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Barker College is an independent Anglican co-educational early learning, primary and secondary day and boarding school, located in Hornsby, a North Shore suburb of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Barker was founded in 1890 by Henry Plume at Kurrajong Heights. In 2016 Barker announced a transition from a single-sex school for boys only to a fully co-educational school, commencing in 2018 with girls in early learning and Kindergarten, in 2019 with girls in Year 3; in 2020 with girls in Year 7. The college currently caters for approximately 2,100 students,[6] including 60 boarders from Years 10 to 12.[7][8]

Barker College
Barker College is located in Sydney
Barker College
Barker College

Coordinates33°42′40″S 151°6′1″E / 33.71111°S 151.10028°E / -33.71111; 151.10028Coordinates: 33°42′40″S 151°6′1″E / 33.71111°S 151.10028°E / -33.71111; 151.10028
TypeIndependent co-educational early learning, primary and secondary day and boarding school
MottoLatin: Honor Non Honores
(Seek Honour above Rewards)
Established1890; 129 years ago (1890)
FounderHenry Plume[1]
HeadmasterPhillip Heath[2]
ChaplainJeffrey (Jeff) Ware[2]
YearsEarly learning; and K-12
Enrolmentc. 2,100 (K-12)
  • 1,747 (Boys)
  • 356 (Girls)
Area44 hectares (110 acres)
Campus typeSuburban
Colour(s)Red, navy and gold             
SloganInspiring Tomorrow[4]

The Council of Barker College was originally constituted by the Barker College Ordinance of 1919. In 1939, Barker College was incorporated pursuant to the provisions of the Anglican Church of Australia (Bodies Corporate) Act 1938. Therefore, though Barker College is an Anglican school, it is separately incorporated and has its own governing body.

Barker is affiliated with the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference,[9] the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia,[10] the Junior School Heads Association of Australia,[11] the Australian Boarding Schools' Association,[7] the Independent Schools Association,[12] and is a founding member of the Combined Associated Schools.[12]



In 1890, Henry Plume took up the position of Rector at St Stephen’s Church, Kurrajong. It was here in 1890 that he tutored five local pupils for the Junior, Senior and Matriculation Examinations. Their academic success encouraged Plume to establish his own school. In 1891, Plume selected Stokesleigh, a guest house in Kurrajong Heights, as the site for this school. The name Barker College was chosen in memory of Frederic Barker, the second Bishop of Sydney whom Plume had met soon after his arrival in Australia. An outbreak of scarlet fever in 1894 convinced Plume that the School was too isolated and would be better located nearer to Sydney. Thus the School moved to its present site in Hornsby in 1896, and in 1919 its ownership transferred to the Church of England.[13]


1975 saw the introduction of the co-educational collegiate senior school for students in Years 11 and 12, with the enrolment of 59 female students. In 2000, Year 10 also became part of the senior School, and girls now enter the school at Year 10 level.[13] Today[when?] there are 350 girls enrolled at Barker.[7][14]

Religious historyEdit

In 2018, the Headmaster Phillip Heath signed a petition with the Anglican Church Diocese of Sydney to retain s 38(3) in the Sex Discrimination Act 1984(Cth) which allows private religious schools to discriminate against staff and students based on sexual orientation.[15] In the petition it was argued that "a more general right" to religious freedom should exist, and the existing statutory "exemptions should remain".[15]


Cigarette card featuring the Barker colours and crest, c. 1910s
Barker College entrance gates, Pacific Highway, Hornsby, New South Wales

The following individuals have served as Headmasters of Barker College:

Ordinal Officeholder Term start Term end Time in office Notes
1 Henry Plume 1890 1950 14–15 years
2 William Charles Carter 1905 1929 23–24 years
3 Arthur Charles Campbell Thorold 1929 1932 2–3 years
4 William Stanley Leslie 1933 1957 23–24 years
5 John Gordon Dewes 1958 1963 4–5 years
6 Trevor John McCaskill 1963 1986 22–23 years
7 Neil William Tucker 1986 1995 8–9 years
8 Dr Roderic Edward Kefford 1996 2013 16–17 years
9 Phillip John Heath 2014 present 4–5 years


The school motto, Honor, non Honores, is derived from the Latin term to mean "Seek Honour Above Rewards". The earliest record of the motto is on an illuminated address presented to Rev and Mrs Plume on their departure from the School in 1905.[16]


Barker College is situated on a 44-hectare (110-acre) campus in suburban Hornsby,[17] 25 kilometres to the north of Sydney (with additional facilities located in the Blue Mountains, The Grange, located at Mount Victoria). In 2016 the School opened an Indigenous Campus, Darkinjung Barker, at Yarramalong on the NSW Central Coast, for students in Kindergarten to Yr6.[18] The Junior School, shares the Hornsby campus with the Middle and Senior schools.[17]

The current facilities of the school include:

  • A library; An Information Technology Centre; The McCaskill Music Centre, containing private tuition studios, classrooms, a recording studio, and a recital hall;
  • Three Drama performance spaces, including four rehearsal rooms, a Green Room with changerooms, Two Drama Theatres with raked seating – The Rhodes Theatre and The BCMA Theatre, and the Leslie Hall;
  • The Centenary Design Centre with provision for individual studios and whole-class teaching in Design & Technology and Visual Arts;
  • The Barker Foundation Science Centre, containing fifteen teaching laboratories, four individual student laboratories and a 106-seat lecture theatre;
  • Boarding houses Carter West Wing – The Palace and Senior Studies (Boys) and Plume (Girls);
  • Six sporting fields, together with 11 Tennis courts and 12 Basketball courts, two indoors, 10 outdoor courts, and an artificial surface for Hockey, Football, Netball, Athletics, Basketball, Volleyball and other games;
  • Two gymnasiums, equipped with weights and resistance training equipment, and an adjoining indoor Aquatic Centre. A separate Girls’ gymnasium and cardio room including a spin bike room, the Barker Bunker.
  • The R. E. Kefford Building, equipped with 23 classrooms, 12 smaller group learning spaces, and 2 theatres which seat 302 and 215 respectively. This building is often used for Drama, English, and Christian Studies Lessons, encompassing Years 7–12 in this space.
  • A refurbished Junior School campus, featuring an enrichment centre and library, a media centre, a designated science room, robotics room and an art, woodwork and ceramics centre.
  • A prep (Pre-K to Year 2) campus opposite the junior campus, on the southern side of Clarke Rd featuring a Piazza.

