There is no better example of the celebrated Somerville House spirit than that embraced by our boarding community. The friendships, sense of belonging and shared commitment to growing, living and learning makes our Boarding House a true home away from home.

Somerville House is just a stone’s throw from the city and is the only private boarding school for girls in the heart of Brisbane. Located on the edge of the South Bank Parklands and the Brisbane River, the School is within easy walking distance to Brisbane’s CBD, the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), the Gabba sports ground and the Queensland Performing Arts Centre.

Boarders often run or walk the path around South Bank Parklands and the Kangaroo Point cliffs on the weekends or after school.

Weekly Term Time Boarding

From Term 3, 2024 Somerville House will be offering weekly term time boarding. Weekly term time boarding enrolments will be for one term with students entering the Boarding House on Sunday afternoons and exiting on Friday afternoons. 

This opportunity is only open to current day students from Years 6 to 12, dependent on availability in the Boarding House. 

For further information and enquiries, please contact the Admissions Office on 07 3248 9267 or via

Somerville House Boarding Tour

Friday 19 July 2024 | 3.45pm

Experience boarding life at Somerville House through a guided tour.  Limited spaces available.

Somerville House boarders have been a vital part of the School community for over a century.

Boarding at Somerville House

Our school provides boarding in Brisbane from Year 6 onwards and offers a high-quality education in a safe and nurturing environment.

Somerville House boarders enjoy modern bedrooms, shared leisure spaces, in-house kitchens, modern bathroom facilities, supervised study spaces, sound-proof music practice areas and views overlooking Brisbane city.

Our Boarding House accommodates approximately 100 local, rural and overseas boarding school students from Years 6 to 12.


Our purpose-built boarding facilities incorporate three houses, each of which is managed by a dedicated Supervisor and Assistant.

Holden Hall  

Holden Hall is home to students in Years 6, 7 and 8, and is located on level 6 of the Goodwin Building, which also houses Years 9 and 10 boarders and the Junior School.

Craig Hall

Craig Hall is located on level 7 of the Goodwin Building. Craig Hall girls have more independence and, in keeping with their growing academic workloads and experience, more opportunities to arrange their own time and activities.

Boarders in Holden Hall and Craig Hall are accommodated in rooms of four.

McDougall Hall

Year 11 and 12 boarders enjoy the luxury of 'moving up' to the McDougall Hall, in the Bauer Building. These facilities offer the privacy and space of twin share bedrooms for Year 11 boarders and single bedrooms with shared ensuites for Year 12 boarders.


Boarders enjoy contemporary air-conditioned facilities, purpose-built to cater for the study and lifestyle needs of teenage girls and considerate of the required balance between personal privacy and cohesive communal living. 

Our central location means students have the cultural heartland of Queensland literally on their doorstep with easy access to South Bank Parklands, the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, the Queensland State Library, Museum and Art Gallery, the botanical gardens and much more. 

Boarders also have access to our on-site sporting facilities, the Murray Evans Sports and Aquatic Centre and the Somerville House Tennis Centre.


Our experienced catering team freshly prepare three balanced and nutritious meals a day, as well as morning tea, afternoon tea and supper. Fresh fruit is always available, and special dietary requirements can be catered for.


The School laundry washes and irons all school uniforms, underwear, sheets, doona covers, pillowcases and bath towels. Boarders wash and iron their own civvies. Washing machines and dryers are available to all boarders after school and on weekends.

Health and Wellbeing

Physical and emotional wellbeing is a priority at Somerville House. The School provides a safe and secure environment in which the girls can live and learn. Our staff are qualified and experienced in nurturing their physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.

Opportunities are provided each weekend for girls to get out and explore their new surroundings, including bush walks around the city and picnics at New Farm.

Big Sister Program

Our Big Sister Program assists new boarders to experience a positive transition into their new environment. Big sisters help their adopted sibling to become accustomed to their new living arrangements and routines, to minimise the natural feelings of homesickness, and provide a shoulder to lean on and learn from during this critical settling in period.

This program has been a great success over the years, helping Somerville House boarders to develop lifelong friendships, where age is irrelevant and shared experience is everything.


