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The Southport School

The Southport School
2 Winchester Street, Southport, Queensland

Coordinates27°59′8″S 153°24′52″E / 27.98556°S 153.41444°E / -27.98556; 153.41444
TypeIndependent early learning, primary and secondary day and boarding school
MottoLatin: Palmam Qui Meruit Ferat
(Let him who deserves the palm of victory bear it.)
Established1901; 123 years ago (1901)
FounderHorace Henry Dixon
ChairmanFraser Perrin
HeadmasterAndrew Hawkins
YearsEarly learning to Year 12
GenderBoys only
Enrolmentc. 1,551[1]
Colour(s)Navy, white & maroon    
TuitionVaries by grade[2]

The Southport School (TSS) is an independent Anglican early learning, primary and secondary day and boarding school for boys, located in Southport, a suburb on the Gold Coast of Queensland, Australia.

Established in 1901 by the Revd Horace Henry Dixon, TSS is the oldest Anglican boys' boarding school in Queensland and the only all-boys boarding school on the Gold Coast.[3] The school has a non-selective enrolment policy and currently caters for approximately 1305 students from early learning to Year 12, including 276 boarders from Years 7 to 12.[4]

The school is affiliated with the Australian Boarding Schools Association (ABSA),[4] the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA),[5] the Independent Primary School Heads of Australia (IPSHA),[6] Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ),[7] and has been a member of the Great Public Schools Association of Queensland (GPS) since 1920.[8]


The Southport School 1934

The Southport School was established in 1901 by the Revd (later Rt Revd) Horace Dixon. The land was originally owned by Benjamin and Ann Spendelove.[9] The Spendelove family continued to make a contribution to the school, providing boxing coaching for many years.[citation needed]

The first boarding houses (Delpratt, McKinley and Thorold) were established in 1907 and 1908.[citation needed]

The Southport School has the third oldest school boat club in Queensland, having first started rowing in 1905.[10] This followed Brisbane Grammar School and Ipswich Grammar School first having a rowing contest in 1891.


Horace H. Dixon and son

The following is a list of the headmasters of the school.[citation needed]

Period Details Notes
1901–1929 The Revd (later Rt Revd) Horace Henry Dixon CBE
1930–1935 Bertram George Lawrance
1936–1940 Verney Lovett Johnstone
1941–1950 John Norman Radcliffe
1950–1971 Cecil Garton Pearce OBE
1972–1987 John Henry Day AM
1988–2003 Bruce Alexander Cook OAM
2004–2020 Greg Wain
2021– Andrew Hawkins

House system

The Southport School utilises a house system. The Senior School is divided vertically into the twelve houses: eight day boy houses and four boarding houses. The Preparatory School is divided into four houses. The Senior Houses are:[11]

Name Day/boarding Colours
Atkinson Day    
Biddle Boarding      
Delpratt Boarding    
Kaiser Day    
Maughan Day    
McKinley Boarding    
Melbourne Day    
Radcliffe Day    
Surman Day    
Thorold Boarding    
Turnock Day    
Walker Day    
Rogers Boarding year 7 only
Musgrave Prep-day  
Shepherd Prep-day  
Dixon Prep-day  
Mitre Prep-day  

The three original houses – Delpratt, McKinley and Thorold – were founded in 1909, 1909 and 1908, respectively. The inaugural house shield competition was held in 1910, won by McKinley. The additional day houses were added in the 1970s and 1980s, and the fourth boarding house, Biddle, added in 1988. The most successful house in the House Shield competition has been Thorold House, achieving its 40th House Shield victory in 2014; McKinley had won 31 house shields and Delpratt 21 as of 2014.[citation needed]


School cricket team ca. 1912

TSS has a strong sporting tradition and over the years has produced many Australian and international athletes of note. The school currently offers the following activities to its students: basketball, chess, cricket, cross country, debating, soccer, gymnastics, rowing, rugby, swimming, sailing, tennis, and track and field. TSS has been a member of the Great Public Schools' Association Inc (GPS) since 1920.[8] TSS fields soccer teams within the development divisions of Football Queensland South Coast. The school has achieved many sporting premierships during its membership.[citation needed]

