Roy Churcher and the House Banners

By Mrs Annette Carter, College Historian

Did you know? Roy Churcher is the artist behind the eight House banners that hang in T.B. Millar Hall. In 1993, he worked in the art room with students from all secondary year levels to paint the banners in colourful abstract designs based on the emblems of each House.

Born in 1933 in England, Churcher studied at the Sutton School of Art and Crafts and the Slade School of Fine Art in the 1940s and 50s before moving to Australia and teaching art in Brisbane, Perth, and Canberra. He was married to Betty (also an artist who became a renowned arts educator and administrator and the Director of the National Gallery of Australia from 1990-97) and was instrumental in establishing the Queensland Branch of the Contemporary Art Society and The Institute of Modern Art in Brisbane.

The House banners are also used as the backdrop for Celebrations

Adam Deutsch, who was in Year 7 when the House banners were created, remembers that Churcher was an encouraging and enthusiastic figure. With the scope being quite open, the students had “pretty much a free-for-all” over a few sessions with “crayons overlaying their own creativity on top of and between each other.” The plants and nature were added, and then the whole canvas was washed over with the House colour. Adam even remembers hiding a couple of animals on two of the banners and was amazed that Roy could pull off the process with all the different students “seemingly with independent ideas.”

Churcher had a long and distinguished career embedded in modernism techniques. His son, Paul Churcher, organised an exhibition called '25 years in Wamboin' in 2016. This exhibition took place at their family estate in Wamboin, a year after both Churcher and his wife Betty passed away. An interview for Australian Art Review highlighted Roy Churcher’s love of looking at, sharing and talking about art, life and “all the stuff that matters.”