Open main menu

Canberra Grammar School is a co-educational, independent, day and boarding school, located in Red Hill, a suburb of Canberra, the capital of Australia.

Canberra Grammar School (CGS)
Canberra Grammar School crest. Source: (Canberra Grammar School website)
Coordinates35°19′51″S 149°7′31″E / 35.33083°S 149.12528°E / -35.33083; 149.12528Coordinates: 35°19′51″S 149°7′31″E / 35.33083°S 149.12528°E / -35.33083; 149.12528
Typeindependent, co-educational, day and boarding
MottoLatin: Deo Ecclesiae Patriae
(For God, for Church, for Country)
ChairmanSteve Byron[1]
Head of schoolJustin Garrick
ChaplainAndrew Robinson
Teaching staff191[3]
Enrolment2,028 (ELC-12)[2]
CampusesRed Hill Campus & Northside Campus
Colour(s)Navy blue, sky blue & gold
SloganReady for the world

The school is affiliated with the Anglican Church of Australia and provides an education from pre-school to Year 12 for boys and girls. In October 2015, the school announced that it would extend co-education to all years, commencing in 2016 with an intake of girls in Years 3 and 4. In 2017, this co-education offering extended to Years 7 and 11, and in 2018, all years were opened to co-education. The school aims to achieve full co-education by 2020.[4] In 2017, the school enrolled boys and girls from pre-school to Year 7, boys in Year 8 to 10, boys and girls in Year 11 and boys in Year 12.

The school was founded in 1929 when the existing Monaro Grammar School was relocated to Canberra from Cooma.[5] The foundation stone was laid on 4 December 1928 by Prime Minister Stanley Bruce. Initially it was attended by only 63 students, but has grown considerably since the early 1950s to a total attendance of 1,749 students as of June 2015.[6]



In the primary school, the Australian Curriculum and Early Years Learning Framework requirements are incorporated through International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme.[7]

In the senior school, from years 7 to 10, the school follows the Australia Curriculum and the ACT Every chance to learn curriculum framework.[8] Unlike other schools in the Australian Capital Territory, Canberra Grammar School does not follow the ACT Year 12 Curriculum. Instead, students in years 11 and 12 have the option to study either the New South Wales Higher School Certificate (HSC) or the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.[9] In 2012, Canberra Grammar became an International Baccalaureate World School.[10]


The school offers many activities outside of school hours. These include sport, music and other activities.[11]

Education technologyEdit

Canberra Grammar School uses a wide range of technologies to enhance learning. From Year 4, students are required to have a device for research. In Year 7 and above, CGS students are required to have a laptop.

In classroomsEdit

Interactive whiteboards are installed in all Senior School and Junior School classrooms. These allow teachers and students to share content through connected PCs or wireless from a number of devices.

In 2012 the school commenced a Mobile Technology trial, giving each Year 9 student an iPad for use in the classroom and at home.[14] This trial was funded by the Federal Government under the Digital Education Revolution. Following the trial, the school decided to implement a bring your own device scheme. This began in 2013 and students in the Senior School were encouraged to bring a 'light' mobile device such as a tablet or laptop. These mobile devices had to meet certain specifications set by the school to ensure that they were appropriate and useful learning tools. From 2014, all Senior Students were required to have a mobile device at school and laptops are now used by most students.

Junior School students in Years 5 and 6 were also encouraged to bring a tablet to school; Year 4 students may optionally bring one. Tablets are provided to students in early years and to students in years 4 to 6 who do not bring their own device.

The school has several computer labs available for student use.

All teaching staff are issued laptops to increase engagement with technology.

Systems availableEdit

The school has a campus-wide wireless network providing high-speed Internet access to students, staff and guests.

The school maintains its own servers to deliver authentication, email, database and anti-virus services. Network security filtering is used to protect students.

Canberra Grammar School runs a student information system, a learning management system and a single sign-on system allowing convenient access between systems.


The school has a dedicated Education Technology Support Department with 12 staff including a service desk providing support to staff and students, an AV technician, data and networking specialists, a full-time trainer and management.


Grounds and buildings of Canberra Grammar School viewed from Red Hill

List of housesEdit

As with most Australian schools, Canberra Grammar utilises a house system. The Senior School consists of nine houses:[15]

House Colour(s) Mascot
Burgmann Lion rampant
Blaxland Swan
Garran Bull
Garnsey Dove with olive branch
Eddison Eagle
Hay Murray cod
Jones Dark Dragon
Sheaffe Pegasus
Edwards Kookaburra
Middleton Stag

Edwards House is the current holder of the Manaro House Shield, the award for the culmination of inter-house competitions.

The school also has two Year 7 houses:

House Mascot
Clements Agnus Dei (lamb)
Burgess Kangaroo

The Junior School has four houses:

House Colour
Edwards Green
Radford Red
Garnsey Blue
CJ Shakespeare Gold

Inter-house competitionsEdit

Houses form the basis of much of the inter-school competition that occurs throughout the academic calendar. Currently, the three prizes are awarded annually to houses these are the Manaro House Shield, the Captain's Cup, and the Sports master's Cup.

Manaro House ShieldEdit


  • Swimming
  • Cross Country
  • Athletics
  • House music (shout, rock, 4-20 voices (a capella) and instrumental)
  • Effort grades

The House Shield is currently held by Edwards House.

Captain's CupEdit

The exact events of the Captain's Cup are at the discretion of the captains and vice-captains of the school, and thus vary on a year-to-year basis. Typical events include:

  • Soccer
  • Touch football
  • Cricket
  • Tennis
  • Netball (since 2018)
  • Medical warfare (dodge-ball)
  • Debating
  • Chess
  • Basketball
  • The CGS Race

Typically, a "CGS All Star" team is selected from players in the competition to compete against the champion house in each event.

