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Scotch College, Adelaide

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Scotch College
Torrens Park, SA
Coordinates 34°58′55″S 138°36′57″E / 34.98194°S 138.61583°E / -34.98194; 138.61583Coordinates: 34°58′55″S 138°36′57″E / 34.98194°S 138.61583°E / -34.98194; 138.61583
Type Independent, Co-educational, Day & Boarding
Motto Scientia, Humanitas, Religio
Denomination Uniting Church (formerly Presbyterian)
Established 1919
Chairman Mr. Raymond Spencer[1]
Principal John Newton
Enrolment 1030 (P-12)
Colour(s) Blue & Gold         
Slogan "One School"[2]
Mascot Lion rampant
Reunion marking the 50th Anniversary of the wartime use of Birralee and neighbouring Brierly Lodge by Scotch College. (May 1992)

Scotch College is an independent, Uniting Church, co-educational, day and boarding school, located on two adjacent campuses in Torrens Park and Mitcham, inner-southern suburbs of Adelaide, South Australia.

Founded in 1919 out of the earlier Kyre College (1902-1918), and incorporated under an Act of Parliament in 1922, Scotch currently caters for approximately 1000 students including more than 100 boarders in Years 7 to 12.[3]

Scotch College is affiliated with the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference,[4] the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA),[5] the Association of Independent Schools of South Australia (AISSA),[6] the Australian Boarding Schools' Association (ABSA),[7] the Junior School Heads Association of Australia (JSHAA),[8] the Independent Schools Sport Association (ISSA) and the Independent Girls' Schools Sport Association (IGSSA).

On 4 September 2014, it was announced that Dr. John Newton would become the Principal from January 2015 for 5 years.[9] He was previously headmaster of Taunton School in the UK.[10]


Scotch College was founded as a Presbyterian school for boys, a niche that was not served in South Australia previously.

In the late 19th Century, there were several attempts to found a Presbyterian boys school in South Australia. At the time, Presbyterianism was the fifth largest religion in the colony, after Anglicanism, Roman Catholicism, Congregationalism, and Methodism.[11] Only 5-10% of the colony's inhabitants belonged to that denomination.[11] Many of the larger denominations already had private schools, such as St. Peter's College and Pulteney Grammar School (Anglican), and Prince Alfred College (Methodist). Although Scotch College, Melbourne had been successfully running as a Presbyterian boys school in Victoria since 1851, funding shortages prevented the funding of a South Australian Presbyterian school until later. One reason for the delay was that early funds raised for Scotch College were diverted to found the University of Adelaide instead.[12]

In 1902, Kyre College, which would eventually become Scotch College, was founded by David Henry Hollidge (1868–1963) in Malvern and in 1903 moved to Unley Park.[13] The school grew quickly and prospered until about 1913, after which enrollments declined as a result of an agricultural downturn and eventually World War I.[11]

In the meantime, the idea of founding an independent Presbyterian boys school remained popular, and funding was finally secured after the War after persistent leadership and fundraising by John Seymour, a Presbyterian minister, who also helped to found Presbyterian Ladies College, now Seymour College.[14] In 1918, Kyre College became Scotch College and first operated under that name in 1919. An enduring legend associated with the College is that it was founded in the memory of the "Sons of Scotland who fought and died in The Great War of 1914–1918".[15]

The re-formed school was initially called Kyre Scotch College. The name "Scotch" was added due to the Scottish origins of Presbyterianism, just as it was for Scotch College, Melbourne. The first headmaster was Norman Gratton, previously a Presbyterian Church elder, and the College officially incorporated under an Act of Parliament in 1922. The founding Chairman was Henry Darnley Naylor, an English born, Cambridge-educated classics scholar, described by the Australian Dictionary of Biography as "an uncommonly stimulating teacher... [who] left a lifelong mark on his students, morally and socially as well as intellectually."[16]

Scotch College, ca. 1920

In 1920 the College moved to the current location of the Middle and Senior School campus in Torrens Park, formerly the property of Sir Robert Richard Torrens, Sir Walter Walton Hughes, and Mr Robert Barr Smith.[11] The new location allowed Scotch to become the first school in South Australia to have a fully operational farm on campus for the purposes of agricultural education.[17]

During World War II, the property was used by the United States Army and then the Royal Australian Air Force, and the school was forced to move to Birralee, Belair and Brierly Lodge from May 1942 to February 1944. "Gratton House", now the Middle School, was built as a memorial to 57 Old Collegians who were killed in World War II.

