Otago Girls' High School

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 one of the oldest girls state-run secondary school in the Southern Hemisphere and the sixth oldest of its type in the world.[3][4]

Otago Girls' High School
41 Tennyson Street


New Zealand
Coordinates45°52′30″S 170°30′00″E / 45.874981°S 170.499946°E / -45.874981; 170.499946
MottoLatin: Recti Cultus Pectora Roborant
(The Right Education Makes The Heart As Strong As Oak)
Established6 February 1871 (1871-02-06); 148 years ago
Ministry of Education Institution no.378
PrincipalLinda Miller
School roll702[1] (February 2024)
Houses  Allan
SongThe Chambered Nautilus
Socio-economic decile8P[2]

The school has its own radio show on Otago Access Radio.[5]



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.[6] 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.

The school gained international attention in February 2022 after a Muslim student was beaten for wearing a hijab by her peers, and resulted in the student being hospitalised with a concussion.[7] The incident led to an international and domestic outcry, with support for the student coming from Bella Hadid, Sonny Bill Williams, among others.[8][9] Two of the students responsible for the attack were subsequently expelled while a third was referred to counselling. Principal Bridget Davidson confirmed that the school was working with the victims, Muslim community and Police to address the bullying and assault.[10] Otago Muslim Association chairman Mohammad Rizwan welcomed the outcome.[11]

Notable alumnae


Notable faculty



  1. ^ "New Zealand Schools Directory". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 14 March 2024.
  2. ^ "Decile Change 2014 to 2015 for State & State Integrated Schools". Ministry of Education. 29 November 2013. Archived from the original on 24 January 2015. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  3. ^ Otago Museum article
  4. ^ "History - About | Otago Girls' High School - Dunedin, New Zealand". www.otagogirls.school.nz. Archived from the original on 27 January 2018. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  5. ^ "Children and Youth". Association of Community Access Broadcasters. Archived from the original on 16 April 2015. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
  6. ^ "Otago Girls High School Main Block". New Zealand Heritage List/Rārangi Kōrero. Heritage New Zealand. Retrieved 7 July 2008.
  7. ^ "Otago Girls' High School pupil attacked, hijab ripped off by fellow students". Radio New Zealand. 16 February 2022. Archived from the original on 20 February 2022. Retrieved 18 February 2022.
  8. ^ "US supermodel shares support of Otago school girl who had hijab ripped off". The New Zealand Herald. Archived from the original on 20 February 2022. Retrieved 18 February 2022.
  9. ^ "Sonny Bill Williams voices support for Dunedin school-attack victims". The New Zealand Herald. Archived from the original on 20 February 2022. Retrieved 18 February 2022.
  10. ^ McNeilly, Hamish (21 February 2022). "Two teens expelled after assault on Muslim student had offended violently before". Stuff. Archived from the original on 21 February 2022. Retrieved 21 February 2022.
  11. ^ Francis, Oscar (22 February 2022). "Principal says 'appropriate' measures taken over racist attack". Otago Daily Times. Archived from the original on 21 February 2022. Retrieved 21 February 2022.
  12. ^ Brown, Carol (22 June 2007). "Benjamin, Ethel Rebecca 1875 – 1943". Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 17 March 2024.
  13. ^ Hearnshaw, Vickie (1997). "A Study in Black and White: The Life and Work of Photographer Jessie Buckland". Women's Studies Journal. 13 (1): 46. ProQuest 1306154856. Retrieved 13 December 2021.
  14. ^ Mallory, Clare; Vine, Bettina (2005). "Biography". Merry Again. Girls Gone By. ISBN 1-904417-54-X.
  15. ^ Lee, Howard F. "Maria Elise Allman Marchant". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 30 August 2022.