Barker College House SystemEdit

As with most Australian schools, Barker College utilises a house system for students in years K-12. Each house has a teacher in charge, called a Head of House. The junior school introduce 6 six Houses that were named after explorers of Australia and Antarctica: Byrd, Flinders, Hillary, Mawson, Scott & Tasman. The Middle and Senior School introduces 16 sixteen new houses, named after influential people in the school's history, such as alumni or board members.

Junior school housesEdit

The houses are named after explorers of Australia and Antarctica: Byrd, Flinders, Hillary, Mawson, Scott and Tasman

Houses House Crest Colour Motto
Byrd Green Latin: Acta Non Verba
'Action not Words'
House of the Barker College, Junior School
White Latin: Omnia Parati
'Ready for Anything'
House of the Barker College, Junior School
Yellow Latin: Vincite Vestros Montes
;'Conquer Your Mountains'
House of the Barker College, Junior School
Dark blue Latin: NumQuam Cedite
'Never Give Up'
House of the Barker College, Junior School
Red Latin: Celeriter Et Fortiter
'Swift and Determined'
House of the Barker College, Junior School
Light blue Latin: Con Spirito
'With Spriit'

Middle and Senior School HousesEdit

House Shield #2 Barker College Middle School

The middle and senior school houses are named after influential figures in the school's history, with eight male and eight female namesakes.[19] In July 2018 the College announced they would be changing the pastoral care system for the middle and senior school following the introduction of coeducation. The existing houses are all named after influential males from the school's rich history, and after the introduction of coeducation, another eight new houses were announced, after important women in the school's past. These new houses are Bowman, Fear, Hill, Mackenzie, May, Stevens, Sthalekar and Stone, adding to the list of existing houses; Andrew, Boyce, Butters, Holt, Pain, Wade, Wailes and Wilson. Both male and female students will be sorted into one of the 16 houses, regardless of gender. Current students will be affected as half of the boys will be moved to one of the new houses. The new houses didn't have mottoes before 2019 but in late 2018, they were introduced.

Houses Colour Motto Founded
Andrew Black Latin: Fortes Fortuna Adiuvat
'Fortune follows the brave'
Bowman Dark purple
'From one to all'
Boyce Light blue Latin: Aspiro
'Simply Aspire'
Butters Grey Latin: Diriget Deus
'God will direct'
Fear Orange
'Courageous Soul'
Hill Magenta
'Strength lies in difference'
Holt Dark green Latin: Is Fidelis Vincit
'Faith brings luck'
Mackenzie Lime green
'Together we are one'
May Olive green
'Dare to know'
Pain White Latin: Vive Et Vivat
'Live and let live'
Stevens Pale purple
'To act justly'
Sthalekar Gold
'Our best always'
Stone Teal
'The truth never perishes'
Wade Royal blue Latin: Labor In Unum
'Work together'
Wailes Yellow Latin: Per Laborem Ad Victoriam
'From hard work comes victory'
Wilson Maroon Latin: Deus Est Meum Scutum
'God is my Shield'

Notable alumniEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Barker College". New South Wales. School Choice. 2007. Archived from the original on August 30, 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-23.
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ a b "Annual Report 2006" (PDF). About Barker. Barker College. 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-23.[dead link]
  4. ^ "Barker College - Home". Barker College: An Anglican School. Barker College. Archived from the original on 22 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-23.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "School profile | My School". Retrieved 2018-03-26.
  7. ^ a b c "Barker College". Schools. Australian Boarding Schools' Association. 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-11-17. Retrieved 2008-01-23.
  8. ^ Braga, Stuart. Barker College – A History, (Ferguson, Sydney, 1978)
  9. ^ "International Members". HMC Schools. The Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference. Archived from the original on 15 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-11.
  10. ^ "AHISA Schools". New South Wales. Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia. January 2008. Archived from the original on 2007-11-02. Retrieved 2008-01-23.
  11. ^ "JSHAA New South Wales Directory of Members". New South Wales Branch. Junior School Heads' Association of Australia. 2007. Archived from the original on 17 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-23.
  12. ^ a b "Sport". Co-Curricular. Barker College. Archived from the original on 14 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-23.
  13. ^ a b "History of Barker College". About Barker. Barker College. Archived from the original on 14 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-23.
  14. ^ Binns, Marjorie. Barker Girls. Co-Education at Barker College 1975–2005, (Barker College, Hornsby, 2006)
  15. ^ a b Sullivan, Rebecca (2018-11-01). "Anglican Church Diocese of Sydney's open letter asking politicians to keep laws that allow gay teachers to be fired". Retrieved 2019-02-11.
  16. ^ (Barker College Archives Collection).
  17. ^ a b "Barker Now". About Barker. Barker College. Archived from the original on 12 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-23.
  18. ^ "Aims and Objectives". Vision and Values. Barker College. Archived from the original on 29 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-23.
  19. ^ Barker. "Barker College Houses". Barker. Retrieved 2018-08-05.

External linksEdit