Hale School

Hale School is an exclusive independent, Anglican day and boarding school for boys, located in Wembley Downs, a coastal suburb of Perth, Western Australia.

Hale School
Hale School Crest
Coordinates31°54′41″S 115°46′51″E / 31.91139°S 115.78083°E / -31.91139; 115.78083Coordinates: 31°54′41″S 115°46′51″E / 31.91139°S 115.78083°E / -31.91139; 115.78083
TypeIndependent, day & boarding
Sister schoolSt Mary's
ChairmanMark Foster[2]
HeadmasterDean Dell'Oro[3]
ChaplainEleanor O’Donnell
Enrolment~1,500 (1-12)[4]
Colour(s)Oxford blue & Cambridge blue

Founded by Bishop Mathew Blagden Hale in 1858,[1] Hale School is the oldest private boys' school in Western Australia. The school was originally situated at the Cloisters on St Georges Terrace in Perth, relocated to the Pensioner Guard Barracks at the top of St George's Terrace around 1880, and then to new Havelock Street premises in 1914 in West Perth. In 1961 the School moved to its current premises in Wembley Downs. The campus now consists of a junior school for Years Pre-Primary to 6, a middle school for Years 7 & 8 and a senior school for Year 9 to 12. The school also consists of sporting grounds, and boarding facilities for regional and international students.

The school is a member of the Public Schools Association and the Junior School Heads Association of Australia.

Hale's sister school is St Mary's Anglican Girls' School located in Karrinyup, a nearby suburb.

In 2008, Hale School celebrated its sesquicentennial (150th) anniversary.


Hale rowing team 1939

Part of Australia's colonial history, Hale School was the first high school in Western Australia,[5] and the school educated many prominent sons of the Swan River Colony. The school was originally known as Boys High School and the inaugural chairman was Archibald Paull Burt, a notable jurist and slaveholder (in the West Indies).[6][7]

Modelled on England's prestigious public schools, it has sometimes been accused of being elitist. For example, in his biography of Sir John Forrest, Frank Crowley described the school's values throughout the 1870s as "a heady compound of social snobbery, laissez-faire capitalism, sentimental royalism, patriotic Anglicanism, benevolent imperialism and racial superiority".[8]

Collectable cigarette card featuring the Hale colours and crest, c. 1920s

In contemporary social commentary, for example Professor Mark Peel's study of class and schooling in Australia, Hale School was identified as one of the most rigorous and selective schools for boys.[9] In recent times equity concerns have been addressed by a scholarship program, including the first full boarding scholarships in Western Australia for Indigenous students.[10]

The school was initially known as "Bishop Hale's Collegiate School", and later as "The High School". It has since been renamed "Hale School" in honour of its founder, and reconstituted under the Hale School Act (1876) of the Parliament of Western Australia.[11]


Bishop Hale's Collegiate School was designed by Richard Roach Jewell in 1858 and is situated on St Georges Terrace. The buildings eventually became known as The Cloisters. In 1914, the School moved to a more spacious site at Havelock Street, West Perth, opposite the Parliament of Western Australia. Finally, in 1961, the school relocated to its current 480,000 m2 (120 acres) premises in Wembley Downs.


Sesquicentenary logo
Period Details
1858–1863 Canon George Hallett Sweeting
1864 Acting Headmaster – John Bussell
1864–1869 Rev. FT Taylor
1869–1872 Rev. FA Hare
1872–1878 Col. EW Haynes
1878–1882 Rev. D Davies
1882–1888 T Beuttler
1888–1889 R Gee
1889–1914 FC Faulkner
1915–1928 MA Wilson
1929–1931 PR Le Couteur
1931–1946 MA Buntine
1940–1943 C Hadley (Acting)
1946–1960 VS Murphy
1960–1965 JR Prince
1966 L Drake (Acting)
1967–1988 KG Tregonning
1989–2002 John Inverarity
2003–2016 Stuart G Meade
2017- Dean Dell'Oro


Hale School's campus is a 48-hectare site located in Wembley Downs. The administration building, Memorial Hall (including the redfoot youth theatre), Tom Hoar Dining Hall, Stowe Drama Centre, Forrest Library, Chapel of St Mark, cafeteria, clothing store, IT department and Old Haleians' Boardroom are all located on the south west corner of the campus near the main entrance.

