Cranbrook School, Sydney

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Cranbrook School
Cranbrook School, Sydney Logo.svg
Coordinates33°52′15″S 151°15′9″E / 33.87083°S 151.25250°E / -33.87083; 151.25250Coordinates: 33°52′15″S 151°15′9″E / 33.87083°S 151.25250°E / -33.87083; 151.25250
TypeIndependent, day and boarding
MottoLatin: Esse Quam Videri
(To be, rather than to seem to be[4])
ChairmanRoger Massey-Green
Deputy Headmaster/Head of Senior SchoolTim Browning
Deputy Head of School/Head of Junior SchoolMichele Marquet
Head of Pre-SchoolsHeidi Burke
Director of Students/Deputy Head of Senior SchoolGenevieve Whiteley
HeadmasterNicholas Sampson
ChaplainJames Vimpany
Key peopleF. T. Perkins (Founder)
Enrolment~1,369 (P–12)[3]
Colour(s)Red, white and blue             

Cranbrook School is an independent, day and boarding school for boys, located in Bellevue Hill and Rose Bay, both eastern suburbs of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Founded in 1918 with the Reverend Frederick Thomas Perkins as the first headmaster, Cranbrook has a non-selective enrolment policy and currently caters for approximately 1,300 students from Pre-school (4 years old) to Year 12 (18 years old),[3] including 97 boarders from Years 7 to 12.[5]

Cranbrook is affiliated with the International Coalition of Boys' Schools,[1] 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),[5] the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference,[8] and is a founding member of the Combined Associated Schools (CAS).[9]


On 1 December 1917, the former private home and vice-regal residence, Cranbrook, was bought at auction by an agent for Samuel Hordern. He was the main financial benefactor of a group of businessmen and churchmen aiming to establish an Anglican boys' school in the Eastern Suburbs. From December 1917 to June 1918, a provisional committee of twelve, comprising the founders and six additional men, prepared for the opening of the new school. They held meetings, ensured building renovations were completed, drew up the first articles of association and appointed the first Headmaster, Rev. F T Perkins. On 6 June 1918, the provisional committee reformed itself as the first council of Cranbrook School and organised the official opening of the school for 22 July 1918.

From the time of its foundation in 1918, Cranbrook School established a tradition of high teaching standards,[citation needed] a comprehensive curriculum and an acknowledgement of the importance of boys' physical and social development and giving individual attention to every boy. As well, boys were expected to contribute their spirit toward the community through participation in social service and church. Cranbrook also has a strong history of sporting and academic success throughout recent years.[citation needed]

Charles Kingsford Smith during a visit to Cranbrook in 1928


Headmaster Qualifications Years Education Other positions held
Rev Frederick T Perkins MA 1918–1932 Townsville Grammar School
St Paul's College, University of Sydney
Brigadier Iven G Mackay BA HonLLD 1933–1939 Newington College
University of Sydney
Sir Brian W Hone OBE BA(Hons) MA FACE 1940–1951 Prince Alfred College
University of Adelaide
New College, Oxford
Mr Gethyn E Hewan MA MACE 1951–1963 Marlborough College
University of Cambridge
Yale University
Mr Mark Bishop OBE BSc ARACI FACE 1963–1985 Parramatta High School
University of Sydney
Dr Bruce N Carter AM BA EdM EdD 1985–2000 Knox Grammar School
University of Sydney
Harvard University
University of Toronto
Mr Jeremy J S Madin BA(Hons) DipEd 2001–2012 Geelong Grammar School
Australian National University
University of Canberra
Nicholas A Sampson MA PGCE 2012–present Gillingham School
The Howard School, Kent
Selwyn College, Cambridge
Westminster College, Oxford


Cranbrook school is situated over two campuses; the Senior school (Years 7 to 12) are located on the main campus in suburban Bellevue Hill, while the Junior School, for students from Kindergarten to Year 6, is located in nearby Rose Bay.[10]

House system[edit]

Cranbrook has a system of houses from year seven to twelve. This system was created in order for boys to socialise better between different year groups, where senior boys would be acting as juniors' mentors within the house. There are currently ten day houses, with about 80 boys each. There are also two boarding houses with around 40 boys each.

