Hillbrook is an ever changing and evolving community and 2019 has seen more changes than most, from the students’ new look uniform to the new design of the school grounds. But perhaps the most talked about change this year is the addition of a new house colour, Yellow.

To discuss this topic, I have had the privilege of talking to Deputy Principal, Mr Herriman; Year 7 Coordinator, Ms O’Shea; Finance and Administration Assistant, Lyn Gibson; and of course the Year 7s.

“We are not divided by colours, we are united by them,” says Mr Herriman.

So, why did Hillbrook add yellow? Well, there were many factors, but the following are two of the most important and influential. The Year 7 waiting list at Hillbrook is around 400 to 500 students and we wanted to allow more students into our community. The second main reason is the recent Government funding cuts. This gave Hillbrook two options. The first option was to raise the fees by a significant amount, which is not something Hillbrook wanted to do, so that left the second option – make room for more students and introduce a new house.

When we saw the Jelly Bean jar at the Foundation Day Ceremony in 2018, we all thought the colour would be chosen by someone pulling a jelly bean out of the jar and whichever colour it was would be our new house. But all the jellybeans in the jar were yellow… so there must have been another way it was chosen. Apparently it was an informal staff and student vote, and ‘Yellow’ seemed like the only logical colour because it was the only missing primary colour.

You may have also noticed the landscape of Hillbrook is seeing major change. The design of the new buildings has been created to reflect the school’s culture and values, as well as maintaining the grounds as a beautiful place to be. In my conversation with Lyn Gibson she explained that in Hillbrook’s Master Plan, the vision is to create a school to accommodate the added number of students. “At the forefront has always been a clear direction that we maintain a warm and inviting space with more green areas and beautiful landscapes. Everything Hillbrook is famous for.”

So, what is like to be in the new Yellow house? Three Year 7 Yellow students share their insights.

“It feels awesome because we are the trail blazers of yellow!”

Leuca reflects.

“Because we are so small, we are our own little community,”

Lucy explains.

“It’s different for us because we have only known Hillbrook with five classes,” says Kate.

So, how was Yellow introduced to the Hillbrook community? Ms O’Shea explained that the teachers did not want to over-welcome Yellow because that would disrupt the sense of community, and as Mr Herriman said, “No community. No Hillbrook.” However, there were small things along the way that you may not have noticed which made a big difference. Ms Johnston, for example, went and bought 2 new yellow dresses and made a yellow PI pom pom.

Overall it has been a very smooth entrance for Yellow into the Hillbrook community.

Year 9 Aspire English