The Spirit of Sisterhood

‘We know that so far as any real knowledge is concerned, the great mass of women have been left in complete darkness … I propose, therefore, by this bill that the women of the colony should be able to take academic degrees …’ – Sir Charles Lilley (1827-1897)

One hundred and forty-five years ago, founder of BGGS and former Premier and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Sir Charles Lilley (1827-1897), pioneered to revolutionise education in Queensland by establishing Brisbane Girls Grammar School—a vision considered so far ahead of its time that it was viewed as a radical ‘experiment’.

As Grammar Women, we have all been part of this ‘experiment’—and we have proven that it works! Generations of Grammar Women are changing the world—each in their own different way, with a shared sense of commitment to something larger than themselves. I am incredibly proud to be part of that legacy. I am also continually inspired when I meet or hear the stories of past students—and the diversity of their experiences after school.

Opportunities for women to participate in many facets of life have been transformed in the 145 years since our School’s foundation. But despite huge progress—with more women in the workforce, the gender pay gap slowly closing and improved equality in other areas of life—there is still more to be done to ensure women can excel in their chosen endeavours without prejudice.

As a community we must continue to develop the next generation of women to contribute to, and lead in, our world. Naturally, this starts with their education. Grammar girls are encouraged to question and challenge with confidence, seek diverse experiences and different perspectives to shape an informed worldview and, above all, act purposefully with authenticity and integrity. The global events of recent weeks and months have brought into sharp focus the myriad, compounding inequities around us—a powerful reminder of the value of a broad, liberal education in shaping and inspiring young minds to advocate for an inclusive society, and seek solutions to the world’s greatest challenges.

From one Grammar Woman to another, I invite you to deepen, or perhaps rediscover, your connection to Girls Grammar and each other. Our future Grammar Women will benefit from the guidance, mentorship, philanthropy and sisterhood of our alumnae community that we can all offer them to become the citizens our communities need to thrive.

Ms Julie McKay (2000)
Chair of the Board of Trustees