Queen's High School Crest
Queen's High School Crest

Ex Girls & Friends of Queen's

Est 1959 ~ Celebrating the Past, Nurturing the Future.

Once a Queen's girl, always a Queen's girl!

  • Queen's High School Photos 1955-1965
  • Queen's High School Photos 1965-1975
  • Queen's High School Photos 1975-1985
  • Queen's High School Photos 1985-1995
  • Queen's High School Photos 1995-2005
  • Queen's High School Photos 2005-2015

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This website contains photos and student anecdotes from the Queen's High School archives, which are included to provide enjoyment to ex girls and friends of Queen's High School. Should there be an issue with any content, please send an email to: enquiries@queenshighexgirls.school.nz

Snippets From the Past:

Girls Urged to Follow Ideal of Service:
"I am asking you to give to New Zealand in your day something better than you took from it in your youth."
Address given to school by the Minister of Education during official school opening.

Amalgamation of Queen's and Kings. This was seriously considered.

Ode to the Big H!!!!
"Mrs Harrison is my shep-Head I shall not want. She catcheth me not attending classes, and leadeth me into her office. She asketh me if I have started swotting yet, and swatteth me if I have not!"
(Full article on display at the reunion.)
Lyn Freeman, 1979

Queen's was amongst the last group of single sex state secondary schools founded in New Zealand. The dominant philosophy of co-education soon took total control of the state system as Taieri, Bayfield and Logan Park were built.

Lots of reporting that the new school called Queen's High, should not be built. The city did not need another single sex girls' school.

Article in ODT:
"Some 400 mothers and about four lonely looking fathers watched their children at Queen's High School as they demonstrated class-room activities"

The school ball was a combined one with Otago Girls, Otago Boys and King's High Schools - the "subscription" was £3.5/-

"The King's-Queen's theatrical co-operation had been established and many a pupil from either school remembers the many productions with great affection - the Queen's gals have played more than their share in shaping many a life from the 'guys across the fence' ".
W. Larkins KHS, 1960.

Poem extract:
"Through Love of Learning We Learned To Live - T'was sound advice that Queen's did give."
Leslie Lumsden.

Lots of reporting that the new school called Queen's High, should not be built. The city did not need another single sex girls school.

Pandora publication - Trendsetter!
"Have you ever gone to a party wearing your favourite red and orange stripped trousers with your flowery shirt with gold high heeled shoes, only to find out that everyone else is wearing pastels? If your answer was yes, then stop worrying, there are other like you. There is a name for your conditions and it is not that you are going crazy. You are a TRENDSETTER."
(Full article on display at the reunion.)
Editor, Martine Smith, 1987

"God be in my head
And in my understanding
God by in my eyes
And in my looking ..."

Amazing letter from Miss Ballard, who had to respond to a "letter to the editor" about Queen's High School spending $1500 on purchasing a piano for the school. The writer had suggested the money would have been better spent on the education of the girls!!!

Did you know that most of the area in the vicinity of Queen's was once a Chinese market garden?

Swimming very strong at QHS. Kate Stevely off to London to compete in World Junior Diving Champs.

Pandora's Box - do you remember this Queen's Newspaper, started by Mrs Strang?

"Tinted Glasses" Pippa Bray (6 Denton) attends the National Young Forum - What do I see through my culturally tinted glasses?

Queen's girls help DOC refloat stranded whale!!! Oops, it is an inflated whale for demonstration purposes??

You are here: Committee | Home

Ex Girls & Friends of Queen's Committee

Many thanks to our Ex Girls & Friends of Queen's committee who worked tirelessly to bring you the Queen's High School 60th Reunion celebrations.

Image of Janet Bernard, Chairperson of the Ex Girls & Friends of Queen's Committee.
Janet Bernard (Moyle)

Attended QHS: 1976-1980

As a 13 year old I timidly arrived at Queen’s knowing only one person. I had a brother and was keen to get away from boys! I remember the freedom that I found in that and the enjoyment I got hanging out with my new girlfriends…now ex girls like me! I met my husband Paul on a blind date to a Queen’s formal and now our 3 girls Victoria, Lydia and Juliette have all been/are Queen’s girls. While I enjoyed English, Drama performances and Madrigals at school, I always wanted to be a nurse and enjoyed 20 years at Dunedin Public Hospital in the Paediatric Department working with kids with cancer and chronic illness, and now at a resthome and agency nursing.

