Securing our future since 1984

Who We Are

Our Somerville House Foundation was launched in 1984 by a group of interested parents with a mutual passion and belief in the transformative power of education. 

Now celebrating our 32nd year of supporting the financial security and growth of Somerville House, our Foundation operates as a company limited by guarantee and is registered as a charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission.

We operate collaboratively with the School under the requirements of the Corporations Act, with a professional Board of Directors and impressive volunteer involvement. The Board and its two Committees have a diverse mix of skills and experience, and great passion for our cause.

Our Board

Permanent Directors Somerville House Principal, Mrs Florence Kearney
Somerville House School Council Chairman, Rev Murray Fysh
Appointed Directors Representative of the Old Girls Association, Ms Trudy Naylor 
Representative of the Parents and Friends' Association, Mrs Juliet Spencer
Elected Directors Mrs Virginia Buttula, Board Chair 
Mrs Kanchana Bishop
Mr Morgan Parker
Mrs Peta Tilse

The Constitution of Somerville House Foundation Ltd. is available here.

What We Do

Our Mission

Our Foundation is devoted to providing exceptional learning opportunities for Somerville House students to inspire and encourage them to become the best they can be. Committed to securing the future of Somerville House, our Foundation strives to foster a culture of philanthropy and warmth of spirit throughout our School community. 

Please click here to find out more about the work our Foundation.

Our Priorities

As a tax-deductible fundraising vehicle, our Foundation partners with the School to deliver programs and projects that have a lasting and personal impact on the educational journey of Somerville House students. It does so through raising and managing funds via appeals, events and initiatives to support scholarships and bursaries, and assist the School with its present and future development priorities.

Scholarships and Bursaries

At Somerville House, we believe that scholarships play an important role in fostering a culture that celebrates and values achievement, diversity and the pursuit of personal excellence. Scholarship opportunities can also have a profound impact on the lives of deserving students and help nurture the next generation of future leaders. 

Through the generosity of our Foundation’s benefactors, a number of scholarships are awarded each year to students who might not normally be able to attend our School. Our Foundation also assists current members of our School community who may be experiencing financial difficulty through the provision of bursaries.

Capital Works
Our Foundation supports the School’s strong commitment to delivering a relevant, first-class learning environment that facilitates exceptional learning outcomes for our students. It does so by financially contributing to the development of our educational facilities and resources, in line with the School’s Master Plan (A 2025 Vision), to ensure that our students are continually inspired, engaged and challenged to reach their potential.

In recent years, the Somerville House Foundation has supported our School’s ongoing campus development through the following capital projects:

  • D Block and Mall renovations (2014)
  • The Foundation Building (2014)
  • Expansion of the School Oval by 60% (2011)
  • New Junior and Middle School Playgrounds (2011)
  • The Tennis Centre featuring a tennis pavilion and new tennis courts (2011)
  • The Health Centre (2011)
  • The Constance Cotton Junior School Library (2011)
  • The Ness Goodwin Building housing the Junior School, Boarding House and Somerfare Tuckshop (2009)
  • Purchase and refurbishment of The Chambers (1997 to 2005)
  • The Valmai Pidgeon Performing Arts Complex (1999)
  • The Murray Evans Sports and Aquatic Centre (1992 and 1996).

Our Current Projects

Our Foundation is currently fundraising to support the delivery of the Seymour Library Information Centre Upgrade Project. 

More information on this exciting and innovative project is available here

The following scholarships and bursaries have also been awarded by our Foundation for the 2016 academic year:

Overseas Study Scholarship

Available to a Year 12 student who intends to pursue international study or development in the year following graduation.

The Elizabeth Kirby Foundation Scholarship

Available to new students who would not be able to attend Somerville House without financial assistance, and offered for Years 7 to 12.

Senior School Scholarships

Available to students entering into Year 10 who demonstrate academic excellence but would not otherwise be able to attend at Somerville House for financial reasons. The scholarships are tenable for up to three years.


Why It Matters

Message from our Principal and Board Chair

Somerville House does an outstanding job of producing resilient, empowered and socially-conscious global citizens. Enabling the School to remain at the forefront of international standards in girls’ education requires ongoing investment in world-class infrastructure.

