Where education meets legacy: empowering Otago Girls for a journey beyond

In 1870, after six years of relentless efforts by Miss Learmonth Whyte Dalrymple, Otago Girls' High School was established, marking a pivotal moment in gender-inclusive education. Originally housed in a two-room block shared with Otago Boys' High School, the girls' school expanded in 1885 and the boys moved to a new building up the hill.

Facing criticism in 1907, the school underwent financial initiatives and unveiled the Dalrymple Block in 1910. A major redevelopment in the early 1990s transformed the original buildings into one of the country's most well-appointed schools. Notable additions include a state-of-the-art gymnasium in 2002, an access tower, and a music suite in 2016. In 2018, 'Te Taiwhaka o Kā Moana e Rua' emerged as a waterfront hub for water sports.

Otago Girls' High School boasts an impressive list of accomplished alumni, including New Zealand's first female medical graduates Emily Siedeberg and Margaret Cruickshank, trailblazing lawyer Ethel Benjamin, and Dame Silvia Cartwright, the nation's first female High Court judge and former Governor General. Other notable ex-girls include Dame Judith Mayhew Jonas, Dame Alison Holst, Ngaire Lane, Jean Stewart, Jan Shearer, Lois Muir, Judith Medlicott, Shona McFarlane, Patricia Payne, Nancy Tichborne, Hon Rachel Brooking, Mai Chen, Mindy Chen-Wishart, Jenny Armstrong, Fanaafi Aiono-Le Tagaloa, Anna Frost, Liz Van Welie, Madison Kelly, Kushana Bush, Kelly Brazier, Suzie Bates, Juliette Lequeux, Calla Knudson, Kiana Pelasio, Gabi Summerfield, Catherine Lund and a long list of other accomplished ex-students. 

Our students gain recognition in their own communities, nationally and on the international stage. Otago Girls’ High School students achieve anything they set their mind to, managing busy lives and families and giving service. We have ex-students visit regularly, nostalgically and fondly reminiscing about their school days with their friends.

Today, Otago Girls' High School stands as a beacon of excellence, nurturing generations of empowered women.

  • 1871 First day
  • 1908 Gymnasium
  • 1908 Art room
  • 1925 Circa typing
  • 1927 Ramble to Portobello 1927
  • 1946 Annex
  • 1960 Tennis
  • 1985 Outdoor Ed