My time at Queen’s definitely influenced me in a positive way and I see the same happening for my daughters. I am keen to support the next generation of Queen’s girls achieve their goals and hope you will support the ex girls endeavours to do this…and come have some fun with us too.

Lynn McLachlan (McLean)

Attended QHS: 1969-1973

My two sisters also attended Queen’s and was very proud when my daughter choose Queen’s for her secondary education. At school I enjoyed the sporting activities, including netball, basketball and athletics. I studied Physiotherapy at Otago from 1974 – 1976, which I am still practicing at Dunedin Hospital.

Lauren Chambers
Treasurer (from May 2018)

Attended QHS: 1999-2003

Making the decision to attend Queen’s was one of the best decisions I made! I lived quite far away so had to do a deal with my parents that I’d walk the 40 minutes there and back every day (which I mostly adhered too!). I enjoyed studying both science and humanities and was involved in the musical and stage challenge, sports… I feel like I took every opportunity given to me. I now work in the FinTech industry after attending university at Otago and in Wellington. I moved back to Dunedin recently and quickly got in touch with the school to see how I could be involved.

Allison Dodds
Committee Member

Attended QHS: 1980-1984

Current Member of Staff, Learning Leader Science

I attended Queen’s as a student from 1980 until 1984 – my first year at Queen’s was the school’s 25th anniversary. My first form teacher was Christina West, a fantastic, energetic and inspiring Science and Biology teacher. Our form room was Lab B, now renamed A9, and it was a classroom full of animals – rats, guinea pigs, frogs, fish, and a giant white rabbit called “Bunny”. Mrs West brought her beautiful cocker spaniel, Bismarck, to school with her every day, and he would often sit up on the front bench during lessons, or sleep in a basket in her adjoining office. We took turns walking him at lunchtime – once he run away from a group of us and we found him a few minutes later eating someone’s lunch from their unattended bag! We often had the rats out of their cages and running up and down the benches during class, or up our sleeves, and sometimes needed to be reminded not to take them off to the next class! I often took Bunny home in the holidays, and she would terrorise our dog and cat. My Dad built her a new cage, which we painted bright blue, with her name on it. We had a bomb scare once, and had to all sit out on the grass – a group of us rushed back into the buildings to rescue the animals, despite our teachers telling us not to!

I teach Science and Biology at Queen’s now, in the room next to my old form class. No animals now, but we still have a lot of fun in class, and I am inspired by the great teaching I had when at school. I’ve worked at Queen’s for almost 20 years now, as a teacher aide at first, and then as a teacher. I love my job, most days, and still really get a kick out of those lessons when one of the girls says “that was fun” or “wow!”, or comes in with a smile and “What are we going to learn about today?” I don’t remember leaning much science at primary school, but have loved it ever since my first introduction to the lab, in 3 West, 1980. I even met my husband, a King’s boy, at Queen’s – we played husband and wife in the school musical “My Fair Lady” in 1984, and have been together ever since. Our son is a King’s boy now too!

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Colleen Lyons (Willcock)
Committee Member

Attended QHS: 1965-1967

Member of Staff, 1981–2008

I was in the 3rd Form when the school celebrated its 10th Anniversary, even at that age the impact of the amazing people (ex-girls) who came to our school is still very vivid in my mind. I feel this inspired me to continue my association with the school in a wide variety of ways. The next phase of my involvement was as a classroom teacher, Careers Advisor and Assistant Principal over a period of 27 years, concluding in 2008.

My current position, still involved in education is based at Queen’s, this also allows me to continue developing the ex-girls association. One amazing memory I have was of a fantastic geography trip around the upper half of the South Island with Miss Graham and Miss Boston. We stayed in schools along the way, as it was school holidays. We used classrooms/halls as our sleeping arrangements and the cooking rooms as our kitchen. I just can’t imagine that happening in today’s environment

Gail Cameron (McGee)
Committee Member

Attended QHS: 1959-1962

1981 – present Member of Staff

I enjoyed my four years there as a student immensely, making several life time friends over that time. My involvement with Queen’s did not stop there. Once my family (one girl and two boys) were all at school, I returned in 1981 as a Teacher’s Aide moving on to work with students in the learning support unit.

