Historical information

The photograph depicts nine Ruyton Girls' School prefects and probationers in 1952. The four students standing in the back row are probationers, who have been identified from left to right as M. Hartshorn, C. Kent, J. Hodgson, and M. Morrison. The five students seated in the front row are prefects identified from left to right as E. Macdonald, V. Mummery, H. Cole (School Captain), S. Backhouse, and T. Abson. All of the prefects and probationers are dressed in full Ruyton uniform including knee-length check-print skirts, brown lace-up shoes, dark jumper, white collared button blouse with a tie, and wool blazer. The students are all looking straight at the camera and smiling. The image is an official school photograph taken by Clive Stuart Tompkins. The same photograph appears in the 1952 Ruytonian.


The record holds strong historic significance as it provides insight into the history of student leadership at Ruyton Girls' School. Student leadership commenced in 1906 with the introduction of the prefect system. Prefects had numerous responsibilities—gate duty, grounds duty, classroom marking, assembly door watch, uniform monitoring, and even supervising student detention. In 1947, a dedicated Prefects Room was erected on the east side of the Ruyton Girls' School Assembly Room in Henty House.

The prefects system was revised in 1968 with a new leadership structure: there would be a permanent School Captain, Vice Captain and School Sports Captain; six permanent prefects would be elected, and the rest of the Matriculation class would form committees. These included Library, Social Services, S.C.M., Editorial, and Music. In this way, it was thought "that each Matric girl would have a certain amount of responsibility." With this revised structure came a brand new Prefects' Study, located in a former classroom next to the Domestic Science building. Each prefect was allocated one book locker, one clothing locker, "a small share in the heater", plus a new shared lounge.

The prefect system was updated again in 1974. All sixth formers would become prefects, or "school officials." This saw the sixth form divided into two halves: one group would be prefects for the first half of the year, then the second group would take the reigns in the latter half of the year.

In October 2023, Ruyton announced a new collaborative leadership structure for captains, prefects and house leaders, which would see two students in each leadership role.

The record's significance is further enhanced by its strong provenance, having been produced by Ruyton Girls' School and donated to the Archives by a familial connection.

Physical description

Black and white rectangular photograph printed on matte photographic paper.

Inscriptions & markings


Ruyton /
Rawcey Ware (?) /
Add to order /
no 5488 /
& make a /
others /
Ruyton /
[illegible] /