Melbourne Grammar School

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Melbourne Grammar School
Melbournegrammarcrest.jpg
Latin: Ora et Labora
("Pray and Work")[1]
Location
South Yarra & Caulfield, Victoria, Australia
Coordinates 37°50′2″S 144°58′34″E / 37.83389°S 144.97611°E / -37.83389; 144.97611Coordinates: 37°50′2″S 144°58′34″E / 37.83389°S 144.97611°E / -37.83389; 144.97611
Information
Type Independent, Co-educational (Primary), Single-sex (Secondary), Day and Boarding
Denomination Anglican[2]
Established 1849 (on present site since 1858[2] - the celebrated date of foundation)
Founder The Right Rev'd Charles Perry, First Anglican Bishop of Melbourne
Chairman of the Governors Prof. Richard G. Larkins AO
Headmaster Mr. Roy Kelley
Chaplain The Rev'd Hans Christiansen
Enrolment 1,782 (P–12)
Colour(s) Navy Blue     
Slogan "Fostering Learning & Leadership"[3]
Website

Melbourne Grammar School is an independent, Anglican, day and boarding school predominantly for boys, located in South Yarra and Caulfield, suburbs of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Founded on 7 April 1858 as the Melbourne Church of England Grammar School, the school has a non-selective enrolment policy and currently caters for approximately 1,800 students from Prep to Year 12, including 120 boarders from Years 7 to 12.[4]

The bluestone buildings at the senior campus are all on the Victorian Heritage Register.[citation needed] The school's War Memorial Hall recently underwent[when?] a major renovation and in 2006 it won the RAIA National Architecture Awards - Lachlan Macquarie Award for Heritage, the top award in its category, at an awards show in Brisbane.[citation needed]

Melbourne Grammar is affiliated with the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference,[5] the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA),[6] the Junior School Heads Association of Australia (JSHAA),[7] the Australian Boarding Schools' Association (ABSA),[4] the Association of Independent Schools of Victoria (AISV),[2] and is a founding member of the historic Associated Public Schools of Victoria (APS). The School is also a member of the G20 Schools Group.

In 2001, The Sun-Herald ranked Melbourne Grammar School second among Australian schools based on the number of their alumni mentioned in Who's Who in Australia (a listing of notable Australians). In 2010 The Age reported that Melbourne Grammar School ranked equal seventh among Australian schools based on the number of alumni who had received a top Order of Australia honour.[8]

History[edit]

Melbourne Grammar School, c.1860
Melbourne Grammar School students and building, c.1914
Melbourne Grammar School in Domain Road, South Yarra

The origins of Melbourne Grammar School (colloquially known as Grammar) can be traced back to 1849, with the establishment of an experimental grammar school at St Peter's Eastern Hill, East Melbourne. This school had been established by Melbourne's first Church of England Bishop, Charles Perry, who founded the Diocese of Melbourne, and had been opened to meet the growing educational needs of the young colony.[9] In 1853, Bishop Perry commenced planning for the diocesan experimental school to become permanent, although on a larger site and not under his direct management, and so he set up a committee of eminent men to consider the task. The school however did not thrive and was suspended at the end of 1854.[10]

The first Board of Governors was elected in 1854 to take over from the committee, and it set about drawing up a Constitution, finding a Headmaster and a new site. Locations considered included Carlton, Prahran and St Kilda.[10]

Perry's dream of building a permanent, centrally located grammar school, based on the principles of the great English Public Schools, was realised in 1855, with a grant from the Governor Charles Hotham of 15 acres (61,000 m2) on St Kilda Road. This is the inner South Yarra land now occupied by Senior School and Wadhurst, next to the Royal Botanic Gardens and a short walk from the central city. At the time it was considered relatively isolated and remote. The Governors chose architects Charles Webb and Thomas Taylor, well known Melbourne contractors George Cornwell and co. undertook the construction and Bishop Perry laid the School's foundation stone on 30 July 1856.[10]

Melbourne Grammar School, 1876

The Melbourne Church of England Grammar School was finally opened on 7 April 1858 with 77 pupils, and with Dr John E Bromby as the first Headmaster. Enrolments grew to 136 during the first year, with four students being the sons of Dr Bromby, and about one quarter of them boarders.[10]