The College acquired the lease to Goose Island in 1966, and has incorporated trips there as part of Outdoor Education since. The college further expanded its outdoor and environmental education with the acquisition of its Kyre Campus on Kangaroo Island in 2004.[17]

Under the leadership of Charles Fisher, headmaster from 1962 - 1969, at the end of 1965 the junior school was instituted as a separate school from the senior College.[18] In 1968 construction of the College Chapel was completed. Previously, students had walked to Hawthorn Presbyterian Church for religious services.[11]

In 1972 the College became co-educational under the reformist Headmaster Philip Roff, and the Middle School was founded the following year. Initially the Middle School consisted of years 7 and 8; in 2002 Year 9 was added to the Middle School. In 1977 the Presbyterian Church of Australia merged with the Methodist and Congregational churches to form the Uniting Church of Australia and Scotch College changed its religious affiliation accordingly. Today,[19] the College is administered by a Council of Governors in connection with the Uniting Church in Australia.[19]

In 1993 the College introduced the requirement for all students to use laptop computers, beginning with Year 7. Since 1999, all students have used laptops.[17]

The school's current alma mater was composed in 2007 by Anthony Hubmayer and a group of staff and students. It is set to the tune of the Scottish melody Highland Cathedral.[20]

Under the leadership of Tim Oughton, Scotch introduced the Yalari scholarship programme in 2008, which offers scholarships to students from indigenous communities to attend the College.


Scotch College is situated on two neighbouring campuses, covering over 20 hectares in the Torrens Park area of Mitcham, about 8 kilometres south of Adelaide, in the foothills of the Mount Lofty Ranges.[21] The two campuses of the College are:

  • Torrens Park Campus, catering for the Middle School (Years 7 to 9) and the Senior College (Years 10 to 12).
  • Junior School Campus catering for students from Reception to Year 6 in connection to an Early Learning Centre for children from three years of age.

The college also owns or leases two island properties used for outdoor and environmental education: Goose Island, since 1966, and Kyre Campus on Kangaroo Island since 2004.[17]


The Torrens Park Campus includes the following facilities:

  • The Barr-Smith Theatre, a historic theatre where plays and productions are staged
  • Fisher Chapel, named after former Headmaster Charles Fisher
  • Rosevear Boarding Precinct
  • Drawing room which is used to host various functions
  • Agricultural farm
  • 3 dance studios
  • The Soundhouse, a multimedia recording studio
  • Private music tuition rooms, and larger rooms for ensemble work
  • Two fully equipped gymnasiums
  • Heated swimming pool
  • 11 tennis courts
  • Two large ovals with facilities for football, soccer, hockey and athletics
  • Two computer labs providing access to CAD and PhotoShop
  • Design and technology classrooms with access to various machinery
  • Eight fully equipped science laboratories
  • Fully equipped classrooms for various subjects
  • Carparks
  • EFM Health Gym
  • The Ligertwood Library, named after Sir George Ligertwood, a Judge of the Supreme Court of South Australia, Chancellor of the University of Adelaide, and a long time governor of the College[22]


The school has a strong focus on the use of information and communication technology (ICT). Every Middle and Senior school student is required to have a laptop, and most school work is done electronically, helping students to develop independence and organisational skills.

Junior school students learn basic robotics, clay-mation and film making.

Performing arts

Scotch College has traditionally[when?] had a strong Performing Arts emphasis with many students excelling in the area such as actress Sarah Snook.[citation needed] Students can elect to study dance, drama and music as either a curriculum subject or as a co-curricula activity. The Scotch Performing Arts Co-Curricula Enrichment (SPACE) program delivers an opportunity for students to be involved in major productions. Performing Arts facilities at Scotch include three dance studios, the Barr-Smith Theatre, extensive drama classrooms, private and ensemble music rooms, the Chapel and a multimedia recording facility, the "Soundhouse".


Scotch College has provided boarding facilities for students since the school’s establishment in 1919. In 2011, the College opened a new Rosevear Boarding Precinct to significantly enhance facilities, which include spacious individual and shared bedrooms, large common rooms with kitchenettes, laundry and storage areas, study spaces, a tutors’ suite, and a large outdoor barbecue area.[3] Managed by a Director and Deputy Director of Boarding, the College’s boarding house currently accommodates more than 100 students each year from Years 7-12, both male and female.