GPS Premierships (official GPS records):[citation needed]

  • Rowing (22) 1918, 1920, 1921, 1923, 1930, 1931, 1933, 1953, 1954, 1958, 1959, 1970, 1978, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1991, 2000, 2006, 2018, 2024
  • Cricket (24) 1920, 1923, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1980, 1981, 1982, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2023, 2024
  • Rugby (11) 1922, 1926, 1933, 1938, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2017, 2019
  • Tennis (9) 1921, 1924, 1926, 1930, 1934, 1956, 2000, 2001, 2018
  • Swimming (8) 1922, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2013, 2015, 2016
  • Gymnastics (7) 1935, 1936, 1962, 1963, 2008, 2009, 2010
  • Sailing (7) 2002, 2003, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019,2022
  • Athletics (5) 1918, 1919, 1922, 1929, 1933
  • Football (4) 2012, 2013, 2014, 2020
  • Basketball (4) 2009, 2012, 2021, 2023
  • Cross Country (1) 1990
  • Shooting (4) 1956, 1963, 1967, 1971 (suspended 1974)

Associated Schools Championships:[citation needed]

  • Basketball 1980–81 (1979–1986)
  • Soccer 1978, 1980, 1981, 1984, 1987, 1988, 1990 (1978–1991)

State Championships[citation needed]

  • Basketball (2) 2012, 2021

Notable alumni

The Old Southportonians Association (OSA) is the alumni organisation for Old Boys of the school.[12] The OSA celebrated its 100 years as a recognised body in 2007.

Historic figures also include past choirmaster Henry John King.[citation needed]

Student exchange program

Main entrance, 2015

The Southport School is a member of Round Square and as such has an extensive network of partner schools with which it performs many student exchanges. TSS is involved in a student exchange program with the Baylor School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States; and with Collingwood School in West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.[citation needed]

Pacific Cable Station

The two surviving buildings of the Pacific Cable Station were relocated to the school in 1982 for use as the school's music department. Largely untouched from their original form, they are listed on the Gold Coast Local Heritage Register.[13]

See also


  1. ^ 2016 TSS Handbook
  2. ^ "The Southport School Domestic Fee Schedule 2019" (PDF). Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  3. ^ "TSS Prospectus" (PDF). Enrolment Information. The Southport School. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 August 2007. Retrieved 27 December 2007.
  4. ^ a b "The Southport School". Schools. Australian Boarding Schools' Association. Archived from the original on 17 November 2007. Retrieved 27 December 2007.
  5. ^ "AHISA Schools". Queensland. Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia. November 2007. Archived from the original on 2 November 2007. Retrieved 26 December 2007.
  6. ^ "JSHAA Queensland Directory of Members". Queensland Branch. Junior School Heads' Association of Australia. 2007. Archived from the original on 12 April 2008. Retrieved 27 July 2007.
  7. ^ "Brisbane Grammar School". School Search. Independent Schools Queensland. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 27 December 2007.
  8. ^ a b "GPS Schools". Sport and Music. Brisbane State High School. Archived from the original on 31 August 2007. Retrieved 27 December 2007.
  9. ^ "About Spendelove Bistro & Bar: Southport Restaurant". Spendelove. Archived from the original on 25 March 2016. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  10. ^ "The Southportonian", 1912 Vol. II No. 4 May
  11. ^ The Southport School Admissions Book Archived 10 September 2014 at the Wayback Machine (accessed:2007-05-18)
  12. ^ "Old Southportonians' Association". Potentiality Online Communities. Archived from the original on 25 February 2018. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  13. ^ "Gold Coast Local Heritage Register - N to Z" (PDF). Gold Coast City Council. pp. 91–92. Archived (PDF) from the original on 26 August 2020. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
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The Southport School
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