The Captain's Cup is currently held by Manaro House.

Sports master's CupEdit

The Sports master's Cup is determined by:

  • Spirit
  • Attendance
  • Participation

The Sports master's Cup is currently held by Edwards House.

Heads of schoolEdit

Name Term
W.J. Edwards 1929–1946
A.E. Gardner 1947
David A. Garnsey 1948–1958
Paul J. McKeown, AM 1959–1985
Timothy C. Murray 1986–1998
A. Simon Murray, OAM 1998–2010
Christopher Welsh 2010
Justin Garrick 2011–present

Notable alumniEdit

  • Kerry Packer, publishing, media and gaming tycoon[24]
  • Terry Snow, Executive Director of the Canberra Airport Group,[25] Australian businessman (trained accountant), entrepreneur, and philanthropist
Media, entertainment and the arts
Politics, public service and the law

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "CGS: Governance". Canberra Grammar School. Archived from the original on 20 December 2014. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "CGS Annual Report 2018". issuu. Retrieved 5 July 2019.
  3. ^ "CGS Annual Report 2017". issuu. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  4. ^ "CGS goes fully co-educational". Canberra Grammar School. October 2015.
  5. ^ "Canberra Boys' Grammar School and oval, Red Hill, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory". Australian National University photographs. 1948. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  6. ^ "CGS Annual Report 2015". issuu. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  7. ^ "The IB Primary Years Programme & Australian Curriculum". Retrieved 17 November 2015.
  8. ^ "The Curriculum Year 7 to Year 10". Retrieved 17 November 2015.
  9. ^ "The Curriculum Year 11 to Year 12". Retrieved 16 December 2015.
  10. ^ "Canberra Grammar School - International Baccalaureate". IBO. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  11. ^ "Co-Curricular". Canberra Grammar School. 13 March 2009. Archived from the original on 26 April 2009.
  12. ^ Code Cadets
  13. ^ Sustainable CGS
  14. ^ "CGS: Teaching and Innovation". Canberra Grammar School. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  15. ^ "Houses". Canberra Grammar School. 13 March 2009. Archived from the original on 17 February 2010.
  16. ^ Debating Team. McKeown PJ (ed) Deo, Ecclesiae, Patriae Fifty Years of Canberra Grammar School ANU Press Canberra 1979 p195
  17. ^ Debating Team. Original choral music composition YABROVIII won 1976 music prize The Canberran 1976: 44: 72.
  18. ^ Pursehouse Prize for Cricket (Cptn 1st XI); Prize for Ancient History; Littlejohn Prize for Public Speaking (Senior). Debating Team. 1st XV. The Canberran 1976: 44: 90 and 165.
  19. ^ "NSW Rhodes Scholars" Archived 2007-09-15 at the Wayback MachineUniversity of Sydney list, (retrieved 16 April 2007)
  20. ^ 1st XI and early entry ANU. The Canberran 1976; 44: 79 and 91
  21. ^ "City University website", (retrieved 1 January 2009).
  22. ^ Smarden Essay Prize 1976. Debating Team. The Canberran 1976: 44: 38-43, 166
  23. ^ Butler Prize for Modern History. Debating Team. The Canberran 1976; 44: 166
  24. ^ "Chip off the old block". Melbourne: Fairfax Digital. 31 December 2005.
  25. ^ "Team | Canberra Airport". Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  26. ^ Debating Team. The Canberran 1976: 44: 38-43.
  27. ^ "Francis James interviewed by Stewart Harris [sound recording] | National Library of Australia". Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  28. ^ [1] Archived October 4, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  29. ^ "Standup Comic Sits in for a While". Retrieved 28 March 2011.[dead link]
  30. ^ 2nd place music competition The Canberran 1976: 44: 72
  31. ^ "The Hon. Wallace Clyde Fife". Former Members of the Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
  32. ^ Dodd, Mark (20 October 2008). "Eco-brawler unworried about front line". The Australian. Archived from the original on 15 December 2012.
  33. ^ "Passions kept Carr on track". The Sydney Morning Herald. 3 August 2005.
  34. ^ Capital Magazine Publishing (18 May 2008). "I love my Capital" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 March 2012. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  35. ^ 1st X1 and 1st XV The Canberran 1976: 44: 88
  36. ^ "Mr Peter William Webb". Former Members of the Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
  37. ^ National Museum of Australia: Gough Whitlam (accessed:02-08-2007)
  38. ^ "Cycling Australia > Home | Edward Bissaker". Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  39. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 1 September 2011. Retrieved 22 May 2011.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  40. ^ "ROMS | Crew listing for Canberra Grammar racing the Schoolboy Coxed Quad Scull at 2009 Hydro Tasmania Australian Rowing Championships and Interstate Regatta". Archived from the original on 20 March 2012. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  41. ^ a b c d "Rugby — Canberra Grammar School". Archived from the original on 17 February 2011. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  42. ^ "A man on top of his game". The Sydney Morning Herald. 10 March 2007.
  43. ^ "Michael Milton". Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  44. ^ "1986 National Championships - Australian Rowing History". Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  45. ^ "Athlete profile: Fergus Pragnell". Archived from the original on 13 March 2014. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  46. ^ | Australian Sevens Player Profiles (accessed:26-11-2009) Archived July 1, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  47. ^ "Swimming Australia". Archived from the original on 21 March 2012. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  48. ^ Inquiry into fitness to plead of David Harold Eastman, page 56
  49. ^'s-murder-conviction-quashed/5688270

Further readingEdit

  • McKeown, P.J., Editor (1979). Deo, Ecclesiae, Patriae; Fifty Years of Canberra Grammar School. Australian National University Press. ISBN 0-7081-1591-8.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)