St. Joseph’s Nudgee College in the GPS Association

From the first GPS Rugby match in 1918, to the 1st XV’s most recent GPS Premiership-winning game, Rugby has exerted an enormous influence on the College. Long regarded the cradle of Queensland Rugby, the College has won 42 GPS Premierships, 37 of which were won outright. Twenty six Old Boys have gone on to play for the Wallabies, with three captain Australian in Test Matches. As an indication of how multicultural the College has become, Old Boys have also represented Indonesia​, The Philippines​​ and Papua New Guinea in Test Rugby and​ Australia and Lebanon in Rugby League.

Nudgee College first participated in the GPS cricket competition in 1921, although by this stage Old Boys had already played First Class Cricket. Prior to the College centenary in 1991 the 1st XI brought home five Premierships. The premiership in the centenary year ushered in a period of sustained cricketing success for the College. The 1991 1st XI was captained by Jimmy Maher (NC 1990-91), a highly decorated Queensland and Australian batsmen. Nudgee College won a further three Premierships in 1994, 1998 and 2009, and produced many talented Australian cricketers, including Nathan Hauritz (1996-98), Joe Burns (NC 2002-06), Chris Lynn (NC 2003-07), and Mitchell Swepson (NC 2006-10). Brendan Nash represented the West Indies at Test level after a career with Queensland and scored two centuries for his adopted country.

The absence of a swimming pool until 1935 did not hinder Nudgee’s swimmers as they still managed to win the College’s inaugural premiership in 1923. In the 1990s and 2000s, Nudgee College excelled in the GPS Swimming competition, winning an unprecedented 12 Premierships in a row between 1992 to 2003, as well as a further five from 2006 to 2012. Three students went on to represent Australia at Olympic level – Brenton Rickard (NC 1996-2000), Leith Brodie (NC 2001-04) and Jack McLoughlin (2008-12).

Tennis was added to the College’s annual schedule in 1923, with the ​College winning its first two premierships in 1935 and 1936 during one of the College Golden periods in GPS competition. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Nudgee College dominated the GPS Tennis competitions, earning Premiership wins in 1988, 1989, 1990, 1993 and 1994. In recent years, Nudgee College has shared GPS Premierships in 2003, 2011 and 2013.

Cross Country became an official GPS sport in 1971, with Nudgee College taking out the Championship title in 1999, 2005, 2010 and 2015. In 2014, the inaugural year of the Junior Cross Country Championships, Nudgee College was placed second by one point, an achievement that heralded a period of considerable success during which the Junior team has won outright every year since.

In 1985, Basketball was trialled as a GPS activity, with the competition being made official in 1986. Nudgee College has been a staunch participant ever since, earning three consecutive Premierships from 1990 to 1992, as well as three further in 1998, 2001 and 2003. Several professional basketballers have also emerged from the Nudgee College Basketball Program, including current Brisbane Bullets player Will Magnay (NC 2009-15).
After a trial of Football as a GPS activity in 1988, the sport eventually received official status in 1991. It didn’t take long for Nudgee College to find its groove, having been competing in a school-based competition since the 1970s. The blue and white earned its first Football Premiership in 1997, and went back to back to tie with Ipswich Grammar School in 1998. As well as two more Premiership wins in 2001 and 2003, Nudgee College has excelled on the football field in recent years, with three shared Premierships in 2013, 2014 and 2016 (two with The Southport School and one with Toowoomba Grammar School). Nudgee College won the GPS Centenary Football premiership outright.

While the game of Chess itself has a history spanning nearly two thousand years, its history with GPS has been relatively short. After years of competing in an inter-school chess competition, the GPS schools decided to trial their own in 1993. It was officially recognised as a GPS activity in 1995, of which many Nudgee College students have been keen competitors in ever since.

In 1994 Nudgee College fielded six teams for the first season of Volleyball as an official GPS sport. The College earned a tied Premiership in 2002, and has produced many excellent players, including current Australian Volleyroos player Jacob Guymer (NC 2006-10).

While Rowing is a foundation GPS sport, Nudgee College is only a recent addition to the competition, celebrating its 20th Rowing season in 2018.  Despite a relatively new program, Nudgee College Rowing has certainly made its mark. The first 1st VIII Head of the River win took place in 2003, with the next one being earned in 2009. From 2011 onwards, Nudgee College Rowing has been a force to be reckoned with on the water, winning both the Old Boys Cup and O’Connor Cup that year, as well as following it up with five consecutive 1st VIII Head of the River wins from 2013 to 2017 and four overall wins for the Rowing Shed from 2012 to present. In addition to these successes, the 2015 Nudgee College 1st VIII also won the Australian Championship Schoolboy Eight at the Sydney International Rowing Regatta.

The GPS Music Excellence events and the Music Showcase have provided the opportunity for many Nudgee students to strive for excellence in these areas and work together with their GPS counterparts in a strong spirit of fellowship. Nudgee was honoured to have College Principal, Mr. Peter Fullagar as the Chairman of the GPS Association during the special Centenary year.