The Peter Wright Technology Building, which houses the Design and Technology Workshop as well as Computer and Design Suites sits adjacent to the Doug Poake Pool. Also adjacent to the swimming pool is the art complex, gymnasium and change-rooms.

The John Inverarity Music and Drama Centre is located on the western side of the campus facing Unwin Avenue. This building separates the Senior School from the Junior School which is located on the north west corner of the campus, along with the junior boarding residence, Brine House. The senior boarding house is located on the eastern side of the campus while the sports playing fields occupy the north east.

Forrest LibraryEdit

The new Teaching and Learning precinct on the site of the old boarding houses near the south entrance to the campus was officially opened on 1 July 2009. The main feature of this project, a new Library Resource Centre includes a dedicated Year 12 study area and Gifted and Talented and Curriculum Support rooms facing a central courtyard. Beneath the library is a new clothing store, IT department and Old Haleians' Boardroom.

While the library was open for student use from February 2009 school year,[12] the official opening ceremony was not held until 1 July 2009, when it was officially opened by Andrew Forrest and unveiled as the Forrest Library.[13] It honours members of the Forrest family, from Sir John Forrest to Alexander Forrest, and on to Andrew Forrest himself, who had been educated at Hale.

Also included in this precinct is a new cafeteria with internal and external seating opposite the library and a new Teaching and Learning building. The classroom block ('F-block') consists of 17 teaching spaces for History, English and languages, as well as two language oral work rooms and new office space for teaching staff. Another important feature is a set-down and pick-up road that runs from a new 50-bay carpark adjacent to the chapel, along the front of the classroom block, past the Library undercroft, before rejoining the main drive.

In 2010 the Australian Institute of Architects awarded the Forrest Library an Architecture Award for Public Architecture.[14]

John Inverarity Music and Drama CentreEdit

John Inverarity Music and Drama Centre

The John Inverarity Music and Drama Centre comprises a large auditorium/theatre, backstage holding rooms, two main rehearsal studios, percussion and string studios, two large music teaching rooms and 19 music practice rooms. It was first opened for use in January 2001.

The centrepiece of the complex is the timber-lined recital auditorium which accommodates 353 patrons on stepped tiers with a flat performance area 17 m wide and 12 m deep. The auditorium design has been dictated by the requirements to have natural acoustics for music. This has been achieved through the use of a traditional 'rectangular box' design with a maximum ceiling height of 8 m. The auditorium can be tuned for different instruments and various music/drama performances to achieve desired acoustic qualities. This is accomplished by a system of moveable full-height wall reflectors, suspended ceiling reflectors and rotating wall panels with differing degrees of absorptive linings. The ceiling loft is mechanised with 27 variable speed automatic winch lines which give a great degree of flexibility for a range of shows.

Middle schoolEdit

The construction of a new Middle School facility commenced in January 2009 and was completed in January 2010. The Middle School site is located adjacent to Unwin Avenue, between the John Inverarity Music and Drama Centre and the Memorial Hall. The building contains 16 classrooms for Year 7 and 8 students. The Year 8 Classrooms are on the ground floor and the Year 7 Classrooms are on the first floor. The main entrance, reception & administration offices for the Head of Middle School, Deputy Head, Head of Curriculum & Head of Pastoral Care are located on a separate intermediate level, which is at street level with Unwin Avenue. Other staff facilities are located on the ground floor. In addition, the facility incorporates one of the School's existing buildings ('L-block' classrooms) which were refurbished as music, drama and science classrooms for the Middle School. The ground level of this building was refurbished as a Middle School Science Classroom (and store room), with the upper level refitted to house a Drama classroom, Music classroom (with store room) & 4 music practice rooms.

