear Betty, all the staff and pupils of
Bankstown Girls High School, I enjoyed the displays mounted in the various class-
rooms and in the library - this must have required a
I just wish to thank you all for a wonderful great effort. Of course thanks to Garry, Jim and Chris
day we had on Friday. I just loved the en- for their BBQ. Well done everyone.
tertainment, they are all so talented and
beautiful girls. It was great to catch up with so many former col-
Everyone made mum and I feel so very wel- leagues and students on Saturday night. I will be
come and so very special. thinking of the old days for days to come.
It made me very proud to be part of your
celebrations and very proud to be a past Best Wishes,
Phyllis and John Sparks and Violet Waugh
The Nineties Room
The Pink Ladies of English
Enzo Nadile &
The Bring It On Dance Group
Ex-students Mrs Sparks &
The African Dance Group
Leanne Michaelson &
students of BGHS
50th Anniversary Cake
The cutting of our birthday cake
Leonie Eti Singing Happy Birthday
Tongan Dance Group
Cook Islands Dance Group
Daryl Melham MP for Banks with our
Ms Templeman & Sally MacFarlane school captains
Both Kim & her mother, Mrs
Whiteman are both ex-students
Ex-student Kim Whiteman & Brenda See
Organiser, Danielle Clarke
with her well-deserved
Principals, past and present, cutting the cake
Mrs Saisanas and ex-students, Our School captains with Mayor, Tania Mihailuk
Helen Huynh, Stephanie Kingston & David Stone
DPs, Charles Borg & Mark Leary
Alan Rawlinson (Legacy) & Barbara Barraclough (ex-
Principal) with Principal, Betty Harper
Dick Phillips (Bankstown Sports Club Vice President) with
wife, Beverly Phillips
Ex-students: Trudy Hanley, Carol Whiteman, Nicole Stevenson, Kim
Ellul, Dianne Watt, Fiona Lynton, Janis Ford, Heather Hicks, Terri-Lee
Thompson, Cheryl Langdon, Bronwyn Exley, Maria Spagnolo
The Bankstown Girls High School 50th Birthday dinner was held on Saturday, 7 August 2010 at the
Bankstown Sports Club.
Thank you to all who supported this fabulous event.