Geelong Grammar School

Coordinates: 38°4′11″S 144°24′0″E / 38.06972°S 144.40000°E / -38.06972; 144.40000
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Geelong Grammar School

Coordinates38°4′11″S 144°24′0″E / 38.06972°S 144.40000°E / -38.06972; 144.40000
Typeprivate school, co-educational, day and boarding
MottoLatin: Christus nobis factus sapientia
(1 Corinthians 1:30: "For us, Christ was made wisdom"[1]
(1 Corinthians 1:30: Christ, who has been made for us in wisdom))
Established1855; 168 years ago (1855)[2]
FounderTheodore Carlos Benoni Stretch
ChairmanJeremy D. Kirkwood
PrincipalRebecca Cody
Years offeredELC–12
Enrolment1,433 (ELC–12)
Colour(s)  Eton blue
SloganExceptional Education
AffiliationAssociated Public Schools of Victoria

Geelong Grammar School is a private Anglican co-educational boarding and day school. The school's main campus is located in Corio on the northern outskirts of Geelong, Victoria, Australia, overlooking Corio Bay and Limeburners Bay.

Established in 1855 under the auspices of the Church of England,[3] Geelong Grammar School has a non-selective enrolment policy and currently caters for approximately 1,500 students from Pre-school to Year 12, including 800 boarders from Years 5 to 12.[4]

In 2009, The Australian declared Geelong Grammar to be the "most expensive school in the nation", charging a fee of almost $29,000 for a Year 12 student.[5]

2017 Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse found that Geelong Grammar had failed to act on reports of widespread child sexual abuse.[6] Five former staff members at Geelong Grammar School have been convicted of extensive child sex offenses committed while teaching at Geelong Grammar. The Royal Commission found that consecutive principals and administration had failed to report allegation and protect students.[6]

Headmasters and principals[edit]

Period Details
1855–1862 George Oakley Vance
1863–1895 John Bracebridge Wilson
1896–1911 Leonard Harford Lindon
1912–1929 Francis Ernest Brown
1930–1961 Sir James Ralph Darling
1961–1973 Thomas Ronald Garnett
1974–1978 Charles Douglas Fisher
1980–1994 John Elliot Lewis
1995–1999 Lister Wellesley Hannah[7]
2000–2004 Nicholas Alexander Sampson
2004–2018 Stephen Andrew Donald Meek
2018–present Rebecca Anne Cody


Geelong Grammar School has four campuses:

  • Corio Years 5 to 8 (Middle School) and 10 to 12 (Senior School), boarding and day.
  • Bostock House Pre-school to Year 4, day.
  • Toorak Campus (formerly known as Glamorgan) Pre-school to Year 6, day.
  • Timbertop Year 9, Full-time boarding

The school had planned in the 1990s to open a campus in northern Thailand, but the project was cancelled following the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, as the Thai government suspended many major projects,[8]


Senior School

  • Allen (Day, Co-ed., 1914, originally Geelong)
  • Clyde (Boarding, Girls, 1976, nominal successor to Clyde School)
  • Cuthbertson (Boarding, Boys, 1914)
  • Elisabeth Murdoch (Boarding, Girls, 2009)
  • Francis Brown (Boarding, Boys, 1937)
  • Fraser (Day, Co-ed., 1976)
  • Garnett (Boarding, Girls, 1982)
  • The Hermitage (Boarding, Girls, 1976, originally Jennings, nominal successor to CEGGS "The Hermitage")
  • Manifold (Boarding, Boys, 1914)
  • Perry (Boarding, Boys, 1914)

Middle School

  • Parrwang (Boarding, Boys)
  • Kunuwurra (Boarding, Girls)
  • Highton (Day, Co-ed)
  • Otway (Day, Co-ed)

Toorak Campus

  • Bruce
  • McComas
  • Alexander
  • Mann

Bostock House

  • Austin
  • Morres
  • School
  • Volum


Geelong Grammar offers its senior students a choice of the International Baccalaureate (IB) or the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE).

