Christ Church Grammar School

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Christ Church Grammar School
CCGS crest square.jpg
Western Australia

Coordinates31°59′12″S 115°46′38″E / 31.98667°S 115.77722°E / -31.98667; 115.77722Coordinates: 31°59′12″S 115°46′38″E / 31.98667°S 115.77722°E / -31.98667; 115.77722
TypeIndependent, Day and Boarding
MottoLatin: Deus Dux Doctrina Lux
(God is our leader, learning is our light)
Sister schoolSt. Hilda's Anglican School for Girls
PrincipalAlan Jones
ChaplainNicholas Russell
Colour(s)Blue and Gold

Christ Church Grammar School is an independent Anglican day and boarding school for boys from Pre-Kindergarten to Year 12. Located in Perth, Western Australia. The School overlooks Freshwater Bay on the Swan River, Claremont.

The School is a member of the Public Schools' Association (PSA), Independent Primary School Heads of Australia (IPSHA),[2] Association of Independent Schools in Western Australia (AISWA),[3] Association of Headmasters of Independent Schools Australia (AHISA)[4] and Australian Boarding Schools' Association (ABSA).[5]

Christ Church Grammar School was founded in 1910 by the Reverend W.J. McClemans. The School opened on 7 February 1910 as Christ Church Preparatory School with a single classroom and nine boys.[6] In 1917, the school's status was raised from a preparatory school to university junior examination level and renamed Christ Church School.[7] In 1931, it became known as Christ Church Grammar School.[8]

A total of 1650 boys, 110 of whom are boarders, are enrolled at Christ Church. More than 1100 boys study in the Senior School (Years 7 to 12) and over 500 attend the Preparatory School (Pre-Kindergarten to Year 6).[9]

As a non-selective school, Christ Church caters for a wide range of boys from those who are academically gifted through to students with learning challenges. It also offers places to overseas students.


Christ Church Grammar School opened on 7 February 1910 as the Christ Church Preparatory School.[10] The founder, Canon W J McClemans, was the rector of Christ Church Claremont. The School opened with a single classroom and an enrolment of nine day boys.[11]

In 1917, the school's status was raised from preparatory school to university junior examination level and it was renamed Christ Church School.[12] During this year, the Old Boys' Association was established and legislation by Synod brought Christ Church and Guildford Grammar School under the control of one representative council. Christ Church did not have any representation on the Council until 1920,[13] and during this time, financial difficulties put the existence of the school into jeopardy and under threat of closure by the council.[14]

From the 1920s through to the 1940s, the school continued to grow. However, financial hardship and uncertainty continued and led to the resignation of several headmasters. When Christ Church gained its own school council in 1950,[15] it was considered a turning point in the history of the school.

In 1951, PM Moyes became headmaster and throughout the post-war period, Christ Church boomed. Enrolments increased from 259 in 1951, to 853 in 1966.[16] During this period, a large number of buildings and facilities were built and two houses were purchased. A block of land next to the Claremont campus, was acquired as well as 20 acres in Mt Claremont for use as playing fields.[17]

The students began to experience academic and sporting success. In 1956, the school was invited to join the Public Schools' Association (PSA);[18] in 1957, the school was awarded its first General Exhibition;[19] in 1958, the school won the Head of the River race for the first time;[20] and in 1967, Peter Edwards became the school's first old boy to be awarded a Rhodes Scholarship.[21]

Moyes retired in 1981 after serving for 31 years as headmaster and was succeeded by AJ de V Hill in 1982.[22] The next five years included significant developments in the school curriculum and system of pastoral care. The outdoor education centre at Kooringal, near Dwellingup, was extensively redeveloped and its courses became an essential part of each student's education.[23]

Financial support from parents and old boys enabled the school to spend over $2 million on new facilities in less than three years. A major appeal in 1984 yielded $800,000.[24]

Hill served for six years as headmaster (before leaving to become Headmaster of Sydney Grammar School) and was followed by JJS Madin in January 1988. Madin, whose leadership approach was innovative and team-based, managed the next major projects in the school's development. These included a new science block and the redevelopment of the Senior School – a $4 million project that commenced in June 1987.[25]

