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Land, people, culture

Rossmoyne Senior High School sits on the traditional lands of the Noongar people. The school first opened its doors in 1968, and quickly gained a reputation of strong academic achievement.

History of Country and its people

Rossmoyne Senior High School is located within what is now known as the City of Canning. The City and school recognise the important connection the Noongar people have to the beautiful Djarlgarro Beelier (Canning River), located to the north of the school grounds.

At the time of colonisation the land from the southern banks of the Swan River, stretching west of the Djarlgarro Beelier (Canning River) across to the coast, was home to the Whadjuk Beelier clan.

Noongar Indigenous Australian elder Midgegooroo was a traditional owner and leader of Beelier country. He played a key role in Indigenous resistance to white settlement in Perth and was the father of Yagan, who was also a leader of the resistance during the early years of the Swan River Colony. Both Midgegooroo and Yagan were killed by colonists in 1833.

“Crown land”

In 1834, Henry Bull was granted 320 acres of “Crown land” labeled ‘Canning Location 256’ including the current school site. Over many years, the land changed hands many times.

During the 1950s land in the surrounding areas of Riverton, Mt Pleasant and Brentwood were developed for residential use. In the 1960s then owner of the school land, ‘Mrs Webb’, named a segment of the area “Rossmoyne” after a property in Scotland that she had earlier visited and admired.

In 1962, The Metropolitan Region Planning Authority selected a site on the south side of High Road (now part of Leach Highway) to be used for a second university in Perth, but plans changed in 1963 when parents began lobbying the Government to build a new high school in the area.

Rossmoyne Senior High School opens

Rossmoyne Senior High School first opened its doors 1968 and quickly established its reputation for excellence in secondary education.

The school grew rapidly.

  • Until 1974 new buildings were added every year as the student population increased to 1, 459 by the start of 1975.
  • In 1976 a school camp-site was built on rented land on Serpentine River.
  • In 1976 the ‘Philip Carmody Library’ was constructed.
  • In 1978 the swimming pool opened.
  • In 1985 the gymnasium opened and in 2000 it was extended to add a dance studio.
  • In 2001, Rossmoyne won the inaugural The Australian School of the Year Award for its academic excellence, outstanding educational outcomes, and strong pastoral care emphasis.
  • In 2004 the Performing Arts Centre opened, followed by the Science Centre in 2007.
  • In 2012 redevelopment continued with the expansion of the Arts building and the installation of the English and Languages Centre, the school café, the amphitheater and the soccer-pitch.
  • In 2013 and 2014 the Robyn Fittock Health and Well-being Centre and a new 12-classroom facility were added
  • In 2015 a new access road built from the Apsley Road/Karel Avenue intersection. Beach volleyball courts were built and opened in the same year.
  • In 2023, the school is planning further construction to accommodate a still rapidly growing population.

Learn more.

A school identity

In 1968 foundation Principal Philip Carmody turned to the Scottish origins of the ‘Rossmoyne’ suburb name for inspiration in establishing a school identity. Research produced the badge of the Clan Ross which was adapted for the school and remains the current school logo.

Continuing the theme, the Scottish tartan of the MacNeill of Barra clan was used for the Rossmoyne Senior High School skirts.

MacNeill, Barra, Ross and Stewart

Also inspired by Scottish heritage, the four school Houses were named MacNeill, Barra, Ross and Stewart.

‘MacNeill’ and ‘Barra’, got their names from the Scottish tartan of the MacNeill of Barra clan utilised on the school’s skirt.

House Ross, was named for ‘Clan Ross’ by which the school logo was inspired.
The namesake of House Stewart is the Scottish Royal House that produced both King Charles I and II.

For many years the school’s House spirit remained strong but over time focus shifted and the system became part of the school’s history. Fast forward to 2018 on the school’s 50th anniversary, the House system was reintroduced with a cross-curricular focus.

From 2018 onward each Rossmoyne student has been placed into a Homeroom with other students in their house, also encouraged to wear their House colours during physical education classes.

Today, the House System is an integral part of the school culture and continues to reinforce the schools iCARE values; led by our student House Captains and guided by staff House Leaders.

To further encourage the identity of each House, students and staff worked together to develop four unique House logos.

House Barra

“We stand together stronger – strength in unity.”

The mythical Barra dragon originates from a rocky island in northern sea waters when clan wars ruled the land. The fierce dragon symbolises strength and resilience in the power of many.

House MacNeill

“Fly high and flourish – succeed and conquer.”

The powerful eagle, chief of all winged creatures is symbolic of victory and pride. The MacNeill eagle soars high above the land and bestows freedom and courage to look ahead.