Day houses[edit]

The school has ten day boy houses -

     Chelmsford: Founded 1931 - Named after Governor Lord Chelmsford

     Strickland: Founded 1931 - Named after Governor Sir Gerald Strickland

     Davidson: Founded 1941 - Named after Governor Sir Walter Davidson

     Northcott: Founded 1957 - Named after Governor Sir John Northcott

     Wakehurst: Founded 1960 - Named after Governor Lord Wakehurst

     Woodward: Founded 1969 - Named after Governor Sir Eric Woodward

     Hone: Founded 1970 - Named after Headmaster Sir Brian Hone (1940–1951)

     Cutler: Founded 1980 - Named after Governor Sir Roden Cutler

     Perkins: Founded 1994 - Named after founding Headmaster Rev. Frederick Perkins (1918–1932)

     Harvey: Founded 2012 - Named after founding school council chairman Sir John Musgrave Harvey (1918–1938)

Boarding houses[edit]

Cranbrook has two Boarding Houses-

     Rawson House

Founded in 1931, it was named after the former Governor of New South Wales, Sir Harry Rawson.

     Street House

Founded in 1957, it was named after the Sir Kenneth Street, a previous President of School Council.


Every year, the school community elects prefects from boys in Year 12 to serve the school and to enforce the daily routine. There are prefects, head of house prefects, a senior prefect (a duty that is shared between four prefects, each for one term) a second prefect and a head prefect.

Cranbrook Sports Pavilion was designed by John Horbury Hunt and is heritage-listed

Notable alumni[edit]

Alumni of Cranbrook School are known as "Old Cranbrookians" and may elect to join the schools alumni association, the Old Cranbrookians' Association (OCA).[11] For a list of notable Old Cranbrookians', see List of Old Boys of Cranbrook School, Sydney. These ″Old Cranbrookians″ include such notable names as: Kerry Packer, David Gyngell, Gabriella Jabison (the costume designer), Hon. Tim Bruxner Olympic sprinter Steven Solomon, and Murray Rose.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Cranbrook School". Member Directory. International Girls' Schools Coalition. 2007. Retrieved 20 May 2008.
  2. ^ "Cranbrook School". School Directory. SchoolSeek. 2008. Archived from the original on 22 February 2008. Retrieved 18 January 2008.
  3. ^ a b c "Annual Report 2006" (PDF). Publications. Cranbrook School. 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 August 2007. Retrieved 18 January 2008.
  4. ^ "Cranbrook School". Schools. Study in Australia. 2005. Retrieved 18 January 2008.
  5. ^ a b "Cranbrook School". Schools. Australian Boarding Schools' Association. 2007. Archived from the original on 17 November 2007. Retrieved 18 January 2008.
  6. ^ "AHISA Schools". New South Wales. Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia. January 2008. Archived from the original on 2 November 2007. Retrieved 18 January 2008.
  7. ^ "JSHAA New South Wales Directory of Members". New South Wales Branch. Junior School Heads' Association of Australia. 2008. Archived from the original on 17 January 2008. Retrieved 18 January 2008.
  8. ^ "International Members". HMC Schools. The Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference. Archived from the original on 15 March 2008. Retrieved 11 March 2008.
  9. ^ "Combined Associated Schools". CAS. Cranbrook School. Archived from the original on 30 August 2007. Retrieved 28 January 2008.
  10. ^ "Woollahra and Surrounds Schools Directory" (PDF). Woollahra Municipal Council. 2007. Retrieved 28 January 2008.
  11. ^ "Old Cranbrookians'". About Us. Cranbrook School. Retrieved 28 January 2008.

External links[edit]