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William Duncan State School was officially opened on 31 October 1987 by the Honourable I.J. Gibbs, M.L.A.
Our school uniform fabric is the Duncan tartan.  The red and navy were chosen for two reasons, one because it was in the Duncan tartan and secondly, because other schools didn’t wear those colours. 

Our Motto & Emblem were chosen through competitions.  Our school motto is Honour Strength Trust.  Our emblem is of the Nerang River and cedar trees with the hinterland mountains in the background. 

Our school was originally to be called Boorajing State School.  Boorajing is aboriginal for ‘windy place’.  However, our school was eventually named William Duncan State School after William Duncan, one of the earliest settlers in the district.   William Duncan was a cedar tree getter born in Dundee, Scotland in 1832.          There is a picture of William Duncan in the school foyer.  The frame is made of cedar timber.                       
According to records at Gold Coast City Council, he arrived in the hinterland populated by the Kombumerri people in 1842.   In 1854 he was married to Rose and they had 14 children. William Duncan was one of the tough breed of bush men who opened up the hinterland.  He saw stands of timber growing in terrible terrain, but worth a fortune.  The world of wooden wealth sparked a miniature gold rush in timber.