Major milestone for historic Maryborough school

FORMER students, teachers and staff of Maryborough State High School will return to the grounds this weekend to celebrate a major milestone in the school’s history.

Principal Simon Done examines some of the Maryborough State High School building’s original plans. PHOTO: Supplied.

Maryborough State High School is 140-years-old this year.

The institution will mark the occasion by re-dedicating its museum, which is full of historical and comical artefacts from the past 140 years.

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The school will be open to the public tomorrow from 10am to 2pm to allow the Maryborough State High School family the chance to return to the place many spent their formative years and reminisce around the grounds, sharing stories as they go.

The café and cafeteria will also be open.

Performing arts students will entertain those who ‘return home’ – with the school’s iconic buildings providing the perfect backdrop.

Principal Simon Done said by virtue of geography Maryborough State High School is at the heart of the Heritage City.

“It has stood the test of time, through two world wars, pandemics and a number of other historical events. You would be surprised at the number of people who either went to the school, know someone who went to the school, or taught at the school. Sometimes it seems like the entire world has walked through our gates,” Mr Done said.

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And those gates are not just part of the facilities for Mr Done.

He told Good News Fraser Coast they offer him a sense of motivation and inspiration every morning.

“I am very aware that I am the latest person to hold the office of principal from a long line of principals and headmasters; dating back to 1881. I walk into the gates of Maryborough State High School every morning and marvel at the buildings, the history that’s come before me and the promise of the students who are there now and what they will achieve in their lifetimes.”

Mr Done said the school’s name is one to be proud of and students who learn and shape their futures within the buildings are ready for the real world when their secondary education comes to an end.

He said having Maryborough State High School on your resume suggests to prospective employers that you have a good grounding.

“Because of the standards which are set inside the school gates, this will give students the opportunity to excel outside the school gates and into their careers,” he said.

But a school as entrenched in history as Maryborough State High School can’t just rest on its reputation and successes of the past.

Mr Done said there is an expectation to always do better.

“While it is important to adhere to traditions and heritage, it is also vital to acknowledge that education and society must always evolve.

“It is for this reason that Maryborough State High School remains at the forefront of education for the region and the state.”

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Maryborough State High School formed part of the development of the coding curriculum for Queensland, currently holds classes for future teachers and doctors and also runs major events like FraserPOP in July.

“We have a custom-built hair and beauty salon on-site, to deliver hair and makeup courses and a state of the art performing arts complex where we can put on world-class performances.

“Maryborough State High School is a microcosm of the world that our students will enter into the 21st-century and beyond,” Mr Done explained.

“Because of the vision of the current State Member Bruce Saunders, we have been able to develop a world-class school on the doorstep of Maryborough,” said Mr Done.

The State Government has invested some $16-million into the school’s master planning over the past five years.

“When I started at the school, I was given the very complex, yet very simple task of creating a flagship for state education. I believe I have achieved that.

“From a brand-new student enrichment precinct, which will be State of the Art for Queensland, a performing arts complex, classroom upgrades, a playground and active zone for students at lunchtimes as well as other facilities which have been built over the past five years, I look forward to steering Maryborough State High School into the future – beyond 150 and even 160 years.”

Looking into the future, Mr Done said he hoped the school’s legacy would be one of continued education excellence and a sense of camaraderie among former students.

While, Maryborough State High School has produced generals, Rhodes scholars, politicians, lawyers, doctors and Olympians, among other distinguished professionals over the years, Mr Done said it was important that all students know they have come from somewhere special.

“It is important for former students to know that they share a common bond, common understanding and are part of something truly marvellous when they meet – wherever it is in the world outside of these gates.”

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