The Glennie School, Toowoomba

In the beginning

Of the nine Anglican girl’s schools founded in Queensland, The Glennie School is one of four that remain as girls-only schools, and the only one located outside a metropolitan area. 

The Glennie Memorial School owes a great debt to an early pioneer of the church in Queensland, ‘The Apostle of the Downs’, Archdeacon Benjamin Glennie, who was able to hand over to the diocese the sum of £1,627 to secure the foundation of the School in Toowoomba. As a result, in 1898 “a magnificent site of 12-and-a-half acres was purchased in Herries Street West”.

In 1908, dioceasan authorities appointed Miss Grace and Miss Margaret Lawrence to be the co-principals of the new Anglican school. The Glennie School, as we know it today, commenced operating on 27 July 1908 with five staff, five boarders and 25 day students. The School had three principles it attempted to live out:

  • Religion
  • The encouragement of an enthusiasm for learning
  • The development of school tradition

The official opening, performed by Archbishop Donaldson, was held on Wednesday 10 August 1920, and has since become the annual    celebration of Founders Day. Girls of this era remembered early morning risings, cold baths, 6am music practice, walking to St James’ for Chapel on Sunday, and long hikes to Tabletop Mountain. 

“My time at Glennie has been heartwarming. I went from struggling to flourishing and with so many people that support me and mean the world to me. I developed as a person through my friends and those who mean the most to me.”

The early years

The school commenced a period of growth and development lasting well into the late 1930s, with extensions being made to the main building and the School Chapel along with tennis courts, swimming pool, boarding areas, memorial gates and science laboratory. By 1936, 261 girls attended Glennie with 146 of them boarding.

Miss Dowson oversaw Glennie during WWII, bringing extensive teaching experience to the school. In trying times, Miss Dowson introduced modern teaching methods in subjects such as French at Glennie. Her methodology was an innovation in Queensland education.

The school gave generously to the war time effort, raising funds through stalls, knitting socks for the Sailors’ and Soldiers Church of England Help Society, and offering school facilities for use as the First Australian Orthopaedic Hospital.

Glennie blossomed throughout the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, with girls immersing themselves in performance, arts, sports, cultural and service initiatives at school. The Glennie Old Girls Association (GOGA) was actively involved in the school community, and innovations in teaching and learning fostered academic achievement.

Glennie today

Today over 720 students from Prep to Year 12 immerse themselves in a culture of learning, service, sport, arts and performance across three campuses still located on the historic Herries Street site.

Staying true to the original principles outlined in 1908, Glennie remains a school of faith, learning and rich tradition. Over 30 per cent of current students are the daughters, granddaughters or nieces of Old Girls, with a number of them being third or fourth generation Glennie girls.  

Girls continue to board at Glennie, with families hailing from the towns of Goondiwindi, Dalby, Roma, St George, Narrabri, Moree and further afield. 

Girls in Years 7, 8 and 9 have the opportunity to take part in the French Immersion Program, continuing the innovations in learning that Miss Dowson started at Glennie many decades ago. 

Sport and Performing Arts continue to thrive, thanks to creative and innovative teachers, and excellent facilities.But it is generosity of spirit that remains at the forefront at the Glennie community. Parents, Old Girls, staff and friends of the school continue to offer their service, ensuring that through fundraising for building works, scholarships and bursaries, Glennie continues to be the school of choice for generations to come.

Glennie Principals

Miss Margaret Lawrance

Miss Grace Lawrance

Miss Margaret Brown

Miss Gwendoline Dowson

Miss Lynette Thompson

Miss Kathleen Simmons

Miss Marian Stone

Miss Elizabeth Mosquera

Mr Michael Norris

Mr Reginald Brine

Mrs Wendy Ashley-Cooper

Mrs Kim Cohen

Mr Peter Crawley

Ms Mary Anne Evans