Scotch College, Melbourne

For other schools of the same name, see Scotch College (disambiguation).
Scotch College

Latin: Deo Patriae Litteris
("For God, for Country, and for Learning")[1]
1 Morrison Street
Hawthorn, Victoria, 3122
Coordinates 37°50′3″S 145°1′46″E / 37.83417°S 145.02944°E / -37.83417; 145.02944Coordinates: 37°50′3″S 145°1′46″E / 37.83417°S 145.02944°E / -37.83417; 145.02944
Type Independent, Day and Boarding
Denomination Presbyterian[2]
Established 1851[3]
Founder The Rev. James Forbes
Chairman The Hon. David A. Kemp
Headmaster Mr. I. Thomas Batty
Chaplain The Rev. Douglas Campbell
Staff ~300
Years P12
Gender Boys
Enrolment 1,868
Houses Bond, Davidson, Eggleston, Field, Fleming, Forbes, Gilray, Lawson, Littlejohn, Monash, Morrison, Selby-Smith
Colour(s) Cardinal, Gold and Blue

Scotch College is an independent Presbyterian day and boarding school for boys, located in Hawthorn, an inner-eastern suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Studies have found that Scotch had more alumni mentioned in Who's Who in Australia (a listing of notable Australians) than any other school.[4][5][6][7] It is one of the wealthiest schools in Australia.[8]

In 2010 The Age reported that Scotch College "has educated more of Australia's most honoured and influential citizens than any other school in the nation", based on research that revealed its alumni had received more top Order of Australia honours than any other school.[9]

The College was established in 1851 as "The Melbourne Academy", in a house in Spring Street, Melbourne, by Reverend James Forbes of the Free Presbyterian Church of Victoria.[10] It is the oldest extant secondary school in Victoria[3][11] and celebrated its sesquicentenary in 2001.

Scotch is a founding member of the Associated Public Schools of Victoria (APS),[12] and is affiliated with the International Coalition of Boys' Schools,[13] the Junior School Heads Association of Australia (JSHAA),[14] the Australian Boarding Schools' Association (ABSA),[11] the Association of Independent Schools of Victoria (AISV),[2] and the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference.[15] The School is also a member of the G20 Schools Group and the Global Alliance of Leading-Edge Schools.


The School at its former East Melbourne site (circa 1906) prior to moving to the current site at Hawthorn
The Quadrangle at the school's current Hawthorn site (2009)
The Junior School (shown 2012) was the first part of the school to move to the current Hawthorn site

Scotch College is the oldest surviving secondary school in Victoria. Its foundation was due to the initiative of The Rev. James Forbes, of the Free Presbyterian Church, who arrived in 1838 as the first settled Christian minister in what became the colony of Victoria in 1851. It is 'the outcome of the old Scottish ideal of education', in which church and school were inextricably connected. The School opened on 6 October 1851, under the name of the Melbourne Academy in a small house in Spring Street, with Robert Lawson, a Scot from Edinburgh University, as the first principal. The house was soon outgrown, as was a larger one on the north-west corner of Spring and Little Collins Streets (later the Ulster Family Hotel) and the Church applied to the government for a grant of land. Two acres were reserved for the school on Eastern Hill and substantial new buildings were erected there in 1853. The cost was met partly by a government grant and partly from funds raised by the friends of the school.

Lawson resigned in 1856. Under his successor, Alexander Morrison, the school grew and prospered; it came under the oversight of the newly formed Presbyterian Church of Victoria in 1859. Morrison had been Rector of Hamilton Academy and remained at Scotch for forty six years. William Still Littlejohn, who took over the school in 1904, served for twenty nine years and his successor, Colin Macdonald Gilray, for nineteen. So, when the school became the first in Victoria to celebrate its centenary, Gilray was only the fourth principal.

Gilray was succeeded in 1953 by R Selby Smith, an Old Rugbeian who had served in the Royal Navy during the war and was at the time of his appointment Deputy Director of Education for Warwickshire. Smith resigned in 1964 to become the Foundation Dean of Education at Monash University.

C O Healey who had been Headmaster of Sydney Grammar School since 1951 succeeded Smith. Healey retired in January 1975.

