Updated 19/03/ 2024

    School under construction in 1919 

Our Founding Headmaster, (1919-1934) 

  Mr PCW Langford

Lieutenant Langford, as he became upon taking up his post as officer in charge of recruitment at St Kilda Road barracks, on return to Australia in March 1916.  Mr Langford had been evacuated to Alexandria from Gallipoli with typhoid fever, spending four months there before being strong enough to make the trip home.  He travelled on the troop ship Suffolk. He had also been previously evacuated to Malta in late June 1915, with shell-fire deafness, returning to the trenches 6 weeks later.


 Click to enlarge above images: This is the display at the State Library during 2015,  for the centenary of WW1, in which the photo at left (made available by University High School)  was featured.


 We proudly present the Association's refurbished  MUSEUM
 and working Archive room.

 Please come in, and have a look around.

Firstly, a quick overview

 The above photo, together with those immediately following, show the various features of the room as they have developed.

The upstairs room in the old ("Langford") building, where our archives are stored and committee meetings held, has undergone a much-needed renovation. During the third term of 2023, the School arranged with the Department for the ceiling of timber boards to be caulked and painted, now preventing dust wafting onto the displays in the room. 

The walls have also been painted and a good-quality carpet has been laid. The white board has been removed and a black board has just been installed to further achieve the mid-century look for which we have been aiming. 

That look, and structure, is unchanged from when the School was built in 1920: the  door (above) and windows are original, the platform where the teachers sat is still intact, as is the cupboard near the door. 

With those renovation's completed, in early 2024, Association funds were then used to upgrade the meeting room furniture in matching timber, thus replacing all existing metal and  plastic items .  SEE BELOW:


In both of the above photos you will see our recently renovated Honour Boards, celebrating the academic, sporting and leadership achievements of our fellow students over the past century.  As you see, the room already features a portrait of Queen Elizabeth the 2nd , in keeping with the era, similar to the one that had previously hung in the entrance hall for many years.

This is one of the few rooms that is still in the style of an original  classroom, and in time will be the only one. Many others have already been divided into offices and consulting rooms, with false ceilings constructed and original features removed. The whole of the original building is now used as an administration centre, with all classes being conducted in the seven House Buildings, Science Building, Library and STEM Building. All on the original site. While over at Ann Street, there is  the Melaleuca complex, with its double gymnasium, drama and music rooms, as well as Jacaranda, with its extra classrooms and offices. 
The vision and ongoing quest for an Archive  room has taken more than fourteen years to achieve, and will be a wonderful asset for present and future students - and a worthy testament to all the teachers and pupils who graced its four walls.  

(This article relies, in essence,  apart from necessary updated events, on one produced by the Association President, Greta Jungwirth, in her "From The Chair" item in the Newsletter , edition no. 104. )

Stalwart volunteers

Our President, Greta, together with Laurel, who form part of the small but enthusiastic team who tend the ever-growing archives, ensuring photographs, documents, old school uniforms , and any other memorabilia that is received, is carefully notated and safely stored for future access.


In 2021 the Association was able to proceed with the purchase of  the remaining bank of timber cabinets. This was located along the western wall of the Archive Room, complementing the two 2020 installed  units shown below. 

Mr Griffiths' desk, as presented to him in the late 1940s by the Form 2 boys wood working class. (Their forms are written under each drawer) The blackboard replaced the former whiteboard in August 2023

The House Banners. Left to right , Wattle, Clematis, Orchid, Bluegum



On 22 June 2018, our President, Greta Jungwirth, took delivery of the long-awaited suite of  timber archival cabinets.  This had, in large part,  been made possible through the provision of a grant from the Department of Veterans' Affairs, through the Centenary of Gallipoli Commemorations program. 

Our school more than amply qualified, through its school colours being those of our first Headmaster, Percy Langford's 4th Lighthorse Regiment.  Mr Langford had served in Gallipoli. The school itself was first conceived during the early years of WW1, and more recently, the Ex-Students' Association co-funded a stained glass window (the Window Linking the Past & Present) in the main entrance, which also makes symbolic connection between our school and Mr Langford's old Regiment.


The cabinets were installed in 2020, in what had become in March 2017, (thanks to the School's generous provision) the Association's new "home", in Room A20, next door to  the former Mens' Staff Room.

Other views of the cabinets, this time showing  the impressive bank of display cases and map drawers.

Finally, looking back to the entrance door, with newly painted timberwork, including the oriiginal classroom cabinet.

