Johnty O'Brien - Normanton

2018 Head Boarder

Coming from a small rural school where there were roughly 100 students to a school so big that it needed three campuses was extremely daunting. Reflecting on my first day at TGS brings back the overwhelming nerves and fear felt at the time.
I remember being constantly reminded by my older sister, a Past Grammarian and former boarder, the quicker you make friends the easier it would be. Looking back, I could not agree more. Words could never describe how vital mateship was to me in my five years in boarding. These people quickly become your second family and help you through the tough times that your final years of schooling throw at you. They have contributed to the person I am today, and I feel extremely grateful to have shared such an amazing time of my life with them.
The most important piece of advice I would give to the current boarders is a famous quote used by Mr Wilson at any chance given to him, “Don’t count the days; make the days count.” I know at times this seems impossible, but cherish every moment of your short time here because, soon enough, you will be in our position, left wondering where the final years of your schooling life went.
I would like to say a massive thank you to my supportive family who have been with me every step of my schooling journey, from my first day of school in Year 1, to my last day of Year 12 where I walked out of the Centenary Gymnasium for the last time, including all of my schooling milestones in between. Thank you to my parents for giving me the amazing opportunity of being a boarder at TGS and so many others throughout my schooling life. For that I will be forever grateful.

Priscilla Zhong - Bowen

2018 Head Boarder

Adjusting to boarding was no easy task at first. Having only a mere curtain separating me from 37 other girls often proved to be difficult. Considering I only have one sibling, living with so many other people in such close proximity could be very testing at times. However, after a bit of adjustment and patience, these people soon came to be my second family.
Boarding has allowed me to acquire many valuable skills such as independence, confidence and self motivation. My experiences in boarding have allowed me to open my mind and create everlasting mateships.
I remember dreaming of the day that I would finally be a senior, the day I would finally be the “big kid”. It seemed so far away at the time. But, boy was I wrong! The past 6 years have flown by. I took on Mr Wilson’s advice that “A busy boarder is a happy boarder” and I immersed myself in all of the opportunities the School and boarding offered me. I’m truly grateful for all the adventures I have experienced and the memories I will cherish forever. Boarding has truly given me an insight to who I am and who I want to be in the future.
I’m incredibly grateful to my parents, I know the idea of boarding school was daunting at first. The reality of having to miss out on so many highlights and disappointments of my high school life made it a difficult decision. Nevertheless, I’m so thankful they had the courage to take the risk. I would like to thank my family for all the hard work they’ve dedicated to ensure that I received the best education and experience I could. One thing I can say for sure is that I’ll be leaving Grammar better equipped for what lies ahead of me in the future.

Kelsey Hesp - Clare

2017 Head Boarder

Boarders here at Grammar experience a very different and enriched lifestyle to what they would have experienced if not coming here. First and foremost, the most obvious change in lifestyle from their respective homes and the reason so many have come to this School is for the opportunities of high quality schooling, sport and cultural activities at their disposal almost 24hrs a day.

Being a boarder allows for many conveniences within the School due to its close proximity and culture. There are very few places where you can grab a few mates and walk down stairs to a full sized rugby field and play endless amounts of touch footy or have your day school teachers come in during the night to help you with assignments and provide a few life lessons at the same time. I feel the more unnoticed opportunities at Grammar are the ones that truly give us as a boarding community our identity. Being able to associate and live with people from all over the world from Hong Kong, PNG or even just down the road at Dalbeg has allowed myself and many others to develop a greater understanding of differences outside of our own little worlds which is a quality that is lacking in the world today.

After listening to many past boarders speak about their time in boarding and reflecting on my time here that is about to end, there is one word that always comes to mind when thinking of this place which is real mateship.  The mates I have here are second to none. I feel so proud to have gone to a school such as this and have the quality experience of boarding in my life.  I am so thankful for all the people who make this place what it is and have shaped me into becoming the young man I am today.  

Lexie Pattel - Richmond

2017 Head Boarder

“The best things in life are free”.

I would normally say I agree with that statement, but boarding did not come free, and it surely has been one of the best things in my life so far.  In 2013, I began my journey at Townsville Grammar as an excited, nervous and outgoing girl from Richmond. Fast track to today and I’m about to graduate as TGS’s 2017 Head Boarder, a huge dream of my own.

My first week of boarding was the toughest; it was a huge change. Five people in a household, to 40 odd with a curtain and quarter wall to separate us, taking in the fact I had never had more than 2 other girls in my class from my hometown.  It was going to be a change, but before I knew it, all my worries and nerves were gone.  By the second week, the boarding community had taken me in and accepted me for who I truly was and allowed me indulge in the experience of what was our “home away from home”.

I have made incredibly close relationships with girls from all over Queensland.  It was weird to think I was going to be living with these guys for 5 years. But some of them didn’t stay for the whole trip; friends left and some came. It was always hard saying goodbye to a roommate you had lived across from for four terms to then not seeing them at all for the years to come. Boarding created a community where I felt loved and appreciated  in which I learnt quickly that these were more than my roommates; they were more than just my friends; they were my family. I have shared some of my most treasured, toughest and happiest moments with these girls. It’s truly an experience you can’t find anywhere else, and not one I want to replace. I found in even my best and worst moments that being with some of the staff and friends in boarding, it was the best place I could be at those points in time.

It’s been a huge opportunity which my parents blessed me with, something I took for granted, but have realised in the last yew years it’s been an experience of a lifetime.

Being a boarder for the past 5 years has been a huge learning curve for myself and almost each and every boarder I know today. It hasn’t been the pinnacle point of making me who I am today, but has had a major role in shaping me into the person I am today. Boarding has taught me to be proud of who you are and embrace environments you’re in. Now I’ve found myself 5 years later writing a boarding captains reflection. I think that little girl from Richmond has gone out a little bit better...