House Ross

“Charge ahead – courageous when challenged.”

The rhinoceros symbolises strength and stability. The Ross rhino charges ahead in all life pursuits and is loyal to those within its territory.

House Stewart

“Shape a better world – dare to be different!”

The serene turtle is a quietly powerful creature. The Stewart turtle is resilient, wise and adaptable to a changing tide.

Head Students

1971 K. Roberts J. Wines
1972 P. Bradshaw A. Louden
1973 W. Smith J. Pearson
1974 S. Greenhalgh G. Galbraith
1975 R. Porteous J. Greenup
1976 P. Cook J. Meek
1977 R. Camons L. Goodlet
1978 M. Rodgers P. Young
1979 G. Donaldson J. Findlay
1980 Hooi Ee T. Ginbey
1981 D. Donaldson K. Elston
1982 V. Leow C. Norman
1983 I. Reid C. Mclean
1984 M. Woschnak M. Johnston
1985 D. Dockery J. Searle
1986 A. Young S. Schofield
1987 G. Butler P. Rudd
1988 F. Chia E. Cummins
1989 I. Wadley N. Allen
1990 G. Potger C. Osborn
1991 K. Ullrich R. Alitalo
1992 A. Milward G. Chin
1993 M. Lowes N. Peirce
1994 S. Feast L. Chapman
1995 D. Pontre / K. F. Liu T. Thornton
1996 M. Oostryck R. Grivas
1997 A. Stent M. Tsapazi
1998 L. Gallop E. Manley
1999 J. Thomas L. West
2000 S. Rayar M. Baschiera
2001 A. Thomas B. Manley
2002 S. Gibson S. T. Lee
2003 T. Dunn A. Chalmers
2004 M. Ong A. Elks
2005 B. Milton J. Petersen
2006 C. Edwards M. Thomas
2007 A. Mohann J. Sumner
2008 S. Lee P. Bavich
2009 J. McGinn B. Teh
2010 B. Donaldson B. Fergusson
2011 S. Chatterjee C. Ainscough
2012 T. Triantopoulos C. Gibson
2013 Y. Kariyawasam A. Goreki
2014 E. Jestin S. Christie
2015 J. Gibson G. Whittington
2016 J. Chandra V. Wells
2017 J. Fry A. Moosa
2018 J. Pailthorpe A. Rajendra
2019 Z. Coleman V. Hagan
2020 C. Jenkinson L. Jacono
2021 M. Ko E. Peoples
2022 R. Shah K. Moorthy
2023 V. Moyo P. Madlener

Dux Students

1971 A. Austin
1972 J. Wines
1973 M. Page
1974 C. Dowling
1975 R. Porteous
1976 P. Black
1977 A. Arasu
1978 D. Thatcher
1979 K. Chung
1980 Hooi Ee
1981 M. Lever
1982 A. McDonald
1983 I. Reid
1984 L. Peter
1985 D. Chong
1986 L. Sellner
1987 A. Chong
1988 N. Duball
1989 J. Burton and L. Wan
1990 Karlee Yeap
1991 S. Sellner
1992 My-Tu Lam
1993 D. Ridout
1994 Chee Wee Tan
1995 F. Foo
1996 T. Owen
1997 E. Lau
1998 W. Blakeney
1999 S. Kwang
2000 T. Tay
2001 Y Hong
2002 J. Tauber
2003 A. Ishak J. Sharpe
2004 K. Bett F. Loader
2005 A. Chong K. Wise
2006 E. Nook L. Jarvis
2007 A. Dong L. Hansal
2008 S. Singh J. Curnow
2009 J. Chen M. Colev
2010 G. Manoharan A. Bordas
2011 R. Venkatraman B. Ryan
2012 G. Huangfu K. Bordas
2013 M. Tang B. Parkin
2014 A. Yap N. Wilkins
2015 G. Whittington P. Slocum
2016 A. Raguragaran S. Ge
2017 I. Longbottom O. Cullinan
2018 W. Yap A. Refrea
2019 J. Paul K. O’Connor
2020 V. Shah A. Williams
2021 A. Ponnampalam J. Pilkington
2022 H. Krishnamurthy  K. London
2023 M. Huq  O. Burns

School Principals

The school has been led by principals Philip Carmody (1968-1977), Alan Jones (1978-1983), Barry Cohen (1984-1992), Max Petrich (1993-1999), Megan Donovan (2000-2004), Leila Bothams (2006-2016), Milanna Heberle (2016-2021) and Alan Brown (2021-present).

Learn more about the school’s leadership staff.