The refurbishment of this building commenced in October 2009 but was not completed in time for the commencement of the school year in February 2010. The new building replaced the 'C-block' classrooms and Senior School Library that previously occupied the site and were demolished in December 2008.[15][16]

Junior SchoolEdit

The Hale Junior school was originally built when the Wembley Downs campus was opened. Today, it has classes from Pre - Primary up to Year 6, with around 400 students enrolled. It was demolished in 2017 to give way to an award - winning new campus. Some awards include 'Architecture Award for Education Architecture, Western Australia 2019' and 'Learning Environments WA Chapter, Category 2: New Construction / New Individual Facility over $8m'. It features a modern design with the year groups split up into a 'Lower Junior' (PP to Year 2), 'Middle Junior' (Year 3 and Year 4) and 'Upper Junior' (Year 5 and Year 6). All buildings have open areas, called 'breakout spaces', where students can work together in small groups or presentations can be held.[17]

Sporting facilitiesEdit

Hale School students at a football match 1929

Hale School campus includes various sporting facilities, including:[18]

  • an eight lane 25-metre heated swimming pool[19][20]
  • a ten lane 50-metre heated swimming pool[19][20]
  • a gymnasium, with basketball, badminton, volleyball, squash and rock climbing facilities
  • weights room
  • rowing ergo room
  • 16 tennis courts: 12 plexipave, 4 grass
  • 4 football fields
  • 4 plexipave outdoor basketball courts
  • 5 cricket ovals with turf wickets
  • 32 cricket practice wickets: both synthetic and turf
  • 4 soccer fields
  • cross country tracks
  • 2 rugby fields
  • track and field facilities
  • aquaturf surface hockey field with clubrooms
  • 3 additional grass hockey ovals
  • a rowing fleet housed at Cygnet Hall on the Swan River (off campus)

In 1885, the school entered a team into the West Australian Football Association (WAFA) for its inaugural season, but were forced to withdraw two rounds into the season due to a lack of players.[21]

Hale School has hosted important teams over the years, including the English Rugby Team on occasions, namely for training during the 2003 Rugby World Cup. The school hosted the English Cricket Academy, including international cricketers Michael Vaughan, Owais Shah, Stuart Broad, Rikki Clarke and Jon Lewis for nets sessions and practice matches, as seen on the front page of The West Australian on 29 November 2006.[22]

Hale also employs a number[quantify] of coaches to lead and assist with their co-curricular program.

House systemEdit

There are currently 10 houses in Hale Middle/Senior School. These include 8-day houses, and 2 boarding houses:

  • Buntine – red (named after former headmaster MA Buntine)
  • Faulkner (boarding) – light green (named after former headmaster FC Faulkner)
  • Havelock – black and yellow striped
  • Haynes (named after former teacher Paddy Haynes) – yellow
  • Loton – orange and navy blue
  • Parry – navy blue (named after the Parry family who made a large donation to the school)
  • Riley – dark green
  • Meade (formerly St Georges) – red and white (named after former headmaster SG Meade)
  • Tregonning – maroon (named after former headmaster KG Tregonning)
  • Wilson (boarding) – blue (named after former headmaster MA Wilson)

Loton was changed from a boarding house to a day house in 2005, following the completion of the new boarding house. Prior to this Loton's colour was brown. Year 7 & 8 boarders are housed in Brine House, which is located between the Junior School and the Music and Drama Centre, they are however also members of either Faulkner or Wilson houses.

There are also 4 houses in Hale Junior School, named after Rhodes Scholars:

  • Davy – Dark green
  • Turnbull – Blue
  • Rosier – Yellow
  • Walker – Red

Academic standingEdit

Since 2000, Hale School has won five of the Beazley Medals, awarded to the student obtaining the highest marks in the state administered tertiary entrance examinations.[23][24]

The school appears regularly in the top 10 schools for the Western Australian Certificate of Education rankings.