Madin resigned at the end of 2000 and in 2001, GE Wynne took over as headmaster. In his first year, the council introduced the school mission – 'Boys educated to know, to do, to live with others and to be' (UNESCO 1996).[26]

Under Wynne's leadership, there was significant development in the School’s buildings and grounds, as well as an increase in the student population. In 2016 Wynne was appointed to the position of Headmaster and Executive Principal of Christ's College, Christchurch, New Zealand. At the end of 2015 Alan Jones, formerly Acting Headmaster/Deputy Headmaster of the Hutchins School in Hobart, Tasmania, was appointed to the position of Principal of Christ Church.


Canon W J McClemans 1914
Headmaster/Principal Period
The Revd Canon W.J. McClemans 1910–1915
S.C. Noake 1916–1921
H.S. Thompson 1922–1922
The Revd Canon L.W. Parry 1923–1932
B.T. Walters 1933–1942
The Revd L.R.D.B. Jupp 1943–1947
A. Todd 1948–1949
The Revd J.F.A. Dobson (acting) 1950–1950
P.M. Moyes 1951–1981
A.J. de V Hill 1982–1987
J.J.S. Madin 1988–2000
G.E. Wynne 2000–2015
A.C. Jones 2016–Present



Christ Church Grammar School has four campuses.

Claremont Campus[edit]

The main campus, known as the Claremont campus, is located on the corner of Stirling Highway and Queenslea Drive in Claremont approximately nine kilometres from the Perth CBD. The Claremont campus is home to both the Senior and Preparatory schools. Its Swan River frontage provides for the school's water sports program, which includes rowing and sailing. Other facilities include the chapel, a visual arts, design and technology centre, a state-of-the-art information and technology centre, gymnasium precinct and a heated 50m swimming pool. The Claremont campus also houses the School's Residential Community, which accommodates 110 boys from regional Western Australia, interstate and overseas.[28]

Mount Claremont playing fields[edit]

The Mount Claremont sporting campus, located three kilometres north of the Claremont campus, provides eight hectares of playing fields for cricket, hockey, football and rugby.[29]

St John's Wood playing fields[edit]

Opened in May 2017 St John's Wood, located close to the existing playing fields at Mount Claremont, provides a further eight hectares of playing fields.


The School’s outdoor education program is centred at Kooringal, located on the Darling Scarp, 110 km south east of Perth and 15 km from the mill town of Dwellingup. Kooringal, meaning "home by the water" in the Aboriginal dialect of the district, was established in 1972 as a staffed and self-contained outdoor education centre for Christ Church students in Years 5 to 11. Kooringal is an integral part of the School's education.[30]


Centre for Ethics[edit]

The Centre for Ethics resulted from the 1993 Strategic Plan. Officially opened in 1996 by Dr Fiona Stanley, the Centre offers a program of seminars, lectures, discussion groups and a newsletter. The Centre brings people, who are seen as leaders in ethical issues, to the School.[31] The aim of the program is to enable students to engage in the community’s conversation on ethics and spirituality. The director and founder of the Centre for Ethics is Canon Frank Sheehan.

Service in Action[edit]

The Service in Action program replaced the Pilgrimage of Hope in 2013. The program based on Christian values provides an opportunity to learn through service to others, particularly those in circumstances of disadvantage. Throughout the year students raise funds for the program and participate in humanitarian pilgrimages to remote Indigenous Australian communities and to schools and orphanages overseas.[32]

Midnite Youth Theatre Company[edit]

The Midnite Youth Theatre Company is named after their first production, a work adapted from Randolf Stow’s bushranger novel Midnite. The company was formed in 1987 with 40 actors and 16 musicians from Christ Church Grammar School and Methodist Ladies' College. In 1988, the company toured the United Kingdom, representing Australian youth for the bicentenary. Founded by Tony Howes, Director of Drama at Christ Church from 1986 to 2011, Midnight Youth Theatre Company seeks to stretch its members with music theatre, opera, plays, experimental works, street theatre, group-devised pieces and commissions.[33] The current Artistic Director is Gregory Jones.[34]