Since 1984, our Foundation has partnered with the School to open the door to opportunity for our students by keeping Somerville House at the cutting edge of global educational best practice. Our Foundation’s work honours and builds upon the history and past generosity of our School community by strategically managing and growing funds to serve the ever-changing needs of our students in today’s society, and ensuring that these benefits are enjoyed for generations to come.

The ongoing advancement of Somerville House demands growth and investment in our facilities, educational resources and programs. As tuition fees and government support only cover our operational costs, funding for scholarships and capital works projects is heavily dependent on our Foundation’s fundraising initiatives and the philanthropic contributions of our School family.

We are blessed that our School’s strength of community spirit and culture of giving has helped shape Somerville House into the exciting and innovative place of learning it is today. 

We encourage our School family to play a part in continuing this legacy and to consider the many ways in which you can support our Foundation’s important work.

Through our collective efforts, we can enhance the educational outcomes of generations of capable and confident young women, who will go on to make a lasting difference, both locally and internationally, in their chosen fields. There is arguably no work more worthwhile.

We warmly welcome your involvement with our Foundation in a way that aligns with your personal interests and priorities.

For more information on the role our Foundation plays in our School community and ways you can get involved, please contact Ms Louise Harrison or Ms Renaee Giles, Development Managers, on (07) 3033 9289 or

Mrs Florence Kearney - Principal
Mrs Virginia Buttula - Board Chair

Ways of Giving

As a registered charity and deductible gift recipient, gifts directed to the Somerville House Foundation Scholarship Bursaries and Prizes Fund, or School Building Fund, attract a tax deduction.

Any donations, or combined donations of more than $2,000 entitle you to Foundation Membership.

Voluntary Building Fund contributions, made as part of School fee payments, also contribute towards Foundation Membership eligibility. Information on how to apply for Foundation Membership is available below.  

Information on how to apply for Foundation Membership is available here.


A gift in your Will, known as a bequest, provides an opportunity to support Somerville House once your needs and those of your loved ones have been met. By making a bequest, you can retain the use and enjoyment of your assets during your lifetime and leave a lasting and valuable legacy to our School. 

The Fewings Fellowship was established to honour and recognise those in our community who remember Somerville House in their Will or who make a deferred gift. Importantly, it gives our School the opportunity to thank the Fewings Fellowship members, during their lifetime, for their generous commitment.

Creating a scholarship is a wonderful way for you to make a transformative gift to Somerville House. You may wish to consider establishing a fixed term or endowed scholarship for the benefit of students now or into the future.

Our volunteers are vital to our work. You can choose to give your time or professional skills to help drive our Foundation’s initiatives.  

2016 Annual Giving Appeal

Our Annual Giving Appeal is an essential part of the Foundation’s fundraising program. Each year, we ask everyone in our School community – alumni, parents, staff, suppliers, consultants, friends – to make a donation in support of one of our School’s areas of greatest need.

Our Annual Appeal is testament to the power of collective giving, and the immense impact that many people coming together and giving modest gifts can achieve.  

In 2016, we invite you to consider how you can help us at tax time to deliver the Seymour Library Information Centre Upgrade Project. This exciting project will provide an innovative and vibrant learning hub for our School community, supporting the 21st century learning needs of our students and teachers. 

Whilst tax-deductible donations to the School Building Fund is the primary focus of this Annual Appeal, we appreciate that there may be some in our School community who would prefer to support the Scholarship Bursaries and Prizes Fund. This fund is also tax-deductible and contributions will be greatly accepted.    

We hope you will join us in creating this forward-thinking facility to inspire and empower our future change-makers. 

Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution by completing a donation form or making a gift online.


Recognising Your Support

We are grateful to the friends of our Somerville House Foundation for supporting our vision and work.

We welcome corporate support on a number of levels and work closely with our corporate supporters to develop a tailored sponsorship package that aligns with their organisation’s brand strategy.

To find out more about how you or your organisation can partner with our Foundation to transform the educational journey of students, please contact Ms Louise Harrison or Ms Renaee Giles, Development Managers, on (07) 3033 9289 or

Contact Us

For more information on the role our Foundation plays in our School community, and for opportunities to become involved, please contact Ms Louise Harrison or Ms Renaee Giles, Development Managers, on (07) 3033 9289 or