120 Years of Giving: the Somerville House P&F Association

Today, Somerville House is fortunate to have many committed parents who volunteer in the School’s Tuckshop and Uniform Shop, as well as the ever-increasing number of support groups under the Parents and Friends’ (P&F) Association umbrella. In the lead up to our 120 Year Commemoration Day in October, we thank and celebrate the generosity of all the parents and volunteers, past and present, whose endeavours and unwavering support towards Somerville House have contributed to the vibrant school community that flourishes today.

Principal, Mrs Kim Kiepe believes the Parents and Friends’ Association is an integral part of our school community, fostering important communion and goodwill between parents, friends, teachers and students.

“The success of our P&F illustrates the commitment and dedication of parents to the School’s mission,” Mrs Kiepe said.  

“We are privileged to have an active P&F that is successful in contributing to the School’s state-of-the-art facilities and resources, and assisting all of the Support Groups to meet the needs of our students’ curricular and co-curricular activities,” she said. 

“Without the financial support of the Association, making significant donations to various school projects over the years, our students and staff would not enjoy learning and working in many of our world-class facilities.” 

Since its establishment in the late 1960s, the Somerville House P&F have provided significant amounts of funding to the School through the efficient management of the Tuckshop and Uniform Shop. Consisting of a Management Committee that oversees each of the Support Groups and business operations, the P&Fs primary motivation is the School’s students. 

“The P&F Association has always been motivated by providing our students with the best possible schooling experiences during their time at Somerville House,” Mrs Kiepe said. 

“This is achieved by connecting with our current parents, who support students in their co-curricular activities, whether it be via fundraising and networking,” she said. 

Along with planning and running the many Somerville House annual balls, the P&F has also directed funds of over $1.3M to the School in the past three years alone. Some of the more noteworthy donations include $350K for the Murray Evans Sports and Aquatic Centre Stage II, the refurbishment of the Swimming Pool $193K, $300K for the Foundation Building, along with electronic classroom whiteboards, tiered outdoor seating and furniture, drinking water fountains, grand piano, flagpoles, school banners, coaches uniforms and a myriad of sporting equipment.

In a most recent financial underwriting in accordance with the School’s Master Plan (A 2025 Vision), the P&F Association generously contributed $350,000 to the refurbishment of the Seymour Library and the Information Centre, a contribution the School is exceedingly thankful for.

With parent volunteers the backbone of the P&F Association’s mission, contributing to the sense of belonging and inclusiveness for all school community members is a purpose that Mrs Kiepe is committed to continue. 

“A school like Somerville House is connected by a community of people, such as parents, teachers and professional staff, who care deeply about the students and their schooling journey,” Mrs Kiepe said.  

“Parents are an integral part of the School, it doesn’t matter how much or how often they give of their time, all of it is an investment in their child and his or her journey throughout Somerville House and we encourage everyone to get involved,” she said. 

“Ensuring all parents feel a palpable sense of belonging and value ensures the focus on supporting our girls is at the forefront of everything that we do.” 

“I believe, with the fantastic work of both our volunteers and P&F Association, in conjunction with teachers and professional staff - the future looks very bright for Somerville House,” Mrs Kiepe said.