Year % +75 in WACE[i] State ranking[ii] % +65 in WACE[iii] State ranking % graduation[iv]
2014 27.09 7 59.89 5 100[25]
2013 28.17 5 58.59 5 100[26]
2012 28.77 4 66.95 3 100[27]
2011 36.69 1 72.14 2 100[28]
2010 25.73 10 65.47 8 99.50[29]
2009 6 2 99.49[30]
  1. ^ Based on the number of Stage 3 course enrolments in the school where a WACE course score of 75 or above was achieved
  2. ^ Ranking of school compared to other schools in the state
  3. ^ Based on the number of Stage 3 course enrolments in the school where a WACE course score of 65 or above was achieved
  4. ^ Percentage of Year 12 cohort that graduated with a WACE certificate


Hale is a member of the Public Schools Association (PSA).

PSA premiershipsEdit

Hale has won the following PSA premierships.[31]

  • Athletics (14) - 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1928, 1934, 1939, 1941, 1992, 2001, 2002, 2017
  • Badminton (4) - 2005, 2007, 2008, 2019
  • Basketball (10) - 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1994, 1995, 2008, 2017
  • Cricket (28) - 1905, 1906, 1907, 1909, 1911, 1916, 1922, 1925, 1933, 1934, 1938, 1947, 1948, 1950, 1956, 1961, 1966, 1967, 1976, 1992, 1995, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2011, 2019
  • Football (22) - 1921, 1939, 1941, 1947, 1966, 1973, 1978, 1984, 1985, 1989, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2019
  • Golf (6) - 2004, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2015
  • Hockey (5) - 1980, 1990, 2012, 2014, 2019
  • Rowing (2) - 2000, 2001
  • Rugby (24) - 1964, 1965, 1969, 1971, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1980, 1982, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
  • Soccer (10) - 1993, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2018, 2019
  • Surfing (3) - 2006, 2016, 2017
  • Swimming (40) - 1919, 1923, 1925, 1926, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1944, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1991, 1992, 1998, 2003, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
  • Tennis (18) - 1965, 1966, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1985, 1986, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2014
  • Volleyball - 2019
  • Water Polo (4) - 1997, 2008, 2014, 2015


Hale School's main publication is the school's official book, The Cygnet, which is released at the start of each year and includes about 250 pages of the previous year's major happenings, school photos and sports results. The school also publishes an alumni magazine, The Haleian, twice a year, usually around June and November.

  • History of the School: W. J. Edgar (2008), From Slate to Cyberspace (Hale School, 150 years), Hale School, Wembley Downs, Western Australia
  • Book: W. J. Edgar (1994), From Veldt to Vietnam, Haleians at War, Old Haleians' Association, Wembley Downs, Western Australia

Hale School and the Australian Defence ForceEdit

Former students have served in all conflicts since the Boer War with many having distinguished military careers.[32]

Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith, Hale Class of 1995, son of Major General Len Roberts-Smith, is currently Australia's most decorated soldier, having been awarded the Victoria Cross and Medal for Gallantry.

One hundred and twenty four Old Haleians have died in conflicts since the Boer War. A Memorial Grove at the School site, honours these men with 124 plaques and a sculpture with an "eternal flame" theme. The great hall of the School has also been named Memorial Hall. The Hale School Museum contains important military and civilian records relating to the School and the state of Western Australia. A small Museum display is also located at the Old Hale School, now the Constitutional Centre of Western Australia, on Havelock Street, West Perth.

