The Geelong College is one of Geelong’s pre-eminent Schools. The College provides a rich, diverse and comprehensive educational experience to about 1200 students across two magnificent campuses - a Senior School campus based around the heritage listed George Morrison Building of 1871 and a spacious Preparatory School overlooking the Barwon River.

For more detailed Geelong College history and archived photos please visit our heritage site.

Timeline of The Geelong College

1861

The Geelong College founded.

A meeting is called on 18 April 1861 by the Rev A J Campbell (1815-1909), to consider establishment of a united grammar school in Geelong.

 

 

1864

Ownership of the school transferred to George Morrison, due to financial issues.

 

First known football match between The Geelong College and Geelong Grammar

 
1866The Geelong College tops Victorian Schools with the highest number of successful matriculants at the Melbourne University Examinations in November. Five of the 25 statewide students who passed the exams were from the College.
 
1869George Morrison purchases land in Talbot St, Newtown (the current Senior School site) for future development. 
1871

The school vacated Knowle House in Skene St and relocated at the current Senior School site Newtown.

 

Additional classrooms were built and a wooden gymnasium erected. The gymnasium, later relocated to the west boundary of the property was actively in use until 1969.

 
1877The first College Rowing race takes place against Hawthorn Grammar School with Grammar victorious by two boat lengths. 
1878First reunion of Old Collegians occurred. 
1883Physics introduced as a a matriculation subject for the first time by John Marden. 
1885College Cadet Corps established. 
1888College Boat Club inaugurated with significant assistance from Old Collegians. 
1890First Junior School established. 
1898Death of Dr George Morrison.
Norman Morrison, ‘the skipper’, became Principal.
 
1899Original George Morrison Memorial Library built and opened during May. 
1901Old Geelong Collegians' Association formed. 
1908Ownership of the College transferred back to the Presbyterian Church of Victoria. College to be governed by a Council appointed by the Church.

Prefects appointed for first time.

The Geelong College becomes one of the six Associated Public Schools (APS) of Victoria.
 
1909Principal, Norman Morrison killed in a gun accident. 
1910Mr. W. R. Bayley, BA BSc appointed Principal. 
1912An assembly Hall, projected by Norman Morrison to celebrate the jubilee of the College, opened as a memorial to Norman Morrison. Originally built at cost of 3,000 pounds the hall is now commonly known as ‘Morrison Hall’. 
1914

Mr. W. R. Bayley resigns as Principal.

 

First Old Collegian killed in action during World War I - Frederick Steele on 29 October 1914 at the First Battle of Ypre

 
1915Mr. W. T. Price BA appointed Principal. 
1916Frank Macfarlane Burnet, later knighted KBE and winner of the Nobel Prize in Biochemistry, becomes Dux of Geelong College. 
1920Following the resignation of W. T. Price, Reverend F. W. Rolland, MA, grandson of the Rev A J Campbell, appointed Principal. 
1921

A Preparatory School established on north-west area of College property fronting Aphrasia St.


House System introduced mainly for sports competition.

Preparatory School teacher, A Trumble becomes one of the first full-time female staff members to teach in a non-sessional capacity

 
1925College wins its first APS Football Premiership. 
1927College wins its second APS Football Premiership. 
1929Kindergarten established.  
1934

South Wing of the cloister completed.

 

Formation of the dramatics group, the 'Geelong College Glee Club'

 
1935

House of Guilds (HoG) established in a house in Talbot St.

 

First 'Geelong College Glee Club' performance with the presentation of the 'The Monastery'.

 
1936
College wins its first ‘Head of the River’.
 
1938Mackie House built. 
1944Boys win their 2nd APS Head of the River. 
1946

Dr. M A Buntine, MA, PhD appointed Principal, following the resignation of Rev F W Rolland.

 

The Geelong College wins its first APS cricket premiership

 
1947

College wins its second APS Cricket Premiership.

 

Geelong College Exploration Society established.

 
1952Expedition led by Capt Maitland Thompson and comprised of members from St Peter's College, Adelaide; Kalgoorlie School of Mines; and Geelong College; explore the Naullabor Caves. 
19551st VIII wins the Head of the River. 
1956College 1st VIII wins the Head of the River. 
1957College 1st VIII wins the Head of the River. 
1958Final 'Geelong College Glee Club' performance with presentation of 'Trial by Jury' by Old Collegians' and 'The Gondoliers' by College students. 
1960

New Preparatory School occupied.

 

Principal Dr M A Buntine retired, at end of Term 1. Mr. P. N. Thwaites, MA Bed appointed Principal from beginning of Term 2.

 

College 1st VIII wins Head of the River.

 

Old Geelong Collegian, Professor Sir Macfarlane Burnet wins Nobel Prize.

 
1961The Geelong College celebrates 100 years of operation. 
1963

College Football Team wins its third APS Premiership for the first time since 1927.