Cassy Delahunty - Hughenden

2016 Head Boarder

I still remember how keen I was to come to boarding school as a little 12 year old. Living on an isolated cattle station I was eager for the social opportunities that boarding would provide me. With my older sister already here, I was excited when my parents also sent me to boarding school.

Starting in Year 7, I struggled with the schooling side of things as I had been home-schooled my whole life, but at the end of the day, my mates in boarding made it all worth it.

Living with up to 30 girls can be very testing, but they have all become my second family. Just like any family it isn’t smooth riding all the time and we have had to put our differences aside to make it work. I have made lifelong friends here in boarding at Grammar.

Boarding has given me so many incredible opportunities and equipped me with life skills. As tough as boarding is, living away from home from a young age has helped me become the independent and persevering person I am today.

Whenever I was having a hard time in boarding and questioned if boarding was really the right fit for me, my parents assured me that boarding would be the best days my life and encouraged me to persevere. Reflecting back, I can now honestly say they were absolutely right. Boarding has been one of the most amazing journeys I have been on and I can’t thank my parents enough for providing me with this great opportunity to experience boarding life at Townsville Grammar School.

Tom Arnold - Miranda Downs Station

2016 Head Boarder

I’m not sure how four years could have gone so fast, but now all the fun and great times of boarding school are about to become memories that will last for years to come. I think about my first days in boarding now that I am at the end of my journey here. It’s been said many times before, but the start does feel like it was only yesterday.

My years in boarding have been the best years of my schooling; all the good times and mates will last forever as a result of boarding. My time in boarding began at the start of Year 9. I didn’t know what to expect, how I was going to feel being away from my family, or if ‘boarding food’ was as bad as it was made out to be. It turned out that being away from mum and dad was going to be tough, but it taught me to savour the times I was with them more. But, the ‘bad boarding food’  is definitely a stereotype that has stayed over the years, but it is not true at Grammar - I’m not sure how many day students get a hot cooked breakfast every day?

Boarding is an environment that has taught me the value of mateship, because no matter what, you are always going to have mates around you who are supportive and loyal to you. I think this is why I have loved the boarding school experience so much - your mates are always there to support you.

When I walk out of the Centenary Gymnasium for the last time, I can honestly say that I will walk out a confident young man. If I could instil one message in the younger students in boarding, it is this: Don’t wish away your schooling, grab every opportunity with both hands, because I can guarantee that when it is your time to leave, you will wish you had grabbed more of them. I do believe that I came into this School a pretty good kid, but I can say with confidence that I will leave a strong and willing young man, living up to the School’s motto of Bonus Intra, Melior Exi.

Tom Craig - Brisbane

2015 Head Boarder

Boarding’s the place where my life changed (for the better of course!). I was born and raised in Mackay and went to a school that was ten minutes from home. I didn’t have many neighbours and I didn’t stay over at my friends much. So you could say I spent my whole childhood in the safety of my parents’ arms. I wanted something new, I wanted change, so I introduced the idea of being a boarder. I enrolled at Townsville Grammar School at the start of 2011 as a very shy Year 8 student. At that moment, it was very upsetting to leave home for several weeks at a time, but what that very sad boy didn’t realise was that he was going to have some of the best experiences of his life here in boarding. Living with the same 20 guys for five years really creates something special between us, something that only boarders will ever understand. Thinking back over the past five years really brings back memories, too many to write down. “Boarding helped me grow from the boy I was into the young man I am today. It taught me how to be independent.” But most importantly, it showed me what real mateship is. These people in boarding have become my family and, just as every boarder experiences in the beginning, it’s hard to let family go. Being elected Head Boarder granted me the opportunity to work with different people and to help boarding grow. Working along side my best friend, Grace Harris, has made my last year of schooling one to remember. I am counting down the day until I finish School but I am not looking forward to the day I leave boarding. I will cherish the lessons I have learned, I will cherish the memories made here but most importantly, I will cherish my boarding family forever

Grace Harris - Millaroo

2015 Head Boarder

My boarding school experience started in Year 8 and I still remember that I couldn’t be more excited to start boarding. I had all my packing done a week early! Upon commencing, I remember thinking how big the Year 12s looked to me and can’t believe that I am now one of them and, by the time you are reading this, I will be finished. “Boarding will always have a special place in my heart as it is a family that is made when you first enter the gates of the school.” Over the years, that family bond grows stronger and can never be broken or forgotten. Many wonderful memories are made; you create friendships that will stay with you forever. “When trouble comes, it is your family that supports you.” Boarding has its harder moments, of course. There are times when you just want to be home and you feel you can’t deal with the pressure and stress of school. I know everyone in boarding has been through homesickness, but no matter how hard those times are, we would learn how to take care of each other and comfort each other like a family would. These times have taught me many valuable life lessons. Living away from home from a young age helped me develop into the person I am today. Living with many other girls who are so different from each other would seem so odd to people who have never done it, but I couldn’t imagine it any other way. I feel as though boarding has prepared me for the next step in my life which will be actually moving out of home. When I leave the gates of the School to enter the world alone, I will never forget what boarding has taught me and the strong friendships that I made.

Contact our Campuses

North Ward Campus
45 Paxton Street
Townsville QLD 4810
(07) 4722 4900

Annandale Campus
1 Brazier Drive
Annandale QLD 4814
(07) 4412 4800

North Shore Campus
70-90 North Shore Bvd
Burdell QLD 4818
(07) 4412 6600


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Title The Board of Trustees of Townsville Grammar School trading as Townsville Grammar School.
CRICOS No:00564 ABN No:21 565 628 438
Mr Timothy Kelly

Mr Timothy Kelly

Townsville Grammar School Principal

Welcome from Mr Timothy Kelly, Principal

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