In the following May, P A V Roff, formerly Headmaster of Scotch College, Adelaide, was installed as the seventh principal of the college. Roff 's tenure, though a brief seven years, was characterised by an expanding voice for staff in the day-to-day management of the school, the establishment of a Foundation Office at the School under the direction of a Development Officer and the widening of the House System to provide greater depth in pastoral care. His last few years saw the school in dispute over ownership and, for the principal and his school community, it was a time of stress. In 1980 the decision was made to incorporate the school and a new Council was appointed, with representatives from the Presbyterian Church, the Old Scotch Collegians' Association and the community at large.

F G Donaldson, a vice principal from Wallace High School (Northern Ireland), with a Doctorate of Philosophy in Atomic Physics from Queens University Belfast, succeeded Roff in 1983. Under his principalship there has been a significant building program which has created outstanding facilities for the education of boys, the development of ICT for administrative and educational purposes and enhanced pastoral care of students.

I Tom Batty, was appointed as the ninth principal of Scotch and installed into office on Monday 14 July 2008. Prior to his appointment he was Housemaster of Villiers House, Eton College in the UK. The early years of Batty’s tenure have seen the introduction of a new House-based pastoral care structure in the Upper School, which began at the start of the 2011 school year.


The name "Scotch College" appears at the entrance to the boarding precinct (2009)

The School was originally called "The Melbourne Academy", after its location, when it opened in 1851. In its early years it was also known as

For a while all of these names were used concurrently until in the 1860s the usage settled on "The Scotch College", which was later shortened to be simply "Scotch College".[16]

Coat-of-arms and motto

The Monash Gates feature the school's coat of arms (right side) and the symbol of the Presbyterian Church (left side)

The School's coat-of-arms (shown above, right) features the following elements:[17]

The motto of the School, shown in Scottish heraldic style in a scroll above the coat-of-arms, is Latin: "Deo Patriae Litteris". Its meaning in English is "For God, For Country, For Learning".[17]


The Quadrangle (1975)

F. G. Donaldson AM retired as principal at the conclusion of 2007, having served 25 years, and was succeeded by I. T. Batty who commenced his term in 2008. Batty is only the ninth principal in the school's 165-year history.[18]

Period Details
1851 1856 Robert Lawson[10]
1857 1903 Alexander Morrison[19]
1904 1933 William Still Littlejohn[20]
1934 1953 Colin Macdonald Gilray OBE MC[21]
1953 1964 Richard Selby Smith OBE
1965 1974 Colin Oswald Healey OBE TD
1975 1982 Philip Anthony Vere Roff
1983 2007 Francis Gordon Donaldson AM
2008 Present Ian Thomas Batty

Governance and denominational affiliation

Littlejohn Memorial Chapel (2009)

Scotch is an incorporated body governed by a Council made up of three groups; Five persons (usually Old Boys) nominated by the Old Scotch Collegians' Association (Group B), Five Presbyterian Church of Victoria nominees (Group A) and seven persons nominated by Council from the community at large (Group C), usually with some connection with the School and the Christian church.[22]

Chairmen of the Council have included Sir Arthur Robinson, Sir Archibald Glenn, Sir James Balderstone, David Crawford A.O. Michael B Robinson A.O. and The Hon. David A. Kemp.

At the formation of the Uniting Church in Australia in 1977, Scotch was allocated to the Presbyterian Church of Australia by the Property Commission of the Presbyterian Church, which included an even number of representatives from the Uniting Church and the continuing Presbyterian Church as well as independent commissioners. At the time the Scotch Council unsuccessfully appealed this decision.[23]


The Senior School, as seen from the forecourt of the Littlejohn Memorial Chapel, with the open-air pulpit in the foreground (2009)


One of the three boarding houses - School House (2012)

Scotch has been a boarding school since its foundation.[25] Today the School caters for 160 boarders of whom around 70% are drawn from around Australia and 30% are from overseas.[26] The boarding precinct is on "The Hill" which overlooks the Senior School at the main Hawthorn campus. There are three boarding houses: School House, McMeckan House and Arthur Robinson House. Both School House and McMeckan House were built as the gift of Anthony Mackie, and his brother and sisters, in memory of their uncle Captain James McMeckan.[27] Arthur Robinson House is named after a Chairman of the School Council, Sir Arthur Robinson.[28]


Scotch students study towards the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE), which is the main secondary student assessment program in Victoria which ranks students with an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) for university entrance purposes.

