A Brief History
The Queensland Girls Secondary Schools Sports Association (QGSSSA) has recognised, supported and rewarded sporting achievements in young Queensland women during the past 110 years. The QGSSSA was founded in 1908 with member schools Brisbane Girls Grammar School, Somerville House and St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School — whose principals were looking to formalise interschool sporting competitions.
With a mission to provide member schools with opportunities to equip young women to meet and enjoy life’s challenges by seeking to provide quality sporting opportunities and social interaction within a school environment, the Association has developed into a strong, professional sporting body.
The spirit of QGSSSA, which encompasses and balances performance, participation, tradition and innovation, has been passed down through the years and is as strong today as it was in its foundation year. The Association’s objectives still centre on achieving a balance between these elements in what is arguably the longest, sustained competition in girls’ secondary school sport.
The first of the QGSSSA schools to be founded was Brisbane Girls Grammar School. It was established in 1875 as ‘an experiment’ by the Brisbane Grammar School Board of Trustees after its successful establishment as a boys’ school in 1868. Following the establishment of Girls Grammar in Brisbane, Ipswich Girls’ Grammar School was established in 1892. The first of the Church and faith-based schools to be established was St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School, founded in 1895 by an order of Anglican Sisters known as the Society of the Sacred Advent. The next school to be established was Brisbane High School for Girls, now known as Somerville House, in 1899, which operated from the City Baptist Tabernacle in Wickham Terrace. Following this, the residents of the bayside suburbs of Brisbane supported the foundation of a school in their area, and in 1901, Moreton Bay Girls’ High School, now known as Moreton Bay College, was established. In 1883, Miss Helena Davenport had established Goy-te-Lea Girls School in Southport, subsequently sold the school to the Church of England and by 1912, the school was known as St Hilda’s School. In 1920, Brisbane State High School was created as the secondary department of the Brisbane Central Boys’ School and the Brisbane Central Girls’ School. Clayfield College was established in 1931 on property belonging to the Presbyterian and Methodist Schools Association. Encouraged by the success of several girls’ schools in Brisbane, including their own St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School, the Sisters of the Sacred Advent established another school, St Aidan’s Anglican Girls School, in 1929. Despite the early influences of German immigrants in the colonies, it was not until 1945 that the last of the QGSSSA schools, St Peters Lutheran College, was established.
All 10 schools have strongly supported the Association and girls’ sport in Queensland, with amendments to the sporting program as new sports developed and others became less popular. Today, the ten member schools continue to compete in 15 different sports involving thousands of young women, with a representative pathway now established for interstate competition. Students have the opportunity to participate in an extremely high level of competition, enhance their physical skills, and meet with girls from all over South East Queensland while developing a healthy love of sport. Many generations of young women have commenced their sporting journey within this important sporting organisation, which has provided significant opportunities for girls at school and set a firm foundation for their continued involvement in physical activity and future sporting success.
In 2018, QGSSSA proudly celebrates 110 years of girls in sport.
There have been several other schools who have been members of the QGSSSA at some time – Girton College Toowoomba, Commercial State High School, University High School, Wynnum High School and Technical College.