The school's first forty years proved to be a struggle, exacerbated in the 1890s by economic depression, financial concerns and changes of Headmaster. Senior School enrolments fell from 272 in 1889 to 117 in 1894 prompting a group of former students to do something "to save the old School". They formed The Old Melburnians Society in 1895, "to be the means of bringing together many former schoolmates, reviving pleasant recollections, and at the same time benefiting the life of the School as it is today".[10]

Two significant developments of the late nineteenth century were, firstly, the recognition that with a limited site, one storey buildings were not a wise use of space. A move began, continued now, of adding second stories or replacing buildings with two- or three-level structures. The second was the dedication of the Chapel of St Peter in 1893, the first school chapel in the colony of Victoria.[10]

The beginning of the new century saw the School's future assured, with enrolments increasing and the Jubilee celebrated in 1908. Hundreds of former students enlisted in the Great War of 1914–1918, as they had in the South African War, and sadly more than 200 did not return.[10]

Melbourne Grammar School Chapel, c.1893

The 1920s were a relatively stable time for the School, experiencing high academic and sporting results. The 1930s however were an unsettling time. The Great Depression put pressure on members of the Grammar community, while administrative instability affected the whole school. Between 1935 and 1938 the School had three Headmasters and two Acting Headmasters, and the outbreak of war the following year meant building plans were put on hold. Some 3,500 Old Boys enlisted in the services, and school buildings were commandeered by Australian and American forces with some students dispatched to the country and others doubled up in crowded quarters.[10]

By the 1950s it became clear that the School was seriously lacking adequate space, with expansions, extensions and renovations mostly crammed into Dr Bromby's original 15 acres (61,000 m2). The School subsequently embarked upon a building program which it was thought could take 30 years to complete, with the Senior School, Wadhurst and Grimwade campuses all receiving attention. The Centenary Building Campaign of 1958 began this expansion. Another solution to this problem since this time has been the steady acquisition of neighbouring properties.[10]

In 1986 the Governors decided on a staged restructure of the School. Until then, Wadhurst, established as a preparatory school in 1886 and Grimwade House, opened in 1918, had operated as two parallel feeder schools taking students through to Year 8. Grimwade's boarding house had closed in the mid-1970s, leading to debate on the best use of the newly available space. It was decided to introduce girls at primary levels at Grimwade House, and today Grimwade House caters for girls and boys up to Year 6 and Wadhurst for boys in Years 7 and 8.[10]

The 1980s and 1990s were times of further growth, with the outdoor program expanded with three permanent campsites at Breakfast Creek near Licola, Woodend and Banksia Peninsula on the Gippsland Lakes. On 7 April 2008, as part of the celebrations of Melbourne Grammar's sesquicentenary, the School officially opened the multi-million dollar Nigel Peck Centre for Learning and Leadership on the Domain Road boundary, an event which was attended by the Premier of Victoria, John Brumby, who is also an Old Melburnian.[10]

Headmasters[edit]

Witherby Tower
Period Details
1858 – 1875 John Edward Bromby
1875 – 1883 Edward Ellis Morris
1883 – 1885 Alexander Pyne
1885 – 1893 Ambrose John Wilson
1894 – 1898 Frederic Sergeant
1899 – 1914 George Ernest Blanch
1915 – 1936 Richard Penrose Franklin
1937 – 1938 David Stacey Colman
1938 – 1949 Joseph Richard Sutcliffe
1950 – 1970 Sir Brian William Hone
1970 – 1987 Nigel Arthur Holloway Creese
1988 – 1994 Antony James de Villiers Hill
1995 – 2009 Andrew Paul Sheahan
2009 – Roy Kelley

Campuses[edit]

Melbourne Grammar School features seven campuses, three used for everyday schooling, one for sporting activities, and three for the School's outdoor education program:

Aerial photo of Melbourne Grammar School and surrounds
  • Grimwade House – Caulfield (Co-ed; Prep to Year 6)
  • Wadhurst – South Yarra (All male; Years 7–8)
  • Senior School – South Yarra (All male; Years 9–12)
  • Edwin Flack Park – Port Melbourne (Sporting complex)
  • Camp Dowd – Gippsland Lakes (Camp; Year 8)
  • Robert Knox Camp – Woodend (Camp; Years 5–7)
  • L.G.Robertson Camp – Breakfast Creek, Licola (Camp; Years 9–12)

Curriculum[edit]

Senior Campus

Melbourne Grammar offers its Years 11 and 12 students the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE), the main assessment program which ranks the students in the state.