Our boarding traditions are focussed on our dining together, and are embedded at the beginning of each year by our Boarding Captains.  

Each night at dinner the girls sit in their table families, which are created by our Captains. These family groups follow a vertical pastoral structure which means that our younger girls benefit from the mentoring of our Senior girls.

A different group serves dinner each evening, this is known as the servers roster. A Senior girl beats the Gong, all stand for Grace and then the servers take their place behind the counter to serve their boarding sisters.

Our most highly anticipated tradition is that of Invite Night, the Year 11 students celebrate the boarding journey of their Year 12 sisters. The planning is secret, with a mystery theme, skits, set design and much more. 

Support Services

Boarders have access to our School Psychologist, Guidance Counsellor and School Chaplain who can provide support and guidance in areas such as settling in, conflict resolution, tertiary study and career advice, learning difficulties and mental health.

Medical Services

Boarders have access to a range of high-quality medical services including:

  • a Registered Nurse who staffs the School Health Centre on weekdays
  • clinic appointments by a visiting GP
  • appointments with a visiting physiotherapist 
  • access to a visiting dietitian 
  • access to preferred doctors, dentists and specialists in the local area.

Our proximity to the Mater Hospitals, both public and private, is also of great benefit, and parents are assured that if hospitalisation is needed, this can be arranged within minutes.


Boarders are cared for by our Head of Boarding, Mrs Kathryn Emtage, and a team of caring and dedicated on-site Supervisors and Assistants.

The Boarding School team manage the day-to-day operations of the Boarding House while fostering a safe, harmonious and happy environment, ensuring the right balance between study and leisure. 

All boarding staff are trained in first aid and the boarding specific qualifications of:

  • Duty of Care Level 1 for Junior 
  • Duty of Care Level 2 for Senior

Senior boarding staff are also engaged in The Accident Counsellor training.

Study and Prep

Implementing highly effective study habits impacts not only academic success but also a student’s ability to better cope with competing demands and deadlines.

We provide our boarders with the tools, routine and guidance they require to study smarter by ensuring adequate homework, reading and revision is carried out, while also encouraging the development of their own disciplined study habits.

Evening Study

All boarding students have a set period of Prep before and after dinner each night, Monday to Thursday, under varying levels of supervision dependent on year level. 

The program for Study Prep from Monday to Thursday is as follows: 

  • For Years 6 to 10 - 6.30pm to 8.30pm with an optional break at 7.45pm in the common areas within each Hall
  • For Years 11 and 12 - 6.30pm to 8.30pm with an optional break at 7.45pm in rooms at study desk. 

The time set for Prep is a minimum guide. Many girls will want, or need, to do extra study. After bedtime, quiet study is permissible by arrangement with the House Supervisor.

Weekend Homework

Boarders will have weekend homework which they complete unsupervised and in their own time.

Private Tutoring

Private tutoring can be arranged through the Dean of Student Wellbeing in consultation with the Head of Boarding. 

Boarders' Library

Through the generosity of the Boarding House Support Group (BHSG), the Boarding House has a dedicated Boarders’ Library allowing students to borrow for reading during quiet time.

Recreation and Leave

We encourage and support our boarders to experience all aspects of school life including sport, music and additional co-curricular activities, as offered by the School, both on and off campus. 

Our students may choose to participate in club sports and part-time work, undertake cultural excursions at the many art galleries, museums and theatre facilities situated on our doorstep, as well as organised impromptu social activities with fellow students, friends and family. 

The Head of Boarding, and relevant boarding staff will work with students, and parents as necessary, to co-ordinate student participation or attendance and ensure relevant approval processes and safety considerations are always implemented.

Types of Leave

Somerville House has a structured, yet liberal, leave schedule for its boarders which includes the following leave types:

  • After School Leave
  • Family Dinner Leave 
  • Weekend Day Leave 
  • Overnight Leave
  • Weekend Leave

Variations to the type of leave, the location, time periods, and accompaniment requirements are generally dependent on the age or year level of the boarder.

Boarding at Somerville House allows our students to learn, grow and immerse themselves into the School community.