PSA Premierships[edit]

Since joining the Public Schools Association (PSA) in 1957, Christ Church has been named the 'Champion School' on the following occasions:

  • Badminton – 2003
  • Basketball – 1998, 1999, 2013
  • Cricket – 1977, 1990, 2017
  • Cross Country – 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2017, 2018
  • Football – 1971, 1974, 1977
  • Golf – 1999, 2002, 2008
  • Hockey – 1966, 1967, 1973, 1986, 2002, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2017
  • Rowing – 1958, 1959, 1961, 1963, 1964, 1967, 1979, 1981, 1986, 1992, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2018, 2019 (C.A. Hamer Cup)
  • Rugby – 1961, 1962, 1966, 2001
  • Soccer – 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016
  • Surfing – 2005, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014
  • Swimming – 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1995, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2017, 2018
  • Tennis – 1987, 1995,1996, 2001, 2003, 2008, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
  • Water Polo – 2002, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2018[35]

Peter Moyes Centre[edit]

The Peter Moyes Centre (PMC – formerly the Education Support Unit) was the initiative of former headmaster Peter Moyes, who from the beginning of his term as headmaster, believed that the School should provide for students of all abilities. In 1969, the School established a remedial centre for students with specific difficulties with literacy and numeracy.[36] The centre now caters for students in the preparatory and senior schools who have a range of physical or intellectual disabilities. Each student has an individual program based on his educational needs and, where possible, students are integrated into mainstream classes. The focus of the program is the development of independence that will prepare the students for life after school.[37]

Outdoor Education Program[edit]


Venture is a 10-day hike for Year 10 students, which places 14 groups on walk routes through the bushland and coastal setting of Walpole Nornalup National Park. A teacher and an outdoor education specialist accompany each group.[38]

Venture was developed during 1989 and 1990 with the first camp in 1991. The aim of Venture is to give Year 10 students greater focus by presenting them with real challenges where they can practice goal setting and objectives, and develop problem-solving skills in a group situation.[36]


The Leeuwin II

In 2011, Christ Church established a partnership with the Leeuwin Ocean Adventure Foundation whereby every Year 8 student spends a week on board the tall ship as part of the School's outdoor education program.

On the voyage, students learn about sails, lines and nautical terms, health and safety, goal setting and teamwork, interspersed with daily tasks including morning exercises, cleaning duties (known as 'Happy Hour') and the Leeuwin Olympics. The boys are sorted into 4 watches and for the rest of the trip they side with the watch (either; Blue, white, red and green)[39]


Each year students from Years 5 to 9 attend Christ Church's outdoor education centre at Kooringal. The key components of the outdoor education program at Kooringal are the promotion of community living, care for the environment and the development of resilience. Students participate in an expedition, canoeing, kayaking, climbing and abseiling. Students learn about the jarrah forest environment and how to identify local flora and fauna.[40]

Army cadets[edit]

The Christ Church Army Cadet Unit was established in 1936 as an adjunct to the 44th Battalion.[41] This affiliation ended in 1941 and efforts by staff and students led to the formation of the Senior Cadet Corp in 1942.[42] During World War II, the cadet corp continued to grow. It was during this period that a miniature shooting range was constructed at the School and in 1947, the School’s shooting team won the Commonwealth Cup for the first time.[43]

The cadet unit reached its peak in 1966 with over 272[44] cadets in three companies and a fife band. Changes in government support for school cadets during the 1970s initiated a change to more emphasis on outdoor education.[42] In 1988, participation in cadets was offered as a weekly activity for senior students. Prior to this, cadets was compulsory for boys in Year 10. The focus of training moved from outdoor education activities to military activities using military equipment, with weekend training conducted in military training areas.[45]

From 1988 WO1 Mick O’Sullivan OAM MM and Colonel Bob Peterson RFD took over control of running the Cadet Unit. Mick O'Sullivan himself had received a Military Medal (MM) from rendering first aid under intense fire, during the Vietnam war on July 30, 1971.[46]

From 1993 to 2013 when WO1 Mick O'Sullivan and Colonel Bob Peterson stood down from their roles at the Cadet Unit, Christ Church Grammar School was awarded the top unit in the state on sixteen occasions out of a possible twenty one.[47]

Today, the cadet unit comprises three platoons with over 90 cadets. It remains a voluntary activity with a focus on leadership and self-discipline, offering students an opportunity develop confidence and a wide range of skills.

