SCEGGS Darlinghurst

Coordinates: 33°52′33″S 151°13′6″E / 33.87583°S 151.21833°E / -33.87583; 151.21833
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SCEGGS Darlinghurst
Diana Bowman Performing Arts Centre at SCEGGS
215 Forbes Street

, ,

Coordinates33°52′33″S 151°13′6″E / 33.87583°S 151.21833°E / -33.87583; 151.21833
Former names
  • Sydney Church of England Girls Grammar School
    (1895–c. 1902)
  • Sydney Church of England Girls' Grammar School, Darlinghurst (S.C.E.G.G.S.)
    (c. 1902–1976)
TypeIndependent single-sex primary and secondary day and boarding school
MottoLatin: Luceat Lux Vestra
(Let Your Light Shine
(Matthew 5:16))
Established1895; 129 years ago (1895)
FounderEdith Badham
Educational authorityNew South Wales Education Standards Authority
ChairmanSharon Cook
PrincipalJenny Allum
Enrolmentc. 900[1] (2019)
Colour(s)Navy blue and white   
SCEGGS students at a French Exhibition at David Jones, 1944

SCEGGS Darlinghurst is an independent Anglican single-sex primary and secondary day and boarding school for girls, located in Darlinghurst, an inner-city, eastern suburb of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Founded in 1895 as the Sydney Church of England Girls Grammar School, the school's official name was changed to SCEGGS Darlinghurst in 1995. The school has a non-selective enrolment policy and currently caters for approximately 890 students from Kindergarten to Year 12. The school is regularly among the top-performing schools in New South Wales academically.[1] While predominantly a day school, SCEGGS offers a small number of boarding places at St Vincent's College, Potts Point.

SCEGGS is affiliated with the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA),[2] the Junior School Heads Association of Australia (JSHAA),[3] the Alliance of Girls' Schools Australasia (AGSA),[4] and is a founding member of the Association of Heads of Independent Girls' Schools (AHIGS).[5]

In 2001, The Sun-Herald ranked SCEGGS Darlinghurst second in Australia's top ten girls' schools, based on the number of its alumnae mentioned in the Who's Who in Australia (a listing of notable Australians).[6][a]


On 17 July 1895, a grammar school for girls was officially opened in Sydney under the auspices of the Sydney Diocese of the Church of England. The Sydney Church of England Girls' Grammar School (abbreviated as SCEGGS) commenced in a terrace house at 65 (now 55) Victoria Street, Darlinghurst with one pupil, Mary Watson, one teacher, Miss Janet Uther, and the Principal, Miss Edith Badham. Within a year, the school had increased to 50 pupils enrolled, and moved to "Chatsworth", a larger home in Macleay Street.[7]

By 1900, the school had 100 pupils, including a Kindergarten and junior school. "Barham" in Forbes Street, Darlinghurst was purchased and the school moved there in 1901.[8] The curriculum at the time included English Language and Literature, Geography, Modern and Ancient History, Latin, Classical Greek, Mathematics, French Language and Literature, German or Italian, Needlework and Drilling. Classes in Botany, Geology or other scientific subjects, were also offered to pupils who reached a fair standard of proficiency in their ordinary subjects. Classes in Cookery and Dressmaking were held whenever there was sufficient demand.[7]

SCEGGS continued to expand and several branch schools were opened – Bowral (1906–1929) relocated to Moss Vale (1930–1974), Hunters Hill (1912–1915), North Sydney (1911–1941) becoming Redlands (1945–1976), Wollongong (1955–1976) and Loquat Valley (1967–1976).[7]

In 1974, financial difficulties arose due to the controller of the Anglican Diocesan schools misappropriating school funds,[citation needed] threatening the school with closure. Within two years, contributions from the school community and the Sydney Diocese ensured that the original school, SCEGGS Darlinghurst, was not closed but continued to operate. Moss Vale was forced to close in 1974, and two years later, Redlands, Wollongong and Loquat Valley became schools independent from SCEGGS Darlinghurst, and have been governed by their own boards ever since.[7]