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Woollahra Public School

Woollahra Public School

Excellence Opportunity Success

Telephone02 9328 6313


Sports Houses

Woollahra Sports Houses

Our school has four sporting Houses (Bates, Gilmore, Parkes and Wentworth), which compete against each other during sporting carnivals. Students are placed into houses at enrolment. Our sports houses are named after four famous Australians. 


Our Bates house is represented by the colour yellow and is named Bates after Daisy Bates.

Daisy Bates CBE (1859-1951) was a famous Australian journalist, welfare worker and anthropologist, who devoted her life to studying Aboriginal culture, languages, history and customs. She was born in Ireland, but emigrated to Australia in 1882. She moved back to England in 1894, but in 1899 set sail for Western Australia. Before returning to Australia, she had read an article in The Times about the harsh treatment of indigenous Australians by the Western Australian settlers. She offered to investigate these claims. She wrote articles about living conditions for local newspapers and The Times. Daisy Bates set up camps to help the Indigenous Australians in Western Australia and South Australia. She compiled a dictionary of several Aboriginal dialects.

Due to her lifelong work and closeness with Aboriginal communities, she took on the word Kabbarli, which is an Aboriginal word for grandmother.



Parks house is named after Sir Henry Parkes and the house colour is green.

Sir Henry Parkes GCMG (1815-1896) is most famous for being known as the ‘Father of Federation’. He served for five terms as Premier of New South Wales between 1872 and 1891. Parkes’ policies resulted in the Public Schools Act of 1866 and the Public Instruction Act of 1880, which introduced compulsory free education and severed connections between the church and public schools. In his ministries between 1872 and 1887, he established New South Wales as a free-trade colony. Parkes first spoke in favour of the Federation in 1867. In 1889, as Premier of the Colony of New South Wales, he delivered The Tenterfield Oration at the Tenterfield School of Arts in Tenterfield in rural New South Wales. There, he called for the Federation of the six Australian colonies, which at the time were not states of a united country, but separate self-governing colonies. He later presided over the National Australasian Convention in 1891. He died in 1896. Five years later, the Commonwealth of Australia was established.

Some other interesting facts:

• Parkes, a regional town in Central West New South Wales, and the Parkes Observatory, are also named after him.

• The Division of Parkes in the House of Representatives is the largest electorate of New South Wales (in terms of land area). It covers most of central and western New South Wales.

• In 1850, Sir Henry Parkes, established the Empire newspaper, which was published in Sydney between 1850 to 1875, and was its first editor.


Gilmore house is named after Dame Mary Gilmore and the house colour is purple.

Dame Mary Gilmore DBE (1865-1962) was a famous Australian writer and journalist. She was born in Goulburn, New South Wales. She became a schoolteacher at the age of 16 and taught in schools in Sydney as well as in the country. Her experiences of poverty in both the country and the city encouraged her to embrace the the labour movement and campaign for the disadvantaged. She was the first female member of the Australian Workers Union, joining under her brother’s name, and became a member of its executive. She worked as the editor of the women’s section of The Australian Worker, and wrote for The Bulletin and The Sydney Morning Herald. 


Wentworth house colour is red and is named after William Wentworth.

William Wentworth (1790-1872) was a leading Australian public figure during the 19th Century. He is famous for being an explorer, pastoralist and statesman. His lifelong work in advocating for colonial self-government resulted in the establishment of the Constitution of New South Wales in 1855. Wentworth is probably best known for being one of three explorers (the other two being Gregory Blaxland and William Lawson), who found a route from Sydney across the Blue Mountains. This opened up a vast new area for grazing in Central New South Wales. His book ‘A Statistical, Historical, and Political Description of the Colony of New South Wales and Its Dependent Settlements in Van Diemen’s Land’ (1819) publicised opportunities for colonisation and argued for a liberal voting franchise. In 1824, together with Robert Wardell, he established The Australian newspaper. Wentworth also helped establish a state primary school education system and the first Australian university, The University of Sydney. He retired to England in 1862.

Some other interesting facts:

• Our electorate in the House of Representatives, Wentworth, is named after William Wentworth. Wentworth Falls, near the Blue Mountains, is also named after him.

• Wentworth lived in Vaucluse House, which is a heritage-listed house in Vaucluse. Students go on an excursion to Vaucluse House in Year 2.