Bold new look planned for Murray Bridge High School

The school will update its logo, motto, colours, uniforms and potentially even its name in 2021.

Murray Bridge High School will get a new logo, motto, colours and uniforms in 2021, principal Ruth Mussger has announced.

Even the school’s name will be up for grabs in the rebrand, which comes 86 years after the current motto was adopted and 19 years after the logo’s last update.

And you can help decide what comes next.

A survey launched on Monday asks community members for their ideas.

With year 7s about to transition into the high school and a $20 million redevelopment underway, Ms Mussger said the time was right to think about what MBHS stood for.

“Our ultimate goal is to create a new look and feel that reflects the school’s rich history and cultural background, while also incorporating a more aspirational message about our future as an entrepreneurial, skills-focused, job-ready, progressive, inclusive and specialist high school,” she said.

“Murray Bridge High School has changed a lot since its inception in 1913.

“Now, more than ever, we’re focused on equipping our students with the knowledge and skills to achieve their life and career goals in a rapidly changing world.”

A new name for the school would even be considered if the community were in favour, she said – after all, “the students who go to our school aren’t just from Murray Bridge”.

The only thing certain about the school’s new identity was that it would include a motto in English and Ngarrindjeri.

“Having our current motto expressed both in English and Ngarrindjeri reflects the strong partnership our school has with our Aboriginal community,” Ms Mussger said.

“We will work closely with the school’s Ngarrindjeri staff and students to ensure the new logo and motto accurately represent their vision for the future of our school and honour our connections to their culture.”

Students Kiah Edwards, Riley Lienert and Zella Worden, pictured at the top of this story, said they were enthusiastic about the planned changes.

“I think it’s a really cool idea,” Kiah said.

“What we have at the moment, we’ve had such a long time.

“I think anything more original than navy blue and red (would be better).”

The school will introduce the new branding – including new uniforms – next year.

However, students will be able to keep wearing the current uniform for several more years yet.

Year 7 students will arrive at Murray Bridge High School in 2022, by which time a new building intended to house the middle school will be complete.

The school’s new tech studies building is due to be finished by the end of the year.

Latin motto dates back more than 2000 years

Murray Bridge High School’s current motto is the Latin phrase sic itur ad astra, meaning “thus one goes to the stars” but more commonly taken to mean something like “together we rise to the stars”.

It comes from a work called the Aeneid, by the ancient Roman poet Virgil, and refers to courage.

Alongside the high school’s logo, it is translated into Ngarrindjeri as ngunangk tuldar witjunggildhur toran, or “together we gather the stars”.

The school’s values of excellence, respect and working together are also commonly written beneath the logo.

The school originally had a different motto when it opened in 1913: labor vincit omnia, or “work conquors all” – another Virgil quote.

Logo has changed several times since 1913

The school’s original logo, pictured above, was designed during the early years when it occupied a single room at what is now Murray Bridge North School.

It was shaped like a horseshoe and featured the letters DHS, for Murray Bridge District High School.

A new logo was introduced in 1934 after a competition among staff and students.

Like the current logo, it featured the lamp of learning, sitting on the open book of knowledge, surrounded by the laurel wreath of achievement; as well as the school's current name and motto.

The blue, red and gold version was introduced in 2001.

No obvious choice for town colours

Most other public schools in the Murraylands reflect the colours worn by their towns’ sporting teams: blue and gold for Tailem Bend, black and gold for Mypolonga, green and gold for Mannum and so on.

As a two-team city – in football and netball, at least – Murray Bridge lacks any clear choice of colour scheme.

The River Murray’s representative football and netball sides have traditionally played in the state colours of red, blue and gold, the same as the high school’s current colours; but other sports use various other combinations.

The Ngarrindjeri flag is mostly blue and white, though Ngarrindjerri country extends well beyond the Murray Bridge district.

The city’s council has used blue and orange for years, and its library and art gallery use orange.

Could the “big M” brand identity developed for the city’s welcome and informational signage – teal, orange, yellow, green and blue – offer some inspiration?

Clarification: This story has been updated to reflect the fact that even the school's name could change. Photo of students Kiah Edwards, Riley Lienert and Zella Worden: Peri Strathearn. Video: Murray Bridge High School/YouTube. Images: Murray Bridge High School, Algo Mas.