Riverside Girls High School

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Telephone 02 9816 4264

Emailriversideg-h.school@det.nsw.edu.au

Our proud history


Riverside has succeeded in providing a wealth of happy memories and satisfaction for generations of women who want their daughters and granddaughters to become part of their own heritage, to say with pride, "I am a Riversidian."

This is the name affectionately given to past students and staff members who have become part of the Riverside family.

A Riversidian is passionate about public education and the wonderful culture that develops when a school is truly comprehensive, meaning inclusive of all people, their values, abilities and uniqueness. Variety means that all students and staff have an opportunity to mix with many people very different to themselves, providing opportunities to see different perspectives and to be challenged.

An historical perspective on the school – The Beginning

Riverside Girls High School grew out of the necessity to provide a school for girls in the Gladesville / Drummoyne area to be set up as a Domestic Science School (as distinct from Selective High Schools which had an academic focus).

The site was seen as ideal in its location, able to service Gladesville and Drummoyne as well as Balmain and Rozelle, Ryde and Eastwood.

Building commenced in 1932 but the school was not opened till 1934 as it was the Great Depression and money was scarce.  In addition the Health Ministry tried to have the land appropriated for the establishment of a hospital and suggested that the school could be built on the present Gladesville Park site.

Seen as too small an area, this proposal was rejected and the current site became the Gladesville Central Domestic Science School to accommodate 750 students.

The present main block is the original building, constructed by unemployed relief workers who were employed by the Government’s Building Construction Branch.  It consisted of eighteen classrooms, two large kitchens, a laundry, pantry, changing room, typing room, three sewing rooms and a fitting room, staff rooms, visitor’s room and the Headmistresses room. In addition a single storey gym cum hall, a tuck shop, lavatory and two large shelter ‘pavilions’ were constructed. Thanks to Miss Staff Inspector Kidd, the school was well equipped with the latest in gas appliances.

Once construction got under way another disagreement arose, what to name the school. Initially designated as Gladesville Domestic Science School, somewhere before the opening, the school was officially recognised by the Minister for Education, Mr Drummond, as Riverside Central Domestic Science School though it is commonly believed that the name was suggested by the first Headmistress, Miss Nielsen.

Riverside became a comprehensive high school offering both the Intermediate and Leaving Certificates in 1955 and with this change the name also changed to Riverside Girls High School.

Riverside is a school with a rich history.

Much of the fascinating history of the school from 1934 – 1984 can be found in “A History of Riverside Girls High School” -see attached booklet. 

A history of Riverside Girls High School (PDF 2.6MB)