Director of Boarding
A message from Bernadette Hyde-Mewburn – I am very pleased to take on the challenging and exciting role of Director of Boarding in 2016. Born and raised on the Northern Rivers of New South Wales, I was educated at Mt St Patrick College Murwillumbah and completed my senior schooling as a Boarder at St Mary’s College Lismore.
I have worked and studied across Australia including, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane. I have also had the opportunity to work with Indigenous Communities in the remote areas of South Australia. Most of my career has been as a Public Servant working in the Department of Communities, Department of Family & Community Services, and Department of Corrections. I have also worked in the Not for Profit Sector in Queensland, including General Manager Rosies Youth Mission and School Ministries Coordinator with the St Vincent De Paul Society.
After marrying my husband Mark in 2000 we made a decision to “give something back and make a difference” and decided working in Boarding Schools was going to be part of our future together. In 2006 Mark and I were appointed Head of Residence Years 7 & 8 at Marist College Ashgrove where we were privileged to care for boys of Western Queensland and the Pacific and to be part of the Marist College Community.
In 2010 we moved to North Queensland, where I was appointed Assistant to the Principal – Residential at St Patrick’s College Townsville, and completed a five year term. As we have no children of our own it has been a great privilege to care for someone else’s children but at the same time understanding the extraordinary responsibility that comes with that privilege.
I am very excited to be appointed Director of Boarding 2016 at Rockhampton Girls Grammar School. The vision of the School “Women Can Achieve Anything” is a great foundation to work from. Now that I am here , I am most impressed with the facilities but I also experience a culture amongst students where they are very proud of their school and embrace every opportunity for success.
Our boarders come from all over Queensland, Northern Territory and even overseas. We are a small diverse family of around 120 girls with many different life experiences to share. Rockhampton is a regional city and somewhat rural, with easy travel arranged via air, rail or bus.
NEW BOARDING PLUS – A range of flexible boarding options to suit the needs of all families
Boarding at Girls Grammar currently offers boarding to rural, remote and international students, which is supported by exceptional care and first class facilities. 125 years of experience in the provision of residential schooling has enabled us to become truly specialist in the important role we play in the lives of our young women. From Term 3 2016 we offer:
WEEKLY BOARDING – Monday to Friday, where students go home for the weekend and return Sunday evening.
FLEXI BOARDING – We recognise from time to time families may require flexible boarding arrangements. These include weekends or a short block of time during the School term.
COCURRICULAR BOARDING – Offering day students involved in sporting activities with demanding hours, the option to board a couple of nights per week. For example rowing.
EXTENDED DAY SCHOOL BOARDING – Offering busy day student families a boarding option from Years 7–12, providing afternoon tea, participation in cocurricular sport or study and dinner. Students are collected by parents at 9.30pm.
- The boarding staff make it a priority of getting to know each girl and their individual preferences for sporting, social, artistic and cultural activities.
- A boarding house ‘Big Sister System’ is an important feature, involving the Senior girls being matched with new and Junior girls to make their welcome to the School a comfortable and pleasant one.
- The Director of Boarding is available to assist with general pastoral and welfare matters and represents the ‘Mum-away-from-home’ for the girls on any issue whatsoever. Similarly, parents can comfortably speak with the Director of Boarding about any issue.
- Our School Nurse is available for emergency consultation at anytime during the school day. Night and weekend care is covered by boarding staff who arrange emergency care with local hospitals and doctors when required.
- The boarding house has a commitment to the organisation of, and participation in, almost any activity with which the girls wish to be involved.
- Transport is arranged and provided for boarding students after school during the week and weekends with the School’s 22-seater, 30-seater buses and mini-bus.
- Our boarding staff are aware that living away from home can be exciting but a little frightening and their role is to provide the support, encouragement, and gentle guidance to help new boarders settle into life away from home and to ensure the happiness of older boarders.
- Girls Grammar provides four separate boarding houses for students.
- Boarding accommodation for students in Years 6 to 9 is in spacious single and two person shared rooms.
- Year 10 students have the option of several single rooms or shared accommodation with another student.
- Senior students in Years 11 and 12 enjoy the privacy of their own separate rooms. Kollar House is our newest boarding facility which accommodates 60 Senior students in single rooms, each with separate internet and phone access.
Weekend/Social Activities for Boarders
- Rockhampton Girls Grammar School offers boarders an extensive Cocurricular Program that provides students with the opportunity to not only interact with the community, but also with students from other local Schools on a regular basis.
- Students are offered activities such as: beach outings, shopping, movie visits, a wide range of sporting activities, theatre outings, garden walks and visits to various community events.
- School socials are also another highlight in the social calendar.
‘Boarding mistresses at Girls’ Grammar are like surrogate mothers; loving, honest and kind. They’re always there when you need a friend, but also know when to leave you alone!’
(Year 10 boarder)
‘I have noticed that even after only one Term of being in her own room, my daughter’s grades have already improved.’
(Parent of Year 11 student)
‘Rockhampton Girls Grammar School has always been extremely understanding and supportive of my daughter’s sporting interests. The School always makes the individuality of their students a top priority and this has been nurtured in my daughter allowing her to realize her full potential, both in her academic career and her chosen sport.’
(Parent of a Year 12 graduating student)
‘I don’t feel so homesick because I feel connected to home in western Queensland with my School laptop, wireless internet and Skype.’
(Year 7 boarder)