Early Days

The origins of Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School can be traced to Bishop Hawkins’ establishment of a Provisional School Council in 1967 to pursue his vision of a cathedral school for the children of the Diocese. Classes commenced with 78 students in 1972 and a strong foundation was provided by the leadership of Bishop Hawkins and Mr Val Lishman, a prominent local surgeon.

The School has often been at the forefront of educational innovation. The first co-educational boarding school in Australia that offered both Primary and Secondary education, the School developed firm structures under the first Headmaster, Mr Eric Speed. Committed foundation teachers and the strong support of parents and friends of the School combined to enable the School to flourish.

Building on Leadership

Mr Tony Brooker became Headmaster in 1978 and his leadership helped establish further tenets central to the School’s ethos. Positive relationships between staff and students thrived and the giving of service to others was celebrated. The School’s unique bushland was enhanced by provenance planting and revegetation, and Campus development continued with the building of Richard Palmer Oval, additional hardcourts, the Gymnasium, the Practical Arts complex and Auditorium. Boarding progressed with the world-leading conversion to vertically-integrated cottage accommodation.

The Headmastership of Mr Simon Murray saw major developments in the use of technology in education. The Design and Technology Building was part of a vision which included an inquiry-based approach to education and the use of Information Technology in all subject areas. The Music program also developed significantly, strengthening Music’s role within the School.

Growth and Innovation

The extension of the co-curricular program and the strengthening of pastoral care through a restructured House system were early priorities for the fourth Headmaster, Dr Bruce Matthews. Joining the Round Square Organisation during this era provided wonderful opportunities for students and staff to grow, and Pastoral Care became a feature of the Year 7 transition program implemented in 2010. Our ongoing building program saw the Lishman Library, Father Brian Newing Café, Irene Bourne Centre, Eric Speed Early Childhood Centre, and Tony Brooker Pavilion and Playing Fields provide further high quality facilities, representing the School’s commitment to the best opportunities for students of all levels of the schooling spectrum.

Mr Michael Giles commenced as Head of School in 2012 with major priorities that look to the future, yet build on our past. Upgrading and innovating through ICT, a focus on Positive Psychology and Positive Education, and adopting the latest in research to enhance the wellbeing of our community continue to deliver an excellent environment and education for students. The School under Michael Giles set and embraced aims to maintain the provision of a high quality education in the South West, allowing all students to thrive and engage with a dynamic mindset.

Mr Matthew O’Brien was appointed as Head of School at the beginning of 2021, bringing a considerable Strategic Planning experience to further develop the School and Boarding facilities. He has also used research to assess the impact and design of learning spaces on the campus and lead the School in using modern technology and data to support student learning and achievement. Above all, Matthew shares the School’s ethos of a holistic approach to education; excellent care, coupled with a desire to help each student and member of staff achieve their potential.

For more detailed information about our School’s history, please view our Archives webpage.


School Tours



Close this search box.
Close this search box.