Geelong Grammar School VCE Results 2012-2020[9]
Year Rank Median Study Score Scores of 40+ (%) Cohort Size
2012 92 32 10.7 221
2013 75 33 13.3 220
2014 75 33 13.9 258
2015 80 33 11.8 248
2016 104 32 7.3 230
2017 137 31 8.2 219
2018 146 31 6.9 206
2019 180 30 5.8 195
2020 128 31 8.7 221

School journal[edit]

The Corian is the journal of the Geelong Grammar School. Published as The Geelong Grammar School Annual (1875–76), The Geelong Grammar School Quarterly (1877–1913) and The Corian (1914–present). Published quarterly from 1877, it reverted to an annual in 1992.

Notable alumni[edit]

King Charles III's (then The Prince of Wales) return visit to Geelong Grammar in 2005

Former students of Geelong Grammar and old girls of The Hermitage and Clyde School are known as Old Geelong Grammarians (OGGs), and may elect to join the school's alumni association, the Old Geelong Grammarians Association. Former teachers include the German/Australian artist Ludwig Hirschfeld Mack.

In 2001, The Sun-Herald ranked Geelong Grammar School fourth in Australia's top ten boys' schools, based on the number of its male alumni mentioned in the Who's Who in Australia (a listing of notable Australians).[10] Among the school's notable alumni are King Charles III; media mogul Rupert Murdoch; actress Portia de Rossi; John Gorton, Prime Minister of Australia 1968–1971; Mizan Zainal Abidin of Terengganu, King of Malaysia 2006–2011; Tim Macartney-Snape, mountaineer and author; billionaire businessman Kerry Packer; singer-songwriter Missy Higgins; Entrepreneur and Climate 200 Founder Simon Holmes à Court. Jock Landale; NBA Center for the Phoenix Suns.

Sexual abuse[edit]

Former pupils of Geelong Grammar have told an inquiry that their abuse claims were ignored for decades. The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse heard evidence about five decades of complaints at the school.

In 2015, the school principal, Stephen Meek, wrote to the school community encouraging abuse victims to come forward (Letter from Stephen Meek, dated 25 May 2015, addressed to "Dear community member"). However, at the hearing of the Royal Commission, the first witness was interrogated by the school's lawyer over minor points.[11] During that exchange, the Geelong Advertiser reported that the school lawyer was warned by the Royal Commission for referring to the ex-student by his actual name during the proceedings, in spite of the abuse victim requesting anonymity. At no point did the school lawyer take issue with the abuse claims.[11][12][failed verification]

One former student said he was touched on the genitals by a chaplain and then threatened with expulsion when he reported the abuse. Referred to as "BKO" by the commission, the witness described the school's Timbertop campus, where Prince Charles spent two terms in 1966, as "similar to Lord of the Flies".[13] BKO said the school was concerned only with avoiding scandal, rather than stopping the abuse.

Local media report that another former student, described as "BKM", told the commission that Geelong Grammar should repay the fees of abuse victims. "They made my father pay an exceptional amount of money", he said. "I was sexually abused, and repeatedly and seemingly uncaring, re-exposed to the situation that allowed the abuse."[14]

In a statement issued in August 2015, Stephen Meek said the school "absolutely condemns any form of abuse ... that has occurred at the school in the past ... I greatly regret that not all of our students received the care and support to which they were entitled".[15] However, he had told school council meetings in 2007 that litigation regarding some of Philippe Trutmann's 41 victims had been settled for about $350,000. His report stated: "Overall, this has been a very satisfactory financial outcome for the school".[16]

List of perpetrators[edit]

  • Jonathon Harvey[17]
  • Philippe Trutmann[18]
  • John Hamilton Buckley[19]
  • John Davison (deceased)[20]
  • Graham Leslie Dennis[21]
  • Stefan Van Vurren[21]
  • Norman Smith (deceased)[21]
  • Max Guzelian (deceased)[21]
  • Andrew MacCulloch (deceased)[21]
  • David Brian Mackey[22]