During that time I gained a Certificate in Teaching People with Disabilities through attending a part time course at Teachers College. Our daughter attended Queen’s for 5 years and during that time my husband participated in the PTA. Over the last 33 years, I have enjoyed working with the girls and the wonderful staff who have made Queen’s High a vibrant and excellent place of learning.

Jane McColm (McLean)
Committee Member

Attended QHS: 1967-1971

Looking back I think I was lucky to be at the school during this period, the school was relatively new, and led by Miss Ballard there were some wonderful teachers who were on their way to being legendary. My personal favourites were Miss Armstrong my first ever form teacher at Queen’s, who had the unenviable task of trying to teach me to read music (it never happened); and Miss Allen, my last ever form teacher at s, who had the most amazing sense of humour and a twinkle in her eye, (over the years she and I had wrestled with maths before calling it quits). I loved the class Shakespearean and choir competitions; and participated in most sports and sports competitions.

I always thought the school was inclusive, encouraged the pupils to do their best and promoted a sense of social justice.

On leaving school, I went to university completed a Bachelor of Arts degree, travelled overseas, married and had children. I eventually went back to ‘school’ and registered as a nurse. I work as an Associate Charge Nurse at Dunedin Hospital, and have just finished a Masters degree in Health Sciences. Both of my daughters and my niece have also attended Queen’s.

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Jenny Liddell (Fraser)
Committee Member

Attended QHS: 1965-1969

Current Member of Staff

My first involvement with Queen’s began in 1965 when I began as a very nervous third former! It was obviously to be the beginning of something good, as I am still here teaching Geography, Tourism and Humanities. My daughters Emma and Anneliese are also ex-girls of Queen’s.

I have very fond memories of many of my teachers but especially Jean Ballard. Her inspirational and liberal outlook meant that she was a pioneer of education in Dunedin at the time. Jess Armstrong is also remembered with love and respect as she always demanded (and received in consequence) the highest standards in music. We had a lot of fun, not the least singing in the Madrigal Group one day to the Hard of Hearing League and being told off for losing pitch!

During my time at Queen’s I was fortunate to be Head Girl during my final year and my most vivid memory was being invited to a royal luncheon which Prince Charles attended. Outside of school my interests are gardening, cooking, reading, snow and water skiing, and travel.

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Pat Tutty (Clark)
Committee Member

Attended QHS: 1967-1970

I enjoyed both the academic and spiritual sides of school life. A few years ago the time was right for me to join the Ex Girls and Friends of Queen’s Committee, as I felt the need to keep the “Queen’s spirit” alive, and wanted to make contact with others from my school days. A good school friend and I have managed to contact, and meet, with many of our classmates over the past few years, so are well on the way to ensuring a good attendance from our group for the 60th reunion.

Janine Pheloung (Barnes)
Committee Member

Attended QHS: 1976-1980

I enjoyed my days at Queens and remember fondly the social and musical/theatrical aspects of school life rather than the academic. This has led to a lifelong love and involvement in theatre, especially musical theatre.

I am happy in a very small way to be able to give back to the school and help to ensure that current and future Queen’s students get the opportunities that have helped mould me into the confident and very proud ex Queens girl that I am today.

Janette Potter (Carey)
Committee Member

Attended QHS: 1983-1987

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Queen’s from 1983 - 1987. I still remember walking down the pastel coloured corridors adorned with poster saying “Girls can do anything; and we certainly did. My friends and I participated in various sporting, and cultural activities. One highlight was performing in the musical West Side Story for Prince Edward. Many of my cohort left school and began careers that took us all over the country and the world.

The school was very ably lead by Dame Pat Harrison assisted by her dogs and a great enthusiastic team of teachers. My passion for maths came from Julie Anderson and my love of Economics from Malcom Belton.

After leaving Queen’s I attended the University of Otago and studied Economics and Mathematics. Followed by a year at the Dunedin College of Education. From there I moved to the North Island to begin my teaching career.

My family and I have recently returned to live and work in Dunedin after being away for 22 years. I am currently the Deputy Principal at Kaikorai Valley College.

Joining the committee is a way I can give back to the school that gave me confidence and a solid foundation for my future. I hope that the future generations of Queen’s Girls leave with fond memories of their time at the school.

Hover to see more ...


This website contains photos and student anecdotes from the Queen's High School archives, which are included to provide enjoyment to ex girls and friends of Queen's High School. Should there be an issue with any content, please send an email to: enquiries@queenshighexgirls.school.nz