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AEA McCAHON Performing Arts Hall

Our purpose built Performing Arts Hall hosts many in-school and community events including school parades, musicals, parent symposiums, fundraising events and school dances. It is equipped with state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems and can seat 750.

The AEA McCAHON Performing Arts Hall was officially opened on 25 June 2010.

This Performing Arts Hall bears the name of ALFRED EDMUND ARCHIBALD McCAHON whose illustrious career in the field of education spanned 53 years. His first connection to Coorparoo State School was as a pupil, evidenced by an entry in the School Admissions Register on 6 July 1891 "No. 1819, McCahon, Alfred Edmund Archibald, Class V". Alfred would later return to Coorparoo, not as a student, but rather as the Head Teacher.

Alfred Edmund Archibald McCahon was admitted to the teaching service as a Pupil Teacher at Glencoe in 1895. In 1898 he was transferred to Wilsonton where he completed his Pupil Teachership before being moved to Charleville as an Assistant Teacher in 1900. He took up his first position as Head Teacher at Cedar Creek where he remained until 1908. From there he occupied the position of Head Teacher at several schools before coming to Coorparoo in 1938, where he remained until 1945.

In 1943 he was gratified to see the opening of the final section of the brick school at Coorparoo. The project, which had been initiated seventeen years before, was now complete. A handsome brick building graced the grounds where sixty-seven years before, the little wooden bush school had first opened its doors to thirty-seven Coorparoo boys and girls.

Mr McCahon was rewarded for his years of conscientious and able service by being appointed Acting Inspector of Schools for terms in 1944 and 1945. He continued in that capacity until his retirement in 1948.

PROFESSOR HILL CAMPUS

Professor Dorothy Hill AC, CBE, FAA, FRS was a highly regarded Australian geologist and a past pupil of Coorparoo State School from 1912 to 1919.

Dorothy Hill was born on 10 September 1907 and attended Coorparoo State School from 1912 until 1919.  She was a great sportswoman, excelling at hockey and athletics.

Winning a scholarship to the University of Queensland, she chose to study science, graduating in 1928 with a First Class Honours degree in Geology.  She was awarded a scholarship to study at the University of Cambridge, England, where she completed her PhD on the Palaeontology of Corals.  On her return to Queensland she conducted pioneering research into the fossil corals of Australia.  Her work was fundamental in the development of the scientific understanding of the Great Barrier Reef.  Dorothy Hill was a lifelong teacher, mentor and strong supporter of women’s education.

Professor Hill served in the Women’s Royal Australian Naval Service (WRANS) during World War II.

Professor Hill was the first female professor appointed to an Australian university.  In 1956 she was elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (FAA) and in 1970 became their first female President. In 1965 she was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of London (FRS). She was honoured with a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) and AC (Companion of the Order of Australia) for her services to geology and palaeontology.

“The scientific world will remember her as the twentieth century’s authority on Palaeozoic corals; Australia will remember her as the world’s most acclaimed woman scientist of her era.”

Dorothy Hill died on 23 April 1997.

The proposal to name the Professor Hill Campus and all subsequent research and community awareness about Professor Hill was undertaken by student Alexandra Grady. Alexandra commenced this project while in year 5 in 2014 and worked enthusiastically with staff, students and community members throughout 2014 and early 2015.

Past student of, and later, colleague of Professor Hill, Retired Professor John Jell and 2015 Dorothy Hill Chair of Paleontology and Stratigraphy (University of Queensland) Professor Gregory Webb unveiled the naming plaque along with Alexandra on Thursday 26 March 2015.