Our College

The House System

The names of the six houses at Bishop Druitt College acknowledge the outstanding achievements of six exemplary contributors to contemporary Australian culture.

Students are assigned to houses for pastoral care, tutor meetings, peer support, student leadership, chapel, sports, creative and performing arts and other activities. All students are encouraged to represent their house in as many activities as their talents and interests allow. Some activities are compulsory whereas others are either voluntary, by appointment or by election. Every student is expected to support their house to the best of their ability.

The names of the six houses at Bishop Druitt College acknowledge the outstanding achievements of six exemplary contributors to contemporary Australian culture. Their accomplishments establish goals for which all Bishop Druitt College students can strive - in the creative and performing arts, in sports and in community service.

The Six Houses

Cottee House takes its name from Kay Cottee, Australian solo global sailor. Kay became the first woman in history to complete a solo, non-stop and unassisted voyage around the world. In recognition of her achievements, Kay was made an Officer of the Order of Australia and was then awarded the honour of being named Bicentennial Australian of the Year. Since her voyage Kay has been involved in many charities. 

Hollows House takes its name from Fred Hollows, ophthalmologist (eye doctor). Fred Hollows, a New Zealander, became involved in the struggle for Aboriginal land rights and better health. He helped to set up the first Aboriginal medical centre and established the National Trachoma and Eye Health Program, which provided treatment to more than 450 remote communities. In his lifetime Fred gave lost eyesight back to thousands of people all over the world. Hollows said, 'To my mind, having a care and concern for others is the highest of the human qualities'.

Kngwarreye House in named after Emily Kngwarreye (pronounced Ung-warh-ay), who was born around 1910 at Alhalkere, Utopia Station, in the Northern Territory. She was raised on the land as a traditional Australian Aboriginal. Her first contact with Europeans was in about 1919. She worked as a stock hand on pastoral properties, showing her forceful independence at a time when women were only employed for domestic duties. Kngwarreye took up painting in her seventies and developed a distinctive and original style based on the traditions of her people. Though many aboriginal paintings are focused on dreamings, Emily chose to present a very broad picture of the land and how it supports the Aboriginal way of life. Today paintings by Kngwarreye are in the permanent collections of most of the public museums around Australia. Her paintings are sought after by art collectors both in Australia and around the world.

Murray House takes its name from Les Murray, world-renowned poet and Australia’s Poet Laureate. Les's poetry has made him one of Australia’s leading literary figures, and his body of work is revered for its perceptive and pungent evocation of rural life. Les Murray is the patron of Bishop Druitt College, and he officially opened the School on 13 July 1994. A poem written specifically for the school’s foundation is located in the foyer of the front office.

O’Shane House takes its name from Pat O’Shane, a leading Aboriginal magistrate in NSW. Many of Pat's achievements have been a first for her people and she is seen as a role model. After finishing school, Pat studied at Queensland University and became a teacher. After moving to Sydney she studied law, graduating as Australia’s first Aboriginal lawyer. As a lawyer Pat has been able to influence what she describes as an unfair system, from within. Her priority has been to improve health, housing and education facilities for her people.

Sutherland House takes its name from Dame Joan Sutherland, one of the world’s greatest operatic sopranos. When Joan auditioned to sing in her school’s choir she was told her voice was too loud, as it overpowered the other singers. In 1951 she began study at the Royal College of Music and the next year she made her successful debut in The magic flute. Her international career was launched in 1959 with a stunning performance in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor. Since then Dame Joan has graced all the stages of the world’s great opera houses and has sung in nearly sixty different operatic roles.

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