Harry Vernon Biggins


Hobart High School when Biggins was headmaster (AOT, PH30/1/506)

Harry Vernon Biggins OBE (c 18941969), headmaster and public campaigner for state secondary education. 'HV' taught at Hobart and Launceston High Schools, then for 27 years, 193259, was headmaster of Hobart High, Tasmania's largest and leading academic school. A major force in the Education Department and the community, Biggins was not a brilliant teacher, great administrator or scholar, but was renowned for his leadership skills, underpinned by his personality and 'presence'. Within the school, each daily assembly performance was a tour de force. He played a major role in the Teachers' Federation and was often on the outer with Head Office. He sat on the University Council, the Schools Board and other bodies, and influenced major changes such as broadening the curriculum, raising the school leaving age and reducing the significance of external exams.

Further reading: Hobart High School/Hobart Matriculation College, The Log, 1913; B Ross, H. V. Biggins, Hobart, 1986.

Bruce Poulson