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Otago Girls' High School facts for kids

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Otago Girls' High School
Latin: Recti Cultus Pectora Roborant
The Right Education Makes The Heart As Strong As Oak
41 Tennyson Street
Otago, 9016
New Zealand
Coordinates 45°52′30″S 170°30′00″E / 45.874981°S 170.499946°E / -45.874981; 170.499946Coordinates: 45°52′30″S 170°30′00″E / 45.874981°S 170.499946°E / -45.874981; 170.499946
Type State Secondary school
Established 6 February 1871 (1871-02-06)
Ministry of Education Institution no. 378
Principal Linda Miller
Years 9 - 13
Gender Girls-only
Houses      Allan
Song The Chambered Nautilus
School roll 831 (July 2016)
Socio-economic decile 8P
Newspaper Nautilus

Otago Girls' High School (OGHS) is a secondary school in Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand. It was opened 6 February 1871, after a long campaign by Learmonth Whyte Dalrymple. It is reputedly the oldest girls state-run secondary school in the Southern Hemisphere and the sixth oldest of its type in the world.

The school has its own radio show on Otago Access Radio.

Building history

At its foundation the school occupied a neo-classical building on its present site which it shared with Otago Boys' High School. A new building on another site was built for the boys which they marched away to occupy in 1885. In 1910 the present main block was opened, designed by Edmund Anscombe (1874–1948) and the old building on Tennyson Street was demolished. Anscombe's conception of a rouge-brick Elizabethan mansion, dreaming in the sun, was slowly extended. Temporary structures were replaced in the 1970s by Ministry of Education blocks, contextualised by the use of brick to the Anscombe building. In the 1980s the main block was scheduled for demolition. After protest it was restored and extended by a sympathetic addition designed by Ted McCoy, and in 1987 was listed as a Category I Historic Place. The school has since acquired part of the old King Edward Technical School site. It has erected structures there accessible by way of a pedestrian underpass beneath Smith Street.

Notable alumnae

  • Mina Arndt - artist
  • Ethel Benjamin - New Zealand's first female lawyer[1]
  • Kelly Brazier - rugby union player
  • Kushana Bush - artist
  • Silvia Cartwright - former Governor General of New Zealand
  • Ann Chapman - first woman to lead an Antarctic expedition
  • Mai Chen - constitutional lawyer
  • Constance Clyde - writer
  • Margaret Cruickshank - New Zealand's first female medical doctor
  • Elizabeth Gunn - paediatrician
  • Alison Holst - cook
  • Grace Joel - painter
  • Millie Lovelock - student journalist, singer-songwriter-guitarist
  • Juliet Marillier - author
  • Shona McFarlane - artist, journalist and broadcaster
  • Judith Medlicott - family lawyer and former University of Otago Chancellor
  • Emily Hancock Siedeberg - New Zealand's first female medical graduate
  • Patricia Payne (mezzo-soprano) - opera singer
  • Olga Stringfellow - writer
  • Nancy Tichborne - watercolour artist
  • Yvette Williams - first New Zealand woman to win an Olympic gold medal

Notable faculty

  • Katherine Browning
  • Maria Marchant


Otago Girls' High School has one summer uniform and one winter uniform. The summer uniform is a navy skirt, a blouse and white socks and black shoes. The winter uniform is a navy jacket, a blouse, a tie (navy for juniors and navy and white striped for seniors), a vest or jersey, a kilt and tights and black shoes. There are also some clothing pieces that are worn with both uniforms: blazer and a backpack and black laced shoes.

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