Positive education

Scotch College is committed to "positive education" and has adopted various programs and principles from US psychologist and educator, Dr Martin Seligman, as part of the school’s overall education offering. In 2011, Scotch became the first school in South Australia[citation needed] to formally implement positive psychology programs as part of the school’s curriculum.[23]


Scotch College pipe band and highland dancers at the City of Adelaide clipper's 150th anniversary at Port Adelaide, 17 May 2014.

The name Scotch College reflects the school's Scottish heritage, which is most powerfully expressed through the Caledonian Corps. Although the College was founded in 1919, there was no caledonian band until almost 40 years later. Not until the advent of the Cadet Corps, and the need this generated for a band that could provide suitable marching music, was a band founded and funded. At present the band continues despite the cadet corps not having existed for over 30 years.[citation needed]

Alma Mater (school song)

The current school song was written in 2007 by Anthony Hubmayer and a group of school community members.[24] It is set to the tune of Highland Cathedral.


We will always be united here
True to the spirit that we hold dear
Honouring all our learning we shall be
Proudly leading for all to see

Friendships strong and knowledge true
The wealth of our years, all we can be
Our future rich in harmony
This is our time to shine

Scotchies one and all arise with me
Stand by our lion rampant flying free
Like those before and those to come
This is our college and we stand as one

Headmasters and Principals

Kyre College

  • David Henry Hollidge (1902 - 1915)
  • Ben Ellis (1916 - 1918)

Scotch College

  • Norman Gratton (1919 - 1951)
  • Patrick Disney (1952 - 1961)
  • Charles Fisher (1962 - 1969)
  • Philip Roff (1970 - 1975)
  • Wesley Miles (1975 - 1991)

The title "Headmaster" was replaced by the gender-neutral "Principal", beginning with Kenneth Webb in 1992.

  • Kenneth Webb (1992 - 2000)
  • Geoffrey Fisher (2001 - 2005)
  • Cheryl Bauer (acting, 2006)
  • Timothy Oughton (2007 - 2014)
  • John Newton (2015–present)

Formal portraits of the College's past Principals and Headmasters hang in the atrium of the chapel.

House system

Students are divided into houses for the purposes of intramural sport (e.g. sports day and swimming carnival), and in the middle and senior schools, for community and pastoral care. Most houses are named after Scottish Clans. The senior and middle school houses are: Cameron, Campbell, Douglas, Gordon, MacGregor, and Stewart. In the junior school the houses are Bruce, Kyre, Lovat, and Montrose. Kyre is named after Scotch College's predecessor, Kyre College. Lovat is named for a title in the Scottish peerage, Lord Lovat, and Montrose after a city in Scotland (Montrose, Angus). Former houses no longer in existence include Fraser, Anderson, Gratton, and Argyll.

Notable alumni

Alumni and former students are referred to as Old Collegians.



Public Service

The Arts



  • Howard Florey - Nobel Laureate, co-inventor of Penicillin[45][46]
  • Cyril Nathaniel Kleinig - pilot and airline manager[47]
  • Hedley Herbert Finlayson – mammalogist and biologist[48]
  • Richard Charles Leslie Bosworth – chemist and academic[49]
  • Eldred De Bracton Norman – inventor and racing-car driver[50]