 

College Cricket Team wins APS Cricket Premiership jointly with Carey Baptist Grammar.

 
1969

Stage 1 of Rolland Physical Educational Centre, including change rooms, training gymnasium, and canteen on the site of the old Pavilion opened by former collegian Lindsay Hassett.

 

Campbell House buildings in Aphrasia St moved to Preparatory School site near Minerva Rd entry.

 
1973College Council decided that the school should become co-educational. In August the Council determined to accept enrolments from girls, as from February 1974, at Sub Primary, Grades 1, 2 and 3 levels. 
1974

College became co-educational – four girls enrolled at Campbell House followed by another three later that year.

 

In February the Council agreed to extend enrolment to girls at all levels from February 1975.

 
1976Mr S P Gebhardt, LLB appointed as Principal, following the retirement of P N Thwaites.
 
1977

Following the formation of the Uniting Church in Australia through a union of the Presbyterian Church, Methodist Church and the Congregational Union, Geelong College became a Uniting Church School.

 

Initial development of the Environment Centre at Preparatory School.

 
1980The ‘Austin Gray Centre’ in honour of Mr. A. Austin Gray former old collegian and member of Council was opened by the Governor-General, Sir Zelman Cowan. 
1981

First female School Captain, Sarah Henderson.

The ‘Ian Watson Gymnasium’ constructed at Preparatory School opened. The centre was named in honour of Mr Ian Watson, member of staff from 1940 and Headmaster of Preparatory School, 1963 to 1976.

 

College Girls 1st VIII wins APS rowing premiership.

 
1986Mr. A. P. Sheahan, BA, Dip Ed, an Old Collegian, appointed Principal, following the resignation of Mr S. P. Gebhardt.
 
1987The Geelong College Foundation established and incorporated. 
1989

College Chapel opened by Sir Ronald Wilson, President of the Uniting Church in Australia. The refurbishment and extension of the Chapel, formerly the House of Music, began in 1988.

 

The ‘Joan Sweetman Room’ a multipurpose room erected at Campbell House and named in honour of Mrs Joan Sweetman, member of staff from 1947 and Director of Kindergarten/Campbell House from 1947 to 1978.

 

Performing Arts/Music Centre erected at Preparatory School. The main auditorium named ‘Robertson Hall’ in honour of Old Collegian and former Council member, Sir Horace Robertson.

 
1993Girls' Netball Team wins APS Premiership in Netball for the first time. 
1995Girls' Teams win APS premierships for the first time in Athletics, Hockey and Tennis. 
1996Commencement of 10th Principal and first female Principal, Dr Pauline Turner, following the resignation of Mr A P Sheahan.
 
1999Opening of The Geelong College Recreation Centre (Final Stage of the Rolland Centre deveolpment) on 24 November 1999. 
2001

Federation Festival presented over 4 days in May 2001.

 

Introduction of the Year 4 'Enviro' Program.

 
2002Girls 1st VIII win Head of the Schoolgirls' Regatta; APS Head of the River; Victorian Champions.

College Girls 1st Tennis Team wins AGSV Title.
 
2003Both Girls and Boys 1st crews win the Heads of the River. 
2004Girls 1st Rowing VIII win Head of the Schoolgirls' Regatta. 
2006

Opening of the Keith Humble Centre for Music and the Performing Arts on 22 July.

 

Naming of the George Logie-Smith Auditorium on 19 August.

 

College Football Team for the first time since 1963 wins its fourth APS Football Premiership jointly with Scotch College and Haileybury College.

 

 

 
2011Sesquicentenary of the Foundation of the School on 8 July. 
2012

Introduction of new School Song, 'Sic Itur Ad Astra.'

 

Commencement of Middle School redevelopment.

 
2013

Andrew Barr commences as 11th Principal of The Geelong College, following the retirement of Dr Pauline Turner.

 

Acquisition of Cape Otway Property.

 

Opening of Stage 1 and Stage 2 of Middle School redevelopment with new Year 7 and 8 learning studios.

 
2014Completion of Stage 3 of the Middle School redevelopment with new spaces for Year 5s, refurbished Library, Science and Café areas 
2016Dr Peter Miller commences as 12th Principal of The Geelong College, following the resignation of Andrew Barr.
 
2018Commencemet of the Junior School Redevelopment, with Old Collegian, John Wardle as architect.
 
2019The new Junior School gathering space, Wayaperree is opened in February.
 
2020

The new Early Learning Spaces within the Junior School are opened in February.

 

The College begins Remote Learning in the final days of Term 1, with students learning from home in an effort to restrict  the transmission of COVID-19 through the school community. After Easter, Term 2 commences with Remote Learning for at least the first four weeks.

 

Primary classrooms are opened in the new Junior School in April.

 

Students return to classroom learning from June 9.