In 2004, six Melbourne Grammar students achieved the maximum possible Equivalent National Tertiary Entrance Rank (ENTER) of 99.95; only 32 students in Victoria achieved this ENTER. In 2005, five Melbourne Grammar students achieved this same ENTER of 99.95.[11] In 2006, two Melbourne Grammar students achieved the maximum ENTER of 99.95, and three Melbourne Grammar students achieved an ENTER of 99.90. In 2007, three Melbourne Grammar students achieved the maximum ENTER of 99.95; again, only 32 students in Victoria achieved this ENTER. In 2008, five Melbourne Grammar students achieved the maximum ENTER of 99.95.[12] This tradition was continued in 2009, when a record seven students achieved the maximum ENTER of 99.95. The school also recorded its best average score on record in 2009, with the median ENTER being 93.95. In 2010, three students achieved the highest possible ATAR score of 99.95 with median 91.5. <!- http://www.mgs.vic.edu.au/news/downloads/2010_News_Articles/news_highlights_vce_results_1210.php --> In 2011, Melbourne Grammar School's VCE students have achieved a commendable 89.8 median ATAR score, and another seven students achieved the maximum possible ATAR of 99.95. <!- http://www.mgs.vic.edu.au/news/2011_News_Articles/2011_vce_results.php -->

Co-curriculum[edit]

Debating[edit]

Melbourne Grammar has held inter-grammar school British Parliamentary Debating competitions involving Scotch College, Sydney Grammar, and Melbourne Grammar. Also, Melbourne Grammar enters about a tenth of its students[citation needed] into the Debaters Association of Victoria's (DAV) Debating Competition, in which they participate in the South Yarra draw, which takes place at Melbourne High School.

Music[edit]

Melbourne Grammar is noted[citation needed] for its Orchestra, the Melbourne Grammar School Symphony Orchestra (MGSSO), which tours internationally in December every year. In 2005 the Orchestra toured Malaysia and Singapore and in 2006 travelled to China, performing in Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Guangzhou. December 2007 saw the orchestra touring Dubai, Zagreb, Ljubljana and Venice, while in December 2008 the orchestra once again returned to Malaysia for Martin Rutherford's final orchestra tour. In 2009 Mark Drummond took over the orchestra and in 2010 the orchestra toured Japan, performing in Osaka, Tokyo (at the Okuma Auditorium which is located at Waseda University) and Gamagori. The orchestra is usually made up of around 100 students, the vast majority attendants of the school. All campuses have their own choirs, concert bands and string orchestras. The Chapel Choir is the oldest of any Victorian private school and consists of about 40 select members. It sings at the weekly Eucharists along with occasional concerts with the like of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra.

The MGSSO has accompanied international soloists such as Ronald Farren-Price, Leslie Howard and Neville Taweel, and has premièred works by Australian and British composers.[13]

Sport[edit]

Cordner-Eggleston Cup[edit]

Main article: Cordner-Eggleston Cup
Statue at the Melbourne Cricket Ground of Tom Wills umpiring the first recorded match of Australian rules football between Scotch College and Melbourne Grammar

The Cordner-Eggleston Cup is competed for each year by the first football teams of Melbourne Grammar School and the Scotch College and has been run since 1858, making it the longest running school football fixture in the world.

Tri-Grammar series[edit]

Melbourne Grammar participates in the annual Tri-Grammar games, a series of cricket and rowing competitions between the Firsts teams of Melbourne Grammar School, Sydney Grammar School and Brisbane Grammar School.

They are held at each school in rotation, with competing students being billeted out to the students of the host school against whom they will compete. It is customary when the rowing events are hosted by Melbourne Grammar that Sydney and Brisbane Grammars shall compete in the Head of the Yarra, an 8 kilometre river-race.

The cricketing rivalry between Melbourne and Sydney Grammars dates back to 1876 and is considered the oldest (in terms of cricket) in Australia. In 1976, to mark the centenary of this rivalry, a "Bat" was struck, with the winner of the annual match taking possession of this bat.

In the mid-1990s, Brisbane Grammar was invited to play against both Melbourne and Sydney Grammars, giving rise to the 'Tri-Grammar Shield', won by the most successful school during the festival.

