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“I’ll be there for you” was the theme of National Boarding Week. This statement is particularly relevant at Toowoomba Grammar School as the boarders, the dayboys and the staff, help each other in the good times and the bad. We see our school as a ‘boarding school’, not a ‘school with boarders’. We are proud to be one of the oldest and most highly regarded boys’ boarding schools in Australia, providing a home away from home for boys for almost 150 years.

TGS came from very humble beginnings. The Grammar Schools Act of 1860 proposed that any town raising 1000 pounds would have this matched by the Queensland Government and a Grammar school would be built. And so it was, in 1875 that the residents of Toowoomba banded together and raised that sum, and Toowoomba Grammar School was founded, by our community for our community.

The need for boarding is inextricably linked to geographical isolation and our sparsely distributed population. It was, and still is, simply not possible to offer a comprehensive education to all Australians living outside a metropolitan area. Furthermore, families identify boarding schools as providing opportunities to develop their son’s character through co-curricular experiences otherwise unavailable due to their geographic location. For many remote and rural families, boarding school is a necessity for their children. Toowoomba Grammar School understands the significance of this, and how important it is for a family to choose the school that is the ‘right fit’ for their child.

Our School has provided opportunity and support for its boarding students from its very beginning. Our boarders come from all over Australia, Papua New Guinea, Europe and Asia. Some are thousands of kilometres, or days, away from home.

Of the 1211 students currently enrolled at TGS from Prep to Year 12, there are 280 boarders. This is just under a quarter of our student population and according to data from the Australian Boarding Schools Association, that makes us one of the largest boarding schools. We have a market share of 8.5% of all boys enrolled in boarding, in Queensland, and 2.6% of all boys in Australia. These statistics certainly justify the claim that TGS is a leading boys’ boarding school.

On average a boarder will sleep in his dorm for 252 nights. This is roughly 70% of the year.

The TGS dining hall staff will prepare and serve approximately 300,000 meals over the course of all four terms. Of these meals, the sausage rolls at morning tea are a favourite and are on the menu approximately once every two weeks. This means there are 5,400 sausage rolls consumed in the year.

Growing boys need milk. Every second day there are 180 two litre bottles of milk delivered. That is 45,360 litres of milk consumed by TGS boarders every year.

Each day, the TGS laundry averages 1,600kg of washing. That’s 280,000 kg of washing for the school year.

Our boarders have the opportunity to participate in a plethora of co-curricular programs, from mountain biking and show cattle teams, to sport, performing arts and cadets. Weekend activities range from trips to the beach to movie nights.

Angus ‘Frank’ Cory, a Year 12 Stephens House boarder at Toowoomba Grammar School recently shared the impact that boarding has had on his life:

“The weeklong theme for 2022 National Boarding Week was “I’ll be there for you” which is a perfect representation of our community here at TGS. The theme for me symbolises the value of mateship in a tight-knit environment like boarding and the importance of comradery when times get tough. Boarders come from far and wide, with different backgrounds and interests but it is this community here, in boarding that draws us all together and creates a sense of belonging no-matter who you are.

TGS is "my home away from home" and as much as this phrase is joked about, it applies heavily to the last six years of my life. Without boarding I would not be the same person I am today. It has taught me tolerance, time-management, patience but most of all the art of just being a good man.

Constantly being with my mates for the majority of each year has brought me lifelong memories and friends. I would never have learned the independence of planning your time and washing your own clothes, or how to handle the problems I’ve faced along the way. Boarding has given me a massive sense of gratitude to my parents for making the sacrifice to have me here for so long and this ties into the “I’ll be there for you” theme.

“I’ll be there for you” stretches further than just the deep mateship we have created between our cohorts in our boarding culture. Especially recently, the Health Centre staff has “been there for us”, and I believe they are one of the most influential parts of the boarding experience. Whether you are ill, or just feeling down, each and everyone of them are “there for you”, and this is such a special part about boarding at TGS.

I would just like to say to all our boarders, ‘be there’ for each other, continue to form mateships, be thankful for the sacrifices the people in your lives have made and make the most of the time we have left together on this journey.”

Honesty, gratitude and integrity are qualities that characterise TGS boarders through all that they do in the classroom, on the stage, on the sporting field, in the community.

Our amazing staff, coaches, tutors and support staff are dedicated to the wellbeing of every single boy and to see them develop their good character. And the message is clear at TGS – “I’ll be there for you.”

Mr Nick Byron
Director of Boarding

Boarders play a casual game of touch after school

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