Several of the cadets have gone on to serve in various roles throughout the Australian Army.

2011 marks the 75-year anniversary of cadets at Christ Church.

House system[edit]

The house system at Christ Church was introduced in 1921 in an effort "to arouse more enthusiasm in the games".[48] Initially, there were three houses – Highbury, Romsey and Queenslea. In 1925, R.L. Beatty donated the Beatty Cup for Inter-House Competition.[49] This cup is awarded annually to the champion house for inter-house sporting and cultural activities. The Eagling Cup is awarded annually to the house with the best scholastic achievement and was donated to the school by Mrs Eagling in 1945. Eagling taught at Christ Church from 1942 to 1945.[49]

Over the years, the number of houses increased to match growth in student numbers. In 2005, Headmaster Garth Wynne modified the house system, removing the two boarding houses (McClemans House & Walters House) from the system and integrating the boarding students into the remaining eight day boy houses. Today, there are eight houses in the Senior School and four in the Preparatory School. The houses are named after significant people and places within the history of the school.[50]

Senior school[edit]

House names in order of establishment Colours Symbol
Romsey Navy blue Falcon
Queenslea Red Tiger
Craigie Gold Cobra
Wolsey Sky blue Wolf
Jupp Emerald Green Panther
Noake Brown Owl
Moyes Bottle green Knight
Hill Orange Bull


Preparatory school[edit]

House names Colours
Karda Yellow
Kearla Blue
Wardung Green
Yonga Red


In 1911, requests were made to Canon McClemans to take boarders. Initially, there was no boarding house and the first boarders resided with the McClemans family in the Rectory.[52] Boarding reached its peak in the 1980s when almost a quarter of the student population were boarders. Today, there are 110 boarders who live in the Walters Residential Community. The residential community at Christ Church is organised to facilitate integration between the boarders and day boys enabling boarders to be more involved in the wider school community.[53]


Old Boys' Association[edit]

Founded in 1917, the Old Boys' Association (OBA) is an independent body administered by a committee of former students. The association functions to further the interests of the school, to provide support to school and student activities and to encourage social interaction between its members. The OBA also provides funding for a number of scholarships for students of merit, who would otherwise be unable to attend Christ Church. Upon leaving Christ Church, former students are invited to join the Old Boys' Association. The OBA maintains contact with former students through the OBA e-Newsletter, social networking and regular reunions.[54]