During a number of months, beginning  in 2013, archival records relating to the former Dandenong Girls Secondary School and its successor, the former Cleeland Secondary College, have been collated by a small but enthusiastic team, representing DHS and the two ** other schools.  (see below) 

These records have been separately stored within new 'Chapters' of the Association, and are available for research by contacting us through our email address:


** A similar  project, relating to the former Doveton Technical School and its successor Doveton Secondary College records was undertaken by the same group, beginning in 2014.  This work has already proved to be of great use, with a number of queries for photos etc from past students of the former Doveton Tech now able to be satisfied.

** As alluded to above, a similar  project, relating to the former Doveton Technical School and its successor Doveton Secondary College records was undertaken by the same group, beginning in 2014.  This work has already proved to be of great use, with a number of queries for photos etc from past students of the former Doveton Tech now able to be satisfied.






Bronwyn Mutton (nee Howie, competed form 6 in 1963) pictured at the school on 23 November, 2012, when she returned to generously donate much of her old uniform  to the archive collection. Bronwyn also donated a large number of origiinal photos,.both of  her own time at DHS, but also many from her mother Ruth Howie, who was a staff member at the school from the mid fifties to 1963. Minutes of the Committee meeting of this time indicate that: ........."significantly,  Bronwyn also donated her prefect braided blazer and a vast amount of other items of uniform", and is seen here 'modelling' some of those items.




 Committee members George Gill, Ruby Constable, Gail Saddler, and President Greta Jungwirth examining new inclusions for the photo collection.




Since the establishment of our new research room, (in A27, the old corner Physics Room) there has been an encouraging interest from staff and students, whether individually, or from whole classes,  in wishing to access the records, particularly the photograph collection, as part of their classwork.  With all the Gate magazines now stored electronically, this is proving a valuable and simple way to give a an overhead screen presentation of the many changes that have occurred throughout the school over the past nine decades.

 2007 - 2011



The archive collection was housed in various locations within the old  School building, holding its meetings for the initial period of its reformation, at the since demolished " Pancake Parlour", on the corner of the Princes Hwy and Jones Rd.  Following representations from former Secretary, Gary Matthews, the  Principal, Martin Culkin arranged for future meetings to be held within the "Langford Building" .  These were held in the Common Room and/or Management Staff Rooms from April 2007, until a specially allocated room was made available for meetings and archival records, firstly A28 from April 2009, then next door in A27 as of June 2011, in what was the former physics room. Although, like A28 previously,  a shared space during the week A27 grew to become the Association's work-room  for its regular working bees, as well as for monthly Committee meetings and AGMs . The items, documents and photographs  collected and donated by the school and ex-students over the years, were increasingly growing into what has become a very valuable record of DHS, as well a valuable tool of research.



 Association Historian, Dawn Harris, and President Greta Jungwirth planning the next archiving session.



The old Bristol unit of 4 pre-fabricated classrooms, which was erected across the end of the quadrangle in 1952. It was moved to this site in 1977, to make way for the construction of the new Griffiths Library . It  was finally removed from the property in 2007, to make way for the first of the 7 SWIS buildings.
The History Unit was formed by a small, but dedicated group of volunteer ex-students,in the early 1990s. It meets on a regular basis to identify, sort and conserve DHS memorabilia on behalf of the school, and also produces special displays for particular events, such as major anniversaries and reunions.

The archive includes a comprehensive collection  of school photographs, which are categorised, and labelled for storage, together with  a growing 'wardrobe' of old uniforms from a range of former eras.

IN 2010, OF THE ENTIRE COLLECTION OF "GATE" MAGAZINES, SINCE THE FIRST ONE WAS PUBLISHED, IN 1927. This resource will have lasting benefits in enabling much easier research of people and events, as well as simplifying its reproduction in response to members and ex-students' needs..  These can be accessed at our Room in DHS. Contact us at dhsexstudents@gmail.coml   to arrange.

The Association particularly marked the School's Centenary by producing a 64 page booklet, "Snippets and Snapshots", as shown here. The booklet ,which marks the key milestones of the school, since its earliest planning in 1911, construction of the first wing of the Langford Building, in 1920, right through to the completion by 2019 of seven two-storey House buildings, a performance theatre. new Learning Resouurce Centre ( library) and double  gymnasium.

Copies of the booklet are still available for  sale.



*  Catalogue and index new material;

*  Research and respond to steady stream of enquiries;

*  Regularly update the display cabinet, perhaps focusing on a particular decade or event  in the       school's or nation;s life, eg, ANZAC Day;


All research enquiries and minor copying requests are carried out free of cost to members, with nominal charges applying for non-members.         ____________________________________


 The History Unit is always pleased to receive material relating to the school's history,particularly early photographs.


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