Camberwell Girls Grammar School

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Camberwell Girls Grammar School
Camberwell Girls Grammar School crest. Source: (CGGS website)
Canterbury, Victoria
Coordinates 37°49′5″S 145°3′35″E / 37.81806°S 145.05972°E / -37.81806; 145.05972Coordinates: 37°49′5″S 145°3′35″E / 37.81806°S 145.05972°E / -37.81806; 145.05972
Type Independent, Single-sex, Day school
Motto Utilis in Ministerium
(Usefulness in Service 2 Timothy)
Denomination Anglican
Established 1920[1]
Chairman Anthony Cant
Principal Debbie Dunwoody
Chaplain Helen Creed
Grades Early Learning to Year 12
Enrolment 750
Colour(s) Navy and White
Slogan "Educating Tomorrow's Woman"

Camberwell Girls Grammar School is an independent Anglican day school for girls located in Canterbury, an eastern suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Founded in 1920 in the hall of St Mark's Church in Camberwell, the school welcomes students of all cultures and currently caters for 750 students from Early Learning to Year 12.

The school is a member of the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA),[2] the Junior School Heads Association of Australia (JSHAA),[3] the Alliance of Girls' Schools Australasia (AGSA),[4] the Association of Independent Schools of Victoria (AISV),[1] and is a founding member of Girls Sport Victoria (GSV).[5]


Camberwell Girls Grammar School was founded in February 1920. Charged by the Archbishop of Melbourne, the Most Reverend Henry Lowther Clarke, the parishioners of St Mark's Church in Camberwell embarked on a significant project. Led by their vicar, the Reverend Hubert Brooksbank, they established St Mark's Parish School.

With just $1,000, Brooksbank built a brick hall for the school to operate from. Opening with eight pupils, both boys and girls, the school flourished and by 1925 there were 70 students and by 1926 the school had outgrown its home.

In late 1926, the school council purchased "Torrington", a nearby homes, for $7,500. With frontage to both Torrington and Woodstock streets, the property was in an ideal position. The grounds and the main building had potential to be a school.

Over the 1926 Christmas holidays, the council members and families worked on the "Torrington" property and in February 1927 the school moved to its new home.

In November 1964, Ormiston Girls' School, the oldest girls' school on the Australian mainland and the oldest in Victoria, accepted the offer to merge with Camberwell Girls Grammar School. The following year, the two schools came together as one.


The school's junior school, Ormiston, was established in 1849 and is the oldest girls' school on Australian mainland and the oldest in Victoria. The history of Ormiston is one of private enterprise by pioneer women, mostly young women, who spent years of their lives in service of the infant state educating girls of the time. They enjoyed no financial assistance from church or public funds.

At 166 years of age, Ormiston has only had a few sites. For 52 years it operated out of buildings in East Melbourne before moving to Mont Albert in 1901. In 1964, Ormiston accepted the offer to merge with Camberwell Girls Grammar School. The following year, the two schools officially become one with the junior students working from the St John’s Avenue Campus (Ormiston) and the senior students at the Torrington Street campus. In 2007, the two schools were formally united as one with the opening of the junior school on Mont Albert Road.

House system[edit]

The school population is divided into four houses. The school house system builds spirit and maintains tradition. Being part of a house ensures that girls are connected across year levels.

Lawrence House (Red) Received its name from George D. Lawrence, a lawyer who was a member of the founding council of the school and remained very active in the council for 20 years.

Schofield House (Yellow) Received its name from the Reverend James Schofield, chairman of the school council from 1921. His daughters were among the first students at the school.

Taylor House (Green) Received its name from Louisa Taylor, the first headmistress of the school. She was headmistress from 1928 to 1959.

Singleton House (Blue) Was established in 1965 when Ormiston became part of Camberwell Girls Grammar School. Received its name from the Singleton sisters former, headmistresses of Ormiston.


Period Details[6]
1920 – 1927 D. G. Collier
1928 – 1959 Louisa S. Taylor
1959 – 1973 Dorothy E. Hall
1973 – 1988 Barbara Sutton, former student of the school
1989 – 2000 Barbara Fary OAM
2001 – 2014 Anne Feehan
2014 – present Debbie Dunwoody

Notable alumnae[edit]

Alumnae of Camberwell Girls Grammar School are known as "Old Grammarians" or "Old Girls" and may elect to join the school's alumni association, the Old Grammarians' Association (OGA).[7] Some notable Old Grammarians include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Camberwell Girls Grammar School". Find a School. Association of Independent Schools of Victoria. 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-16. 
  2. ^ "AHISA Schools". Victoria. Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia. January 2008. Archived from the original on 2007-11-02. Retrieved 2008-01-16. 
  3. ^ "JSHAA Victorian Directory of Members". Victoria Branch. Junior School Heads' Association of Australia. 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-16. 
  4. ^ Butler, Jan (2006). "Member Schools". Members. The Alliance of Girls' Schools Australasia. Retrieved 2008-01-16. 
  5. ^ Mawkes, Leonie (2005). "Member Schools". Profile. Girls Sport Victoria. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  6. ^ "History". Welcome. Camberwell Girls Grammar School. Archived from the original on 2008-01-05. Retrieved 2008-01-16. 
  7. ^ "Welcome to the Grammarians". Alumni. Camberwell Girls Grammar School. Archived from the original on 2008-01-03. Retrieved 2008-01-16. 
  8. ^ Veitch, Harriet (1 March 2013). "First female speaker had a lot to say". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  9. ^ "Good grades at acting school". Progress Leader. 4 September 2007. 

External links[edit]