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable alumni of the school include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Christ Church Grammar School". Schools. Australian Boarding Schools' Association. 2009. Retrieved 6 March 2009.
  2. ^ "Independent Primary School Heads of Australia". Retrieved 22 June 2011.
  3. ^ "Association of Independent Schools of Western Australia". Retrieved 22 June 2011.
  4. ^ "Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia". Retrieved 22 June 2010.
  5. ^ "Australian Boarding Schools Association". Retrieved 22 June 2011.
  6. ^ Some sources say 16 pupils
  7. ^ Edwards P & Hillman W (2010). A School with a View: A Centenary History of Christ Church Grammar School, Perth 1910–2010 p. 35. Claremont: Christ Church Grammar School
  8. ^ The Mitre Vol. X, No 2, August 1931, P3
  9. ^ My School, accessed 9 April 2014 <>
  10. ^ Year Book for 1910, Diocese of Perth, WA, p. 56, Perth Diocesan Archives
  11. ^ Some sources say 16
  12. ^ Diocesan Trustees Minutes 13 July 1917, Perth Diocesan Archives
  13. ^ Diocesan Trustees Minutes 18 September 1917 Perth Diocesan Archives
  14. ^ Council of the Church of England Synod Minutes, 22 August 1921, Perth Diocesan Archives
  15. ^ The Mitre Vol. XIII. No 2. December 1950, p.6
  16. ^ The Chronicle No 1. February 1967, P. 1
  17. ^ The Chronicle, No. 2., July 1967, P. 2
  18. ^ The West Australian, 1 November 1956, p. 1
  19. ^ The Mitre Vol. XVI, No. 1, December 1958, p. 7
  20. ^ The West Australian, 28 April 1958, p. 26
  21. ^ Mitre, Vol. XVIII, No. 3, June 1967, p. 3
  22. ^ Christ Church Community Notice, JH Lord, 'Appointment of the New Headmaster', 31 January 1981, Christ Church Grammar School Archives
  23. ^ Hill, Annual Report, December 1983, Christ Church Grammar School Archives
  24. ^ Mitre, Vol. XX, Number 6, 1984, p. 8
  25. ^ The Mitre (2000). P. 14
  26. ^ Edwards P & Hillman W (2010). A School with a View: A Centenary History of Christ Church Grammar School, Perth 1910–2010. Claremont: Christ Church Grammar School, P. 329
  27. ^ Edwards, P. and Hillman W. (2010) A School with a View – A Centenary History of Christ Church Grammar School Perth 1910–2010, Christ Church Grammar School, Claremont
  28. ^ My School Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), viewed 17 April 2014,
  29. ^ Christ Church Grammar School, Viewed 17 April 2014
  30. ^ The Mitre 2013
  31. ^ Edwards, P and Hillman, W (2010). A School with a View: A Centenary History of Christ Church Grammar School Perth 1910–2010, P. 301. Christ Church Grammar School, Claremont
  32. ^ Future of service learning,The Chronicle No. 44, p.45 2013
  33. ^ The Midnite Youth Theatre Company. Viewed 12/5/2011
  34. ^ The Midnite Youth Theatre Company. Viewed 12/5/2011 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 April 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-01.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  35. ^ Christ Church Grammar School Diary 2012. Christ Church Grammar School, Claremont, p.126
  36. ^ a b Edward P. and Hillman W. (2010). A School with a View: A Centenary History of Christ Church Grammar School Perth 1910–2010. p. 295, Christ Church Grammar School, Claremont
  37. ^ Christ Church Grammar School, Peter Moyes Centre (Senior School), Archived 29 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed 14 July 2011
  38. ^ Heat Poses Greatest Challenge to Venture Boys. Chronicle, No 42, 2011
  39. ^ "Leuwin Leaves Lasting Impression". Christ Church Grammar School. Archived from the original on 29 September 2011. Retrieved 7 July 2011.
  40. ^ The Mitre 2010. P63, Christ Church Grammar School, Claremont
  41. ^ The Mitre Vol. XI, No. 6, July 1936 P. 5
  42. ^ a b Edwards, Peter and Hillman, Wendy (2010). A School with a View: A Centenary History of Christ Church Grammar School, Perth 1910–2010. P. 99
  43. ^ The Mitre Vol. XII, No. 11, December 1947. P.38
  44. ^ The Mitre Vol. XVIII, No. 2 December 1966. P.31
  45. ^ The Mitre Vol. XX, No. 10, 1988. P. 43
  46. ^
  47. ^
  48. ^ "The Mitre", Easter Term 1921
  49. ^ a b Edwards, Peter and Hillman, Wendy (2010). A School with a View: A Centenary History of Christ Church Grammar School, Perth 1910–2010, p. 455, Christ Church Grammar School, Claremont
  50. ^ "The Houses: History" Christ Church Grammar School, viewed 18 December 2011, <"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 April 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-02.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)>
  51. ^ "Christ Church Grammar School Diary 2011", Claremont, 2011.
  52. ^ The Western Mail, 'Christ Church School, Its History, Activities and Aims', 10 February 1927, p. 30.
  53. ^ Riverviews Boarding Newsletter, Number 8, April 2004, 'Square of Care, Integration'.
  54. ^ Christ Church Grammar School Old Boys' Association., Accessed 18 July 2011

External links[edit]