Our History | Bunbury Cathedral Grammar

Our School

Our History

The origins of BCGS 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 73 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 always been prepared to break new ground and be at the forefront of educational innovation. Established as the first co-educational boarding school that offered Primary and Secondary education in Australia, the School developed strong structures under the first Headmaster, Mr Eric Speed. Committed teachers and the strong support of parents and friends of the School combined to create a strong sense of community. 

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 environment was further enhanced by provenance planting and revegetation. Campus development continued over time, with involvement from the whole School community, with the building of Richard Palmer Oval, additional hardcourts, the Gymnasium, the Practical Arts complex and the Auditorium. Outward Bound was a significant step in strengthening the School’s rich and comprehensive camps program and Boarding flourished with the 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.

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. Pastoral Care was a feature of the Year 7 transition program implemented in 2010. Joining the Round Square Organisation strengthened our belief in Internationalism, Environmentalism and Service, providing wonderful opportunities for students and staff to grow.

Our ongoing building program saw the Lishman Library, Brian Newing Café, Irene Bourne Centre, Eric Speed Early Childhood Centre, and Tony Brooker Pavillion and Playing Fields provide further high quality facilities. Again these facilities are symbolic of the School’s commitment to the best opportunities for students of all levels of the schooling spectrum.

The Headship of Mr Michael Giles commenced with major priorities that look to the future, yet build on our past. Upgrading and innovating through ICT has allowed the School to continue to deliver an excellent education for students. Focusing on Positive Psychology and Positive Education is an initiative designed to reflect on the best of past practice, whilst adopting the latest in research to enhance the wellbeing of our community. The School aims to continue to provide a high quality education in the South West, which allows all students to flourish and engage with a dynamic mindset.

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


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