Purple, Green and White

Video of images from Frensham Open Day – Saturday 2 March

International Women’s Day – 8 March – celebrating the purple, green and white issue...

First celebrated on 19 March 1911, International Women’s Day moved to a fixed date of 8 March in 1913, just a few months before the founding of Frensham in July 1913.

In 1995, the United Nations Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action was signed by 189 governments, the Declaration envisioning a world where every girl and woman could exercise her choice to receive an education, participate in politics, have an income, and live in a society free from violence and discrimination.

The Alliance of Girls Schools Australasia (representing more than 175 girls’ schools in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and Africa) was established around the same time in the 1990s, to advocate for the equal education of girls in girls’ schools. The Alliance, adopted the colours of purple, green and white, reflecting those first chosen by the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) headed by British suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, ahead of a huge street march in June 1906.

Purple was chosen to represent dignity and self-respect
Green represented hope and life
White represented purity in public and private life

As we prepared last weekend for our Open Day, Year 12 was asked to offer their views on key messages they hoped visitors would take away... In their contribution of ideas, they wanted me to reinforce the value of high expectations, like those set out in the Character Education document that they critiqued as Year 11s last year, well prior to publication. In their words:

‘...having the confidence to connect to and value others – their different talents and their friendship; having the inspiration to practise what it means to live an ‘active lifestyle’; learning to respect and celebrate each other’s best effort; having the opportunity to gain real leadership experience and learning to make a positive difference – because that it what is expected... (of all of us)...

In 1914, recorded in our first Chronicle (about Frensham’s first years), Headmistress Winifred West noted (in reference to Australia as a ‘developing country'):

‘Women too are entering a new phase...they are waking up to the realisation of their powers and the need for the use of these powers...’

‘There is one feature in common to both these phases  – ...that the demand that is being made is not for more enjoyment and more pleasure....but a demand for the right to help and to share responsibility – surely a reasonable and right thing...’

Frensham’s purple iris emblem was chosen for its beauty, strength and ability to flourish in all conditions. The colours of purple, green and white are prominent in our uniform...teamed with brown – the colour of the earth from which the iris grows.

In 2019 we reflect on the pioneering spirit of our founders; the creativity and resilience and groundedness that underpinned an excitement and sense of urgency about breaking new ground in Australia for girls’ education...


Newsletter Highlights

Thank you to all for the support of Frensham over the Open Day / Year 7 Parent Weekend. Please see: Information and Acknowledgement re the feedback from current parents and visitors, hosted over the weekend.