History110 years of Bundaberg State High School

110 years of Bundaberg State High School

Bundaberg State High School 110
Bundaberg State High School celebrates a proud 110 history. Photo: Building Bundaberg State High School, 1915. Bundaberg Library collection. Picture Bundaberg. bun02074

Bundaberg State High School has a proud 110-year history and over the years has seen students go on to become leaders, scholars, professionals, Olympians and more.

In the 110 years Bundaberg State High School has grown to meet the needs of the community and most recently a new three-storey learning centre was opened as part of a $12 million upgrade.

Bundaberg State High School opened on 1 January 1912 in premises initially erected for the Sugar Bureau on land bordered by the Burnett River, Maryborough Street and Quay Street.

As the gates opened for the first time there was 59 students enrolled, today there is more than 1500 students currently enrolled at the school.

When first opened, because of the school's position, pupils often arrived in the horse-drawn cart which brought the daily supplies of milk to the nearby butter factory.

On 20 December 1920, Bundaberg State High School was transferred to its new site and was officially opened with a public ceremony on 24 January 1921.

At the time there was only one course, the Professional or Academic Course and subjects taught included English, Latin, French, German, Mathematics, Algebra, Geometry, Physics and Chemistry.

Current Bundaberg State High School principal Chris Gill said memories of the old school yard were treasured by the community.

“As one of the first five high schools in Queensland, Bundaberg State High School has always had a prominent place in the history of education in not only the Bundaberg community but also more broadly across the state,” Mr Gill said.

“Over the decades we have had an incredible array of staff and students pass through our gates which have made an amazing contribution to our community, and I am proud to say that contribution is ongoing.

Bundaberg State High School 110
Bundaberg State High School celebrates a 110-year history this year. Photo: Bundaberg State High School 1928. Picture Bundaberg, bun02937. Donor: Hegarty, Elwyn, Bundaberg.

“In 2022 we have seen reunions return to the school from the graduating classes of 1961, 1962 and 1972, and to a person they speak with great appreciation and fondness of their time at Bundy High and of the wonderful opportunities they were provided with.

“Many of these graduates become notable figures within Queensland, Australia and internationally and it is wonderful that more than half a century after their graduation they maintain such a strong bond with the school.”

Bundaberg State High School 110
Bundaberg State High School celebrates a proud 110 history. Photo: Bert Hinkler visits Bundaberg State High School Bundaberg, 1928. Picture Bundaberg. Donor: Hegarty, Elwyn.

During the centenary of Bundaberg State High School in 2012, the thirteenth principal Raelene Fysh said on reading the school’s history it was evident the quality of teachers and school principals attributed to the success of the students and the school.

“For the first 45 years the schools had only two principals, so a level of consistency, community trust and resilience in difficult times was evident,” she wrote.

“During this time, former students returned to teach at the school for anything up to 46 years and were important in establishing sporting and cultural programs that became important community events.”

By the time the high school had reached its centenary, it had outlived all of its earliest students, outgrown its original structures and acquired a reputation and character of its own.

Mr Gill said the school held a gallery of proud history and it continued to flourish.

“One hundred and ten years since our commencement, the recent opening of our new building has provided us with a great opportunity to reflect on the interesting history of the buildings at Bundaberg State High School, a number of which formed the original Bundaberg Technical College,” Mr Gill said.

“The school itself is a museum into educational architecture over the decades and a project in the pipeline is to bring together our archive materials to create a Bundy High Museum where the many wonderful artefacts we possess can be on display for all to see.

“This will enable us to continually celebrate our history and inspire current and future generations of Bundaberg children.

“This will be a constant reminder to us all that we have plenty to be proud of at Bundy High.

“Happy 110th Birthday Bundy High!”




  1. Dear Emma,
    the Qld. Government Gazette, 1887 V1 Page 1159 has the notice for the Bundaberg Grammar School Reserve that is at the location in Maryborough Street as we know it. the hospital on the end of Maryborough St. at Walker Street came at a later date. this is shown on a number of historic survey drawings / surveys that I have in my collection. the description of the parcel of land is given on this gazettal page.

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