Geelong Grammar School is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference, the Junior School Heads Association of Australia (JSHAA),[23] the Australian Boarding Schools' Association (ABSA),[4] the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA),[24] the Association of Independent Schools of Victoria (AISV),[2] and is a founding member of the Associated Public Schools of Victoria (APSV).[25] The school is also a member of the G20 Schools Group. The school has offered the International Baccalaureate (IB) since February 1997.[26]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The School Crest and Motto". About GGS. Geelong Grammar School. Archived from the original on 29 August 2007. Retrieved 28 December 2007.
  2. ^ a b "Geelong Grammar School". Find a School. Association of Independent Schools of Victoria. 2007. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2007.
  3. ^ "History". About GGS. Geelong Grammar School. Archived from the original on 16 December 2007. Retrieved 28 December 2007.
  4. ^ a b "Geelong Grammar School". Schools. Australian Boarding Schools' Association. Archived from the original on 17 November 2007. Retrieved 28 December 2007.
  5. ^ Hall, lex; Ferrari, Justine. "Grin and bear it: private schools lift fees". The Australian. News Intl. Retrieved 18 April 2023.
  6. ^ a b "REPORT OF CASE STUDY NO. 32 The response of Geelong Grammar School to allegations of child sexual abuse of former students". Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Retrieved 18 April 2023.
  7. ^ "The World Today Archive – School to introduce drug tests for 'at risk' students". Retrieved 31 March 2008.
  8. ^ Jones, Carolyn (30 April 1998). "Geelong Grammar Shelves Thai Links". The Age.
  9. ^ "Trend of Geelong Grammar School by VCE results". Retrieved 17 March 2021.
  10. ^ Walker, Frank (22 July 2001). "The ties that bind". Sunday Life. The Sun-Herald. p. 16. Retrieved 12 September 2007.
  11. ^ a b "Evidence given by BKU". pp. 39–47. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  12. ^ Cannon, Anthea (3 September 2015). "Royal Commission: Geelong Grammar student tells of being expelled for talking about sexual abuse". Geelong Advertiser. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  13. ^ [1][dead link]
  14. ^ "Top Australian school faces sexual abuse allegations; Victims open up before Royal commission of enquiry". International Business Times AU. 7 September 2015. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  15. ^ [2][dead link]
  16. ^ Donovan, Samantha (3 September 2015). "Child abuse royal commission: Geelong Grammar student expelled after reporting abuse, inquiry hears". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  17. ^ Lauder, Simon (8 September 2015). "Child abuse royal commission: Geelong Grammar teacher 'offered generous retirement' after student made abuse complaint". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  18. ^ "Former Geelong Grammar staffer pleads guilty to child sex charges". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 12 December 2005. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  19. ^ Oakes, Dan (20 July 2015). "Former Geelong Grammar teacher admits to sexually abusing six students in the 1980s". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  20. ^ [3][dead link]
  21. ^ a b c d e "Child abusers at Geelong Grammar School". SBS News. 1 September 2015. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  22. ^ Woodger, Rusty; van Estrop, Chad (29 November 2019). "Geelong Grammar School's former doctor David Mackey guilty of sex offending, but avoids jail term". Geelong Advertiser. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  23. ^ "JSHAA Victorian Directory of Members". Victoria Branch. Junior School Heads' Association of Australia. 2007. Archived from the original on 13 February 2008. Retrieved 28 December 2007.
  24. ^ "Victoria". Schools. Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia. 2007. Archived from the original on 2 November 2007. Retrieved 28 December 2007.
  25. ^ Leung, Chee Chee (29 March 2005). "Top schools pledge to play fair". National. Melbourne: The Age. Retrieved 28 December 2007.
  26. ^ "Geelong Grammar School". IB World Schools. International Baccalaureate Organization. Retrieved 28 December 2007.

Further reading[edit]

  • Bate, Weston (1990). Light blue down under: The history of Geelong Grammar School. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-553106-0.
  • Collins Persse, Michael, Well-Ordered Liberty, Cliffe Books, Melbourne, 1995
  • Corfield, Geelong Grammarians: A biographical register, G.G.S., 1996
  • Geelong Grammar School Quarterly, 1877–1913
  • The Corian, 1914–

External links[edit]