See also


  1. ^ Scotch College > Members of Council Retrieved 5 June 2014
  2. ^ Scotch College website - homepage Retrieved 5 June 2014
  3. ^ a b "Boarding". Scotch College. 2014. Archived from the original on 16 June 2014. Retrieved 6 June 2014. 
  4. ^ "International Members". HMC Schools. The Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference. Archived from the original on 15 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-11. 
  5. ^ "AHISA Schools: South Australia". Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia. April 2007. Archived from the original on 29 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-05. 
  6. ^ "Scotch College". Association of Independent Schools of South Australia. 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-05. [dead link]
  7. ^ "Scotch College, SA". Australian Boarding Schools' Association. 2007. Archived from the original on 29 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-05. 
  8. ^ "JSHAA South Australia Directory of Members". Junior School Heads' Association of Australia. 2007. Archived from the original on 6 April 2008. Retrieved 2007-09-05. 
  9. ^ Introducing Our Next Principal, Scotch College Adelaide, 4 September 2014.
  10. ^ Taunton School headmaster John Newton leaves to take up new post, Somerset County Gazette, 4 September 2014.
  11. ^ a b c d e Read, Peter, and Alex Pouw-Bray, "Ninety Years at Torrens Park: the Scotch College Story, Wakefield Press, 2010.
  12. ^ Walker, John, "Proposed Scotch College: an Appeal", The Register (Adelaide, SA), 11 Oct 1919, accessed 20 May, 2017 from
  13. ^ "Presbyterian Boys' School". The Express And Telegraph. LVI, (16,600). South Australia. 3 December 1918. p. 2. Retrieved 30 July 2016 – via National Library of Australia. 
  14. ^ Love, JH, "Seymour, John Alfred (1881–1934)", ADB, accessed 20 May 2017 from
  15. ^ Twelftree, C.C., "Shades of the 'Seventies Watch Over Scotch College," The News, (Adelaide, SA), November 25, 1932, accessed 3 December, 2016 from
  16. ^ Crocker, WR, "Naylor, Henry Darnley (1872–1945)", Australian Dictionary of Biography, accessed 20 May, 2017 from
  17. ^ a b c d "History of Scotch College", Mitcham Historical Society, accessed 19 May 2017.
  18. ^ Bate, Weston, "Fisher, Charles Douglas (1921–1978)", ADB, accessed 20 may 2017 from
  19. ^ a b "Our History". Scotch College. 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-05. 
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Location". Scotch College. 2007. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-05. 
  22. ^ Zelling, Howard, "Ligertwood, Sir George Coutts (1888–1967)," Australian Dictionary of Biography, accessed 20 May, 2017, from
  23. ^ Scotch College > Wellbeing and Positive Education Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  24. ^ Hubmayer, Anthony, "Scotch College Song," accessed 20 May 2017 from
  25. ^
  26. ^ Peucker, Christie (9 April 2011). "SA's young mayors ride high". The Sunday Mail. Retrieved 13 January 2017. 
  27. ^ Graham Gunn, Former members,
  28. ^
  29. ^ a b
  30. ^
  31. ^ The Biographical Dictionary of the Australian Senate, Volume 3; Volumes 1962-1983, p. 200:
  32. ^ Huon Hooke (12 March 2004). "Brian Croser; Man of the year". Decanter. Time Inc. (UK) Ltd. 
  33. ^ Introducing Liza Emanuele,
  34. ^ Deaths, Peter Lehman, Scotch Reports, Issue 158, Oct 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  35. ^ Lawton, Colin, "Stirling, Kenneth George (1935–1973)", Australian Dictionary of Biography, accessed May 20, 2017, from
  36. ^ Beggs, Hugh, "Bakewell, Robert Donald (Don) (1899–1982)", accessed 20 May 2017 from
  37. ^ Scotch Reports, June 2013, accessed 20 May 2017 from
  38. ^ Most Worshipful Bro Sam Jacobs AO QC passes away,
  39. ^ Hilliard, David, "Bright, Sir Charles Hart (1912–1983)", ADB, accessed 20 May 2017 from
  40. ^ Butterss, Philip, "Mudie, Ian Mayelston (1911–1976)", ADB, accessed 20 May 2017 from
  41. ^ Birman, Wendy, "Juan, John (1901–1979)", ADB, accessed 20 May 2017 from
  42. ^ Rory Laird Returns to Scotch College, Scotch College, 3 June 2014. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  43. ^ Gibbs, RM, "Richardson, Victor York (1894–1969)", ADB, accessed 20 May 2017 from
  44. ^ Kokkinakis continues rise at the Davis Cup, The Roar, 2 February 2014
  45. ^ Howard Florey, City of Mitcham
  46. ^ Howard Florey: The Man Who Made Penicillin, Lennard Bickel, Melbourne University Press, 1996, page 8
  47. ^ Edmonds, Leigh, "Kleinig, Cyril Nathaniel (1912–1982)", Australian Dictionary of Biography, accessed 20 May 2017 from
  48. ^ Harrison, Colin, "Finlayson, Hedley Herbert (1895–1991)", ADB, accessed 20 May 2017 from
  49. ^ Bahathal, R., "Bosworth, Richard Charles Leslie (1907–1964)", ADB, accessed 20 May 2017 from
  50. ^ Chittleborough, Jon, "Norman, Eldred De Bracton (1914–1971)", ADB, accessed 20 May 2017, from

External links