A Brief Chronology of Wollongong High School of the Performing Arts
Wollongong High School of the Performing Arts is a specialist co-educational, government secondary school offering exceptional educational opportunities to students across the Illawarra for almost one hundred years. It has the twin goals of academic excellence and excellence in the performing arts.
Wollongong High School was founded in December 1916 at the Smith's Hill location after much pressure and lobbying from the local district citizens' association and the municipal council to the government. It was officially opened by the minister for education, Mr James. It was built with six classrooms, a science room, a manual training room, a library and some offices. There was no electricity and the students had to use pan toilets in a shed. Founding headmaster Mr Frank McMullen opened the school for the first day of term on 29th January 1917, with 140 enrolled students.
The School Motto
In 1916, the school motto 'Age Quid Agas' was changed in 1918 when it was realised that the translation meant 'what on earth are you doing?' or 'what are you doing?.' It was changed to 'Age Quod Agis', meaning 'whatever you do, do well'.
The School Colours
The school colours were originally black and white, and because of a clash with another school, were changed to black, white and emerald green. After the colour change the idea of using the colours to represent the two major industries in the district at the time – coalmining and dairying.
The School Badge
The original badge consisted of a white shield with a diagonal black band with W.H.S. written on it. The shield had the stars of the Southern cross in it in black, with the motto written underneath the shield. From 1919 to 1966, the Wollongong lighthouse and the new colours were introduced, plus the additional modification of the Latin motto. The exact year that the branches were added to the motto underneath the shield isn't evident.