Dorothy Wilkinson

1921 -1947

“We have this year passed our 40th milestone. Our first girls are playing their parts as valued citizens of the Commonwealth… may the school grow in wisdom and stature and in favour with God and man”. Principal’s Report, 1935.

“Remember that a school is not great because it has everything it needs but rather because it is doing its job ... giving everyone possibilities for individual development”. Principal’s Report, 1937.

Born in England, Dorothy Wilkinson emigrated to Tasmania at the age of 6, returning to England for her education and then to Melbourne where she completed a Diploma in Education in 1912, Bachelor of Arts in 1913 and Master of Arts in 1920. At the time of her appointment to SCEGGS she was Headmistress of Launceston Girls’ Grammar School.

Career at SCEGGS
Dorothy Wilkinson was appointed the School’s second Headmistress in 1920 at the age of 37. Miss Wilkinson was energetic, warm, frank and approachable.

To the consternation of the ‘Baddhamites’, she soon set about bringing the School into her own image. Within a decade she had doubled the School's enrolment, widened the curriculum and introduced new activities (such as music afternoons) and organisations.

No longer a school for the daughters of the gentry, SCEGGS’ changing social character and the shifting role of women and girls in Australian society was reflected in a new emphasis on sport, including the new House system introduced by Miss Wilkinson in 1926. By the time she retired in 1947 she had seen the School through the Depression and a World War.

Other past and present Heads of School

Jenny Allum, 1996 - present
Diana Bowman, 1978-1995
Barbara Chisholm, 1947-1977
Dorothy Wilkinson, 1921 -1947
Edith Badham, 1895-1920