Image galleryEdit

Notable alumniEdit

An alumnus of Hale School is called an Old Haleian. Notable Old Haleians include:

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Hale School". Search for School. Association of Independent Schools of Western Australia. Archived from the original on 25 October 2007. Retrieved 26 December 2007.
  2. ^ "Our board of governors". Hale School. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  3. ^ "Headmaster's welcome". Hale School. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  4. ^ "Hale School". Schools. Australian Boarding Schools' Association. Archived from the original on 17 November 2007. Retrieved 26 December 2007.
  5. ^ https://www.hale.wa.edu.au/Media/HaleSchool/PDFs/A_Potted_History.pdf
  6. ^ Fernandes, C. Island Off the Coast of Asia: Instruments of statecraft in Australian foreign policy (Melbourne: Monash University Publishing, 2018), 15.
  7. ^ https://www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/person/view/25939
  8. ^ Frank Crowley, Big John Forrest, University of Western Australia Press (2000)
  9. ^ Professor M Peel, 'Who Went Where: the Schooling of the Australian Elite', Melbourne University History Research Series no. 1. Melbourne Melbourne University Press (1992), p 103 and following
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 18 July 2008. Retrieved 2 August 2008.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ Hale School Act (1876) (WA), see especially the Preamble "Whereas it is expedient to make provision for the establishment of a High School for the purpose of giving to Boys an education similar to that given in the Grammar and advanced schools in the other Australasian Colonies..."
  12. ^ "Forrest Library". Hale School. Archived from the original on 9 April 2013. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
  13. ^ The Haleian Archived 18 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Volume 21, No. 2, November 2009, pp. 8–9
  14. ^ "2010 WA State Architecture Awards: Full List of Winners". Australian Institute of Architects. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
  15. ^ Hale School, FAQ – Middle School Development http://www.hale.wa.edu.au/Development/Documents/Middle%20School%20-%20Frequently%20Asked%20Questions%20FINAL.pdf Archived 12 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ City of Stirling, Minutes – Council Meeting 16 December 2008 (pg 53) http://www.stirling.wa.gov.au/NR/rdonlyres/71ABBAB2-C609-42AB-A23F-A79538BC3E3E/0/CouncilMinutes16December2008.pdf Archived 16 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ https://www.sitearchitecture.com.au/project/hale-junior-school/
  18. ^ "Sporting Facilities". Hale School. Archived from the original on 14 May 2013. Retrieved 14 September 2013.
  19. ^ a b "Halean Volume 25 No.1 July 2013". Hale School. 2013. p. 27. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
  20. ^ a b "Halean Volume 25 No.2 December 2013". Hale School. 2013. p. 7. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
  21. ^ Rovers – FullPointsFooty. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
  22. ^ "page 1". Western Australian Newspapers Limited. 29 November 2006. Archived from the original on 16 March 2007.
  23. ^ "Christopher Mofflin, 17, of Hale School at Wembley Downs, northwest of Perth, has won the 2006 Beazley Medal for the best result in the Tertiary Entrance Examination, with a score of 98.69." The Australian Newspaper (Online) 31 December 2006
  24. ^ "Globe-trotting TV star wins Beazley Medal" The Sunday Times (Online) 4 January 2008 http://www.news.com.au/perthnow/story/0,21598,24868527-2761,00.html
  25. ^ "Year 12 Student Achievement Data" (PDF). Government of Western Australia. 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 March 2015. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
  26. ^ "Year 12 Student Achievement Data" (PDF). Government of Western Australia. 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 March 2015. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
  27. ^ "Year 12 Student Achievement Data" (PDF). Government of Western Australia. 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 August 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  28. ^ "Year 12 Student Achievement Data" (PDF). Government of Western Australia. 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 August 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  29. ^ "Year 12 Student Achievement Data" (PDF). Government of Western Australia. 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 August 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  30. ^ "Year 12 Student Achievement Data" (PDF). Government of Western Australia. 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 March 2015. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  31. ^ "Records – Public Schools Association". Retrieved 13 February 2021.
  32. ^ See generally, William Edger, Veldt to Vietnam: Halians at War (2001)

External linksEdit