Extra-curricular activities

The music and drama school - named the James Forbes Academy after the School's founder Reverend James Forbes (2009)
Ian Roach Concert Hall - one of the three main performing venues in the James Forbes Academy (2010)

Some extra-curricular groups and activities at Scotch are:


The school's boat ramp and boat houses are within the grounds of the Hawthorn campus on the Yarra River (2014)
Statue at the Melbourne Cricket Ground of Tom Wills umpiring the first recorded match of Australian Rules Football between Scotch College and Melbourne Grammar

Scotch College competes in the Associated Public Schools of Victoria (APS) league in Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Cricket, Cross Country, Australian Rules Football, Hockey, Rowing, Rugby, Soccer, Squash, Swimming and Diving, Table Tennis, Tennis, Volleyball and Water Polo. In 2015 the first eight won the its sixth consecutive Head of the River, with the School having won eleven out of the previous twelve Heads of the River[40] The school has won the Head of the River event more than any other competing school. As well as claiming the Victorian State title the 2010 first eight was the first interstate school to win the NSW State Championship title in both the Schoolboy 8+ and Men's Under 21 8+ as well as claiming Australian Championship title, with that crew being the most successful Australian schoolboy crew in history. The first eight also represented Australia in the 2013 World Rowing Junior Championships, placing fifth in the A final.[41]

In addition to the APS competition, Scotch competes in a number of competitions with specific schools, including:


"The Hill", which is the location of the boarding precinct, above the Littlejohn Memorial Chapel (2009)
Interior of the Memorial Hall (2010)
One of the three boarding houses - Arthur Robinson House (2014)

Alumni of Scotch College are known as Old Boys or Old Collegians, and automatically become members of the School's alumni association, the Old Scotch Collegians' Association (OSCA).[49]

Studies over the years have found that Scotch College had more alumni mentioned in Who's Who in Australia (a listing of notable Australians) than any other school,[4][5][6][7] and its alumni had received more top Order of Australia honours than any other school.[9]

