Our History

At Camberwell Grammar School, we honour tradition while embracing the future.

Founded in 1886, the School is dedicated to educating young men for life and bringing together the strength of tradition with an understanding of future demands.

1886 - Founded for the community
AB Taylor founds a small school for boys at St John's Anglican Church near Camberwell Junction. The School is designed for boys in the local community and offers the latest approach to education – combining academic learning in a wide range of subjects with participation in sport, music and the arts.
1887-97 – Prospect Hill
As the School expanded, it sought improved facilities at Fermanagh Road, Prospect Hill. The main school building, a mansion built by Taylor, has survived.
1908 - On the road
The School moves to Burke Road, Camberwell, under Alfred Hill (Headmaster since 1891), and takes on the characteristics of what we know today as one of Melbourne's leading boys' schools: progressive, inclusive and all about learning.
1934 - Canterbury, here we come
Our Canterbury campus is established with the purchase of the landmark mansion, 'Roystead', thanks to the patronage of the “meat baron” William Angliss. The Mont Albert Road campus remains the focal point of our School's expansion over the next 80 years. This includes major projects such as the Danks Science Laboratories and Wootton Design Studios, the Performing Arts Centre, the Mallinson Music School, the new Angliss Building, the McDonald Humanities and Library Building, the Wheelton Centre and, most recently, the Sports Centre and Chapel.
1967 - Highton becomes the Music School
The Music School moves into the recently acquired 'Highton' from where it conducts its extensive program, expanding into the new facilities of the Mallinson Music School three decades later. From this period onwards, Camberwell Grammar School becomes a leader in the field of music education.
1980 - Junior School grows up
Although we have always had a Junior School in some form (starting with eight-year-olds and then, in the 1930s, taking on boys under six), we purchase 'Norge' as the official home to our Junior School. It is redeveloped in 2010 with the addition of a second storey library and staff facilities, becoming its own village – big enough to offer diversity and opportunity, but small enough to ensure all the boys are known and nurtured during these critical foundation years on which their future learning is based.
1997 - Music and Drama to the fore
A noteworthy year which saw the opening of the Mallinson Music School adjacent to 'Highton' and the Performing Arts Centre, replacing the 1958 Memorial Hall. Both of these expanded buildings provided first-class facilities for the School’s music and dramatic programs.
2004 - A story to tell
Named in honour of a distinguished Latin teacher and computer innovator who taught for many years at our School, the H.R McDonald Library and Humanities Building features a two-storey library, 14 classrooms and a ceramic studio. It officially opened in April 2004 by the Right Honourable Sir Ninian Stephen, former High Court Justice and Governor-General of Australia.
2007 - Helping boys to transition
The new William Angliss Building opens, named in honour of Sir William Angliss who was central to helping our School move to its current site in the 1930s. Established for our Middle School (boys in Years 6 to 8), the purpose of the building is to aid the transition between childhood and adolescence, helping students to navigate increased personal responsibility, opportunities and choice. It is launched by one of our Old Grammarians, the Governor of Victoria, Professor David de Kretser AC.
2013 - Facilities that inspire greatness
Our new Senior School complex opens, the Wheelton Centre, the McDonald Building, providing 22 state-of-the-art classrooms, four science laboratories, art studios, a lecture theatre and VCE common room. It is the largest single structure on campus. Designed by architects Peter Crone and Robert Tedesco, and built by McCorkells, it is filled with light and student resources and is conducive to learning.
2017-18 – A new Sports Centre and Chapel
The School completed its latest Master Plan in March 2017 with the opening of the extensive Sports Centre and All Souls Chapel in March 2017 by His Excellency Governor-General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove and the Most Reverend Dr Philip Freier, Archbishop of Melbourne and Primate of Australia. This is the School’s first purpose-built chapel - its organ was dedicated in June 2018.
Today - Honouring tradition while embracing the future
We remain true to AB Taylor's vision of a community school dedicated to educating young men for life and bringing together the strength of tradition with an understanding of future demands. Our educational strategies are innovative and modern, with technology fully integrated across our curriculum for both teaching and learning. We also place great importance on helping our students to become responsible citizens. While the best facilities and teaching practices are crucial, it has also been the strength of our community that has given the School its reputation both locally and abroad. In over 130 years, only nine Headmasters have presided over Camberwell Grammar School, a testament to our stability and longevity.