Rowing[edit]

Melbourne Grammar has a proud rowing record, having claimed the Head of the River 27 times, the most recent being in 2009. In that year the school's 1st VIII broke the Head of the River record. They also won the National Schoolboy 8+ in record time. They rowed a very credible race to win the schoolboy title over the Shore School in 5:49.

Athletics[edit]

In recent years, Melbourne Grammar School has become a force in Athletics, winning the APS premiership for the first time in 48 years in 2010. For most of the 90s and early 2000s, the school struggled in athletics. The turnaround started in 2004, thanks to a mixture of the teacher-in-charge Nat Coull's efforts and leadership by former students such as Oliver Wurm & Sam Baines, helping the school become a top athletics school. They have also won the Victorian track relay titles for the past 7 years, a measure of the quality of the track program.

Basketball[edit]

Melbourne Grammar is an emerging force in the Victorian APS basketball competition, finishing third in 2012. Recent noteworthy players include Dane Pineau, 2012 Captain and also Captain of the Australian under-19s national team, and Daniel Fisher, who went on to attend American University on a scholarship. MGS basketball is coached by OM Tom Chambers

Volleyball[edit]

Melbourne Grammar School has only once finished lower than third in the APS Volleyball Competition and has forged a rich heritage of boys going on to play at University and State levels.

Theatre[edit]

Melbourne Grammar has a strong theatre department, especially within the Senior Campus, which produces four plays each school year. In Term One, the Quad Play, most commonly a Shakespeare play, but on occasion from other notable playwrights, is performed within the school's Quadrangle, and is open to students in years 10 to 12. In 2014, the Quad Play will be celebrating its 40th anniversary with a production of Antony and Cleopatra, celebrating a notable history of productions including The Crucible, Twelfth Night and Much Ado About Nothing.

The School Play, performed in August, is often the centrepiece of the year's theatrical calendar. These take place in the Memorial Hall, which was refurbished in the early 2000s. Staging is often designed by a contracted individual, with sets constructed jointly by staff and students, often both current and former. These productions alternate between musicals and plays. Notable productions in recent history have included Tim Winton's Cloudstreet, Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance and Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband, and most recently, Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story. In 2014, Melbourne Grammar School will be performing Peter Shaffer's Amadeus.

The final performance for the year is the Spring Production which is open to Years 9 and 10 students. These plays take place in late Term Four off-campus to free the Memorial Hall for VCE exams. These productions in recent years have provided modern updates to classic stories, including Lord of the Flies', Animal Farm and Sweeney Todd, as well as performing modern plays such as Nick Enright's Spurboard. In 2013, this production will be another modern update, this time being Eugène Ionesco's Rhinoceros.

All of these plays are performed by the students of Melbourne Grammar in conjunction with students from the sister school, Melbourne Girls Grammar School, whose campus is located nearby.

Wadhurst, Melbourne Grammar's middle school, also partakes in an annual production. This is performed either on the Wadhurst Deck or in the Wadhurst Hall. In 2008, to celebrate the school's sesquicentenary, the play Glimpses of the Generations was performed featuring 150 years of the school's history. These productions usually take the form of a classic children's tale such as Pinocchio or A Christmas Carol. In 2013, the Wadhurst Production will take the form of a film, featuring a Melbourne Grammar twist on Alice in Wonderland, produced by students.

Year 8 students also have the opportunity to take part in the Year 8 Project, established in 2012 with a reimagining of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Students from Melbourne Grammar and Melbourne Girls Grammar have the opportunity not only to act in a play but to take part in the development and production of the play. The 2013 production was a surrealist modern update of Alan Ayckbourn's Ernie's Incredible Illucinations.

Crest and motto[edit]

Collectable School Cigarette card featuring the MGS colours & crest, c. 1910s

The school motto, Ora et Labora, which may be translated from Latin to "Pray and Work", was chosen by the second Headmaster, Edward Morris in 1875.[1]

An old boy of England's Rugby School, Morris exemplified the way the principles of the English Public School system were adopted in Australia, including that education and religion should go hand in hand, as envisaged by Bishop Perry. The motto clearly reflects this.[1]

The school crest is composed of a number of elements. The Archbishop's mitre placed on top of the crest indicates the school's connection with the Church of England; the mitre in the shield is in memory of Charles Perry, the schools founder; the open book represents either the bible or 'Knowledge like an Open Book', while its large clasps show that the book is not to be opened with ease; the Fleur de Lys (lily) is a symbol of purity; and the Southern Cross is the emblem of Australia, and is also on the Victorian and Australian flag.[1]

Student Leadership[edit]

Melbourne Grammar School takes great pride in its student leadership body, which includes the School Captain, School Vice-Captain, 12 House Captains and Vice-Captains and 11 other Prefects who take certain portfolios.

