16 November 2023

Canberra's 91st public school picks uniform and logo ahead of 2024 opening

| Claire Fenwicke
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Shirley Smith High School tour group

Shirley Smith High School will start with 80 students in 2024. Photo: Supplied.

Canberrans will soon be able to spot students from Gungahlin’s newest high school walking around in bright green with a big ‘Curly S’ on their uniforms.

Shirley Smith High School, the Territory’s 91st public school, is set to open for Term 1, 2024.

The school is opening first to year 7 students before expanding to its total capacity, with 80 students already enrolled.

Principal Rebecca Pearce said she couldn’t wait to see the new cohort in their freshly minted uniforms, which were chosen following community feedback on three choices – burnt orange, purple or green.

The design had been based on the Ngunnawal history of the land, which had also been reflected in the building.

“When we talked about designs and colours, we really wanted that influence to come across as well,” Ms Pearce said.

Shirley Smith High School uniform

Shirley Smith High School uniform. Photo: Supplied.

All students were asked for their feedback on the final three designs, with community input included as well.

Ms Pearce said it was particularly important that everyone in the community had felt like their voices had been heard.

“It’s actually a community school, and everyone in this area needs to be able to see themselves represented here in the school,” she said.

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The Curly S logo, as it’s being called, represents the initials in the name Shirley Smith.

The Wiradjuri activist’s name was chosen for the school following consultation with ACT Placenames, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body and the United Ngunnawal Elders Council.

The final touches are being added to the buildings to prepare for the 2024 school year.

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Ross of Canberra11:56 pm 23 Nov 23

Who is this Shirley Smith?

Isn’t this the school that was meant to open in 2022?

Photo just shows how female dominated the education sector in the ACT is. Diversity… anyone?

Peter Curtis9:39 pm 18 Nov 23

Is it only the ACT where females dominate? Do you think it is a deliberate policy directive?

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