Melbourne Church of England Grammar School
, as it was known up until the late 1960s, was founded in 1858 by the Anglican Church
a few kilometre
s down the road from the infant City of Melbourne
. From the start it was exclusive, catering to the young gentlemen
of rich immigrant English
families, and originally the student body consisted only of boarder
s. This was to change with the expansion of Melbourne, and today the majority of students are day boy
MGS is made up of three campuses. The junior school (years prep to 6), Grimwade House, is co-educational. It is located in the suburb of Caulfield, east of Melbourne city itself, and is named after the Grimwade family, who in 1918 donated the land and house for the use of the school. About 600 students attend Grimwade.
Whilst Grimawade has long catered to students of both sexes, the Old Melburnians have resisted any moves to inroduce girls to either the middle school (Wadhurst) or the Senior School. In fact, the last Headmaster who attempted to make any changes was quickly dismissed. Hence, all 400 Wadhust (years 7 and 8) and all 800 Senior School (9-12) students are male. These campuses adjoin one another and are found in Melbourne City and South Yarra respectively (the border between the suburbs runs through the Steele Oval).
The current Headmaster of Melbourne Grammar is one Paul "Shagger" Sheahan, a former (mediocre) Australian test cricketer whose main claim to fame amongst the student body is that he once fucked Olivia Newton-John on a pool table during a parents-and-staff party (Newton-John's daughter attended Geelong College where Sheahan was also Headmaster).
The school is very keen on interschool sport, which is compulsary for all students until year 12. Sports played include football (Australian Rules), cricket, field hockey, rowing, sailing, athletics and tennis.
Although nominally Anglican, the emphasis on religion at the school is low. One is certainly not required to be a Christian or take communion to attend, and alternative points of view on religion are definitely not repressed - one of the Chaplains was very fond of saying that there were "more than 23 different religions" represented amongst the student body. The resident chaplains when I was attending (1996-2001) were followers of the very mild form of Christianity that is Anglicanism, or even closet unbelievers, and were mostly about respecting difference and loving thy neighbour whilst turning a blind eye to the administration's violation of the spirit of the New Testament. Australians aren't exactly fanatical about religion in general, and the most we suffered was a relaxing 20 minute chapel fortnightly, and the odd hymn sung at assemblys close to "special" days - Easter, ANZAC Day etc.
Once upon a time, Melbourne Grammar was the epitome of exclusivity, a place where the true elite of Melbourne sent their boys. The waiting list was huge - if not enrolled at birth, there was no chance of ever attending. Now, it's just another private school, far less exclusive and respected than eg Wesley College or old rival Scotch College.
The teaching standard at the school remains relatively high, however the emphasis on sport and the correct wearing of uniform can at times get on one's nerves. And the students are, for the most part, jerks - spoilt, racist, sexist rich boys.