Notable alumni[edit]

Alumni of Melbourne Grammar School are commonly referred to as Old Melburnians and may elect to join the schools' alumni association, the Old Melburnians' Society (OMS).[14] Some notable Old Melburnians include:

Notes[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "School Crest and Motto". History. Melbourne Grammar School. Retrieved 2008-02-02. 
  2. ^ a b c "Melbourne Grammar School". Find a School. Association of Independent Schools of Victoria. 2007. Retrieved 2008-02-02. 
  3. ^ "Prospectus" (PDF). Admissions. Melbourne Grammar School. Retrieved 2008-02-02. 
  4. ^ a b "Melbourne Grammar School". Schools - Victoria. Australian Boarding Schools Association. Archived from the original on 2007-11-17. Retrieved 2008-02-02. 
  5. ^ "International Members". HMC Schools. The Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference. Retrieved 2008-03-11. 
  6. ^ "Victoria". School Directory. Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia. 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-03-07. Retrieved 2008-02-02. 
  7. ^ "JSHAA Victoria Directory of Members". Victoria Branch. Junior School Heads' Association of Australia. 2007. Retrieved 2008-02-02. 
  8. ^ Topsfield, Jewel (4 December 2010). "Ties that bind prove a private education has its awards". Melbourne: The Age. p. 11.  The hard copy article also published a table of the schools which were ranked in the top ten places, as follows: (1st with 19 awards) Scotch College, Melbourne, (2nd with 17 awards) Geelong Grammar School, (3rd with 13 awards) Sydney Boys High School, (equal 4th with 10 awards each) Fort Street High School, Perth Modern School and St Peter's College, Adelaide, (equal 7th with 9 awards each) Melbourne Grammar School, North Sydney Boys High School and The King's School, Parramatta, (equal 10th with 6 awards each) Launceston Grammar School, Melbourne High School, Wesley College, Melbourne and Xavier College.
  9. ^ "History". About Us. Melbourne Grammar School. Retrieved 2008-02-02. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "History of MGS". About Us. Melbourne Grammar School. Retrieved 2008-02-02. 
  11. ^ Leung, Chee Chee (2005-12-13). "Public school trio make mark on VCE results". National (Melbourne: The Age). Retrieved 2008-03-26. 
  12. ^ Sheahan, Paul (2007-12-17). "Outstanding VCE results". News (Melbourne Grammar School). Archived from the original on 2008-03-15. Retrieved 2008-03-26. 
  13. ^ Martin Rutherford (2006). "Martin Rutherford, Associate Composer, Australian Music Centre". Australian Music Centre. Retrieved 2007-08-14. 
  14. ^ "Old Melburnians - Alumni". Grammar Community. Melbourne Grammar School. Archived from the original on 2007-11-24. Retrieved 2008-02-02. 
  15. ^ The Argus, "The Tale of an Amazing Escape from Greece", 22 November 1941. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  16. ^ Coulthard-Clark, C.D (1981). "De Mole, Lancelot Eldin (1880 - 1950)". Australian Dictionary of Biography 8 (Online ed.). Melbourne, Vic.: Melbourne University Press. pp. 278–279. Retrieved 2008-03-26. 
  17. ^ Burke, Kelly (10 February 2004). "One of the old school". TV & Radio (Melbourne: The Age). Retrieved 2008-02-20. 
  18. ^ Who's Who in Australia 1971, 'Gibson, Aubrey Hickes Lawson'.

Further reading[edit]

  • Challenging Traditions, Weston Bate and Helen Penrose (2002)
  • Kiddle, J Beacham, (ed), Liber Melburniensis (1848-1936), Robertson & Mullens Ltd, Melbourne, 1937
  • Liber Melburniensis, Centenary edition 1858-1958, revised edition 1915-1995

External links[edit]