Since 1912, St Hilda’s School has shared the vision of a world-class, active learning environment that embraces innovation and is enriched with faith and tradition.

1912 - 1922

Originally known as Goy-te-Lea in the late nineteenth century, the school was purchased by the Brisbane Diocese in 1912 and became St Hilda’s School.

The History of St Hilda's School would be incomplete without mentioning Miss Helena Davenport, whose vision in founding a girls' school in Southport set in motion the foundation of what was to become St Hilda's School.

Miss Catherine Bourne served as Principal of St Hilda's School from 1912-1923.

1922 - 1924

On 18 April 1922, a meeting was held to form the St Hilda's Old Girls' Association (OGA), elect office-bearers and a committee and formulate rules and regulations. The main purpose of the OGA was to ensure Old Girls continued to connect with each other and the School.

1924 - 1951

Miss Winifred Fittock served as St Hilda's School Principal for 28 years from 1924-1951.

During her years as Principal, Miss Fittock was beset by challenges from events and circumstances external to the school's environment. These included the Depression years of the late 1920s and early 1930s, World War II and severe drought through Queensland.

Despite the many challenges, the Oval, Library and Assembly Hall were all opened throughout this period of time.

1952 - 1964

Miss Gwendoline Horton became the fourth Principal of St Hilda's School in 1952.

In 1952, Miss Horton introduced the House system to provide more opportunities for student leadership and participation.

The Swimming Pool was officially opened in 1954. Originally, the Swimming Pool was to be located at the front of the school and filled with saltwater pumped from the sea. The Bourne and Fittock Buildings (Junior School) were opened on Speech Day in 1958.

1965 - 1974

When Miss Helen Granowski was appointed St Hilda's School Principal in 1965, she was one of the youngest Principals in Australia.

Dr Granowski was an advocate for improving building conditions and facilities throughout her time as Principal at St Hilda’s School. In 1967, she commissioned the building of the Science block, followed by the June Bailey Library Room in 1968. Her next big project was the McCulloch wing and subsequent facilities and McCulloch House in 1970.

Many other projects were undertaken throughout her time at the School with the assistance of the Father’s Project Club, created by Dr Granowski. She was also instrumental in the building of the Horton Centre in 1972, before departing St Hilda’s in 1974 to complete further study at London University.

1974 - 1988

Miss Jennifer Reeves served as St Hilda's School Principal from 1974-1988.

During this time the Science Block was refurbished, Accounting was introduced to Senior School curriculum and the first computers were installed in the school.

The Granowski Building was opened in 1981 and the Reeves Building was opened in late 1988.

St Hilda's School celebrated its 75th anniversary in 1987.

1989 - 2002

Mrs Josie James was appointed the seventh St Hilda's School Principal in 1989.

Mrs James brought a wealth of experience to the principalship of St Hilda's and a very clear vision and determination to help the school move forward into the 21st century, establishing it as the 'cutting-edge' of girls' education.

The Molphy Science Centre was opened in 1991 and paved the way for the renowned STEM subjects that St Hilda's School offers today.

2003 - 2005

Mrs Sandra Langford was appointed the eighth St Hilda's School Principal in 2003.

The St Hilda's Online Curriculum was implemented in 2003, leading to positive change and streamlined communication.

Pre-Prep was established in 2004 and continues to flourish as a special part of the educational journey at St Hilda's.

In 2004, the School magazine was also renamed The Ammonite.

2006 - 2016

Mr Peter Crawley was appointed the ninth St Hilda's School Principal in 2006 and continued his tenure for 10 years, departing St Hilda's School in 2016.

Mr Crawley was instrumental in making St Hilda’s a leading school: focusing on values, relationships, academic achievement, and technology. He had a remarkable vision in seeing the potential of our facilities, specifically in the development of the Senior School Centre and plans for STEM.

The School took advantage of the Federal Government grant of $3 million to begin construction on a gymnasium and multi-purpose centre. In addition, the School expanded its intake of Pre-Preparatory, enabling students to spend their entire school life at St Hilda’s. The St Hilda’s community supported the refurbishment of the historic Assembly Hall and in 2010, the Langford Theatre opened which was developed with funds from our wonderful Parent Volunteer Groups.

The Abbey Early Childhood Centre was constructed in 2007, followed by the Multi-Purpose Centre in 2010.

St Hilda's School celebrated our 100th anniversary in 2012, marking a momentous occasion in history. The St Hilda’s Foundation was incorporated in 2013 creating a philanthropic structure to enable and encourage effective giving to the School and its various programs.

2017 - 2019

Dr Julie Wilson Reynolds joined us in 2017 as the tenth St Hilda's School Principal. Her teaching expertise was in English and History and she completed her PhD on the topic of Creativity in Leadership where she identified the ways in which leadership, change and creativity work together.

The new 2018-2025 Strategic Plan was a significant milestone in the history of the School, with our challenge being to ensure that St Hilda’s School is prepared to take advantage of the opportunities that change brings, acknowledging our responsibility in ensuring a sustainable future for the School and to remain relevant in the community.

The School developed a Master Plan in 2018 for the School’s facilities and designation was achieved for the infrastructure development planned.

2019 - 2022

Deputy Principal, Ms Wendy Lauman was appointed as Interim Principal after Dr Reynolds’ departure in 2019 and was welcomed at her Commissioning as St Hilda’s School eleventh Principal in October 2020, maintaining a continuation of her stabilising influence in our community.

As the world felt the full impact of the Covid pandemic, Ms Lauman remained strong in guiding the School through the unprecedented times, with the consistent response of ‘we are all in this together’.

The St Hilda’s School Old Girls’ Association celebrated its 100th year in 2022 marking an incredible milestone in our School’s history.

St Hilda’s School Foundation held its first Giving Day on 5 May 2022 raising over $200,000 to provide a scholarship for a young woman who would not otherwise have the opportunity to experience a St Hilda’s education.

The new Junior Building, ‘Bourne Fittock’ became fully operational in Term 4 2022. The Reflection Walk was developed with four core elements: Yarning Circle; community garden; labyrinth; and native garden, which confirms our endeavour for social, economic and environmental sustainable practice.

Ms Lauman retired at the end of 2022 following a long career dedicated not only to Anglican Education, but the education of girls in particular and we give thanks to God for her commitment and service.


Mrs Amanda Shuttlewood is Acting Principal for 2023. Mrs Shuttlewood, St Hilda’s Head of Junior School, is also very experienced in Anglican Schools. Mrs Shuttlewood is a long-term Gold Coast resident and is well known to the St Hilda’s Community.

2024 - Present

We welcome Mrs Virginia Warner as our new School Principal for 2024.