Alumni of Scotch College include

Images of Hawthorn campus

See also


  1. "The School Motto". Deo Patriae Litteris. Scotch College. Retrieved 2008-03-11.
  2. 1 2 "Scotch College". Find a School. Association of Independent Schools of Victoria. 2007. Retrieved 2008-03-11.
  3. 1 2 "Scotch College". Victoria. School Choice. Archived from the original on 2008-07-23. Retrieved 2008-03-11.
  4. 1 2 Walker, Frank (2001-07-22). "The ties that bind". Sunday Life. The Sun-Herald. p. 16. Retrieved 2007-09-12.
  5. 1 2 "Who's Who of School Rankings". Better Education Australia. Retrieved 2008-09-05.
  6. 1 2 Mark Peel and Janet McCalman, Who Went Where in Who's Who 1988: The Schooling of the Australian Elite, Melbourne University History Research Series Number 1, 1992
  7. 1 2 Ian Hansen, Nor Free Nor Secular: Six Independent Schools in Victoria, a First Sample, Oxford University Press, 1971
  8. Ferrari, Justine. "Richest schools add higher fees to funding pool". The Australian. Retrieved 17 October 2012.
  9. 1 2 Topsfield, Jewel (4 December 2010). "Ties that bind prove a private education has its awards". The Age. p. 11. The hard copy article also published a table of the schools which were ranked in the top ten places, as follows: (1st with 19 awards) Scotch College, Melbourne, (2nd with 17 awards) Geelong Grammar School, (3rd with 13 awards) Sydney Boys High School, (equal 4th with 10 awards each) Fort Street High School, Perth Modern School and St Peter's College, Adelaide, (equal 7th with 9 awards each) Melbourne Grammar School, North Sydney Boys High School and The King's School, Parramatta, (equal 10th with 6 awards each) Launceston Grammar School, Melbourne High School, Wesley College, Melbourne and Xavier College.
  10. 1 2 "Scotch College at Spring Street". History. Scotch College. Archived from the original on 2008-02-19. Retrieved 2008-03-11.
  11. 1 2 "Scotch College". Schools - Victoria. Australian Boarding Schools Association. 2008. Archived from the original on 2007-11-17. Retrieved 2008-03-11.
  12. "Conclusions and further research" (PDF). Publications. The Australian Political Studies Association. p. 45. Retrieved 2008-03-11.
  13. "Scotch College". Member Directory. International Boys' Schools Coalition. 2007. Retrieved 2008-03-11.
  14. "JSHAA Victoria Directory of Members". Victoria Branch. Junior School Heads' Association of Australia. 2007. Retrieved 2008-03-11.
  15. "International Members". HMC Schools. The Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference. Retrieved 2008-03-11.
  16. James Mitchell, A Deepening Roar - Scotch College, Melbourne, 1851-2001, Allen & Unwin, 2001, page 6
  17. 1 2 James Mitchell, A Deepening Roar - Scotch College, Melbourne, 1851-2001, Allen & Unwin, 2001, pages 135-137
  18. Scotch College Website. "Tom Batty appointed as new principal after worldwide search". Retrieved 22 Nov 2009.
  19. French, E.L (1974). "Morrison, Alexander (1829 - 1903)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. 5 (Online ed.). Melbourne, Vic.: Melbourne University Press. pp. 295–297. Retrieved 2008-03-26.
  20. Bate, Weston (1986). "Littlejohn, William Still (1859 - 1933)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. 10 (Online ed.). Melbourne, Vic.: Melbourne University Press. pp. 122–123. Retrieved 2010-09-18.
  21. Serle, Geoffrey (1996). "Gilray, Colin Macdonald (1885 - 1974)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. 14 (Online ed.). Melbourne, Vic.: Melbourne University Press. pp. 274–275. Retrieved 2008-03-26.
  22. Scotch College Website. "Scotch College Council - How it Works". Retrieved 25 Nov 2009.
  23. "New Scotch History at the Printer". Great Scot. Scotch College. September 2001. Retrieved 2008-03-26.
  24. 1 2 3 4 5 "Location". Senior School Admission. Scotch College. Retrieved 2008-03-26.
  25. James Mitchell, A Deepening Roar - Scotch College, Melbourne, 1851-2001, Allen & Unwin, 2001, page 3
  26. Scotch College Website. "Boarding at Scotch College". Retrieved 13 January 2010.
  27. James Mitchell, A Deepening Roar - Scotch College, Melbourne, 1851-2001, Allen & Unwin, 2001, page 125
  28. James Mitchell, A Deepening Roar - Scotch College, Melbourne, 1851-2001, Allen & Unwin, 2001, page 120
  29. "Great Scot Article" from Scotch College Website. "Stunning Tattoo and Retreat". Retrieved 21 Nov 2009.
  30. "A deepening roar: Scotch College, Melbourne, 1851-2001",by Jim Mitchell, page 29. Cadets. Retrieved 21 Nov 2009.
  31. Scotch College Website. "Scotch College Pipes and Drums - Background and Origin". Retrieved 25 Nov 2009.
  32. Scotch College Website. "Scotch College Pipes and Drums Auxiliary". Retrieved 25 Nov 2009.
  33. Scotch College Website. "Scotch College Military Band". Retrieved 21 Nov 2009.
  34. Scotch College Website. "About Scouts at Scotch College". Retrieved 21 Nov 2009.
  36. DAV Finals results, 2008.
  37. No debating it - this was a marvellous tour, Great Scot, April 2006.
  38. Debating around England and France, Great Scot, May 2008.
  39. Unanimously, it was debating's annus mirabilis, Great Scot, December 2010.
  41. Head of the River (Victoria)
  42. Scotch College Website. "The Cordner-Eggleston Cup". Retrieved 22 Nov 2009.
  43. AFL Website. "A Time Honoured Rivalry". Retrieved 22 Nov 2009.
  44. Scotch College Website. "Scotch College Cricket Newsletter" (PDF). Retrieved 22 Nov 2009.
  45. Eton Cricket Blogspot. "Australia Tour 2008". Retrieved 22 Nov 2009.
  46. Scotch College Website. "Stylish Debut for Tait Cup Dinner". Retrieved 22 Nov 2009.
  47. Scotch College Website. "Soccer". Retrieved 22 Nov 2009.
  48. Scotch College website. "Rugby's 80th Year". Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  49. "Membership". About OSCA. Scotch College. Retrieved 2008-03-26.

External links

Further reading

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