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Melbourne Girls' Grammar School

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Melbourne Girls' Grammar School

Melbourne Girls Grammar
Melbourne Girls Grammar crest. Source: (Melbourne Girls Grammar website)
Latin: Nisi Dominus Frustra
Without the Lord, All is in Vain
South Yarra, Victoria, Australia Australia
Coordinates 37°49′53″S 144°59′6″E / 37.83139°S 144.98500°E / -37.83139; 144.98500Coordinates: 37°49′53″S 144°59′6″E / 37.83139°S 144.98500°E / -37.83139; 144.98500

Type Independent, single-sex, (pre-school), (K-12), (day school and boarding school)
Denomination Anglican[1]
Established 1893[2]
Founder Emily Hensley & Alice Taylor
Chairman Anita Ziemer
Headmistress Catherine Misson
Chaplain Rev. Denise Nicholls
Enrolment ~950 (P–12)[3]
Colour(s) Navy blue, light blue and gold

Melbourne Girls Grammar (also known as MGGS), is an independent, Anglican, day and boarding school for girls, located in South Yarra, an inner city suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Founded in 1893 by Emily Hensley and Alice Taylor, the school has a non-selective enrolment policy and caters for 950 students from Pre-school to Year 12, including 90 boarders.[4]

Melbourne Girls' Grammar is affiliated with the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA),[5] the Junior School Heads Association of Australia (JSHAA),[6] the Alliance of Girls' Schools Australasia (AGSA),[7] the Association of Independent Schools of Victoria (AISV),[2] the Australian Boarding Schools Association (ABSA),[1] and is a founding member of Girls Sport Victoria (GSV).[8]


Melbourne Girls Grammar was founded in 1893, as a private school in Domain Road, South Yarra, by Miss Emily Hensley and Miss Alice Taylor. In 1900, the School moved to its current location in Anderson Street, and in 1903 it became the first girls' school to be owned by the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne.

Merton Hall, the senior school of Melbourne Girls' Grammar, was named after the house in Cambridge, England, where Newnham College began.[9]

The tenth Headmistress of Melbourne Girls Grammar, Christine Briggs, announced her retirement in 2007. Catherine Misson has been appointed to the position of Headmistress.[10]


The Junior Years (Prep - Year 4) learning environment is located at the Morris Hall Campus on Caroline Street, while the Early Learning Centre (3 and 4 Year Old Program) and the Middle Years (5 - 8) and Senior Years (Years 9 - 12) are located at the Merton Hall Campus, Anderson Street, South Yarra.

The Merton Hall Campus provides a chapel, gymnasium, library, dining hall, specialist Art, Drama and Science Centres, assembly hall, multipurpose sports fields and a rowing facility located nearby on the banks of the Yarra River. The Boarding House (which caters for approximately 80 students) and the Enrolments Centre are located on the Merton Hall Campus.

Wildfell, was built in 2011 for the Middle Years Program, which includes an eLearning studio and Learning Studios.

Morris Hall, the Junior Years Campus, incorporates Learning Studios, specialist Art, Music and Science Centres, oval and sustainable gardens.

Buildings and facilities

The school opened its Science Futures Centre in 2005, with a ceremony attended by Sir Gustav Nossal. The Science Futures Centre comprises eight laboratories, three preparation rooms, three laboratory technicians' offices and withdrawal areas.

In 2006, the school re-opened the Nina Crone Library, named after a past Headmistress.


Melbourne Girls Grammar offers Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) for its students at Years 11 to 12, with some students beginning their VCE studies in Year 10.

House system

The Middle and Senior School, Merton Hall houses are:

  • Batman:, yellow, named after the founder of Melbourne,
  • Clarke:, red, named after Archbishop Lowther Clarke, whose particular interest was diocesan education,
  • Hensley:, pink, commemorates one of the two first Headmistresses of the school - Miss Emily Hensley,
  • Mungo:, green, named after "St Mungo", the house in Domain Road where the school first opened in 1893,
  • Taylor:, blue, commemorates the other of the first two Headmistresses of the school - Miss Alice Taylor.

The Junior School, Morris Hall houses are:

  • Gould:, yellow. Elizabeth Gould helped her husband with his identification of bird life in the colonies. The Gouldian Finch was named after her,
  • Franklin, blue, Lady Jane Franklin endeavoured to establish an educational college for girls, worked to help the plight of convicts and helped discover the North-West passage.
  • Chisholm, red, Caroline Chisholm was a social worker who worked with young female emigrants arriving in Sydney.

Notable alumni

Community and philanthropy
  • Vera Deakin White – Red Cross worker[15]
Entertainment, media and the arts
Medicine and science

Associated schools

Melbourne Girls Grammar School is the sister school of Melbourne Grammar School with which it has a strong association, as the two stream productions, formals, workshops and concerts together. The student bases also enjoy a strong association throughout the secondary years as many MGGS girls attend Grimwade House (Melbourne Grammar School's co-educational primary campus).

See also


Further reading

  • McCarthy, R. and Theobald, M.R. 1993. Melbourne Girls Grammar School Centenary Essays 1893-1993. Hyland House, Melbourne. ISBN 1-875657-03-7.

External links

  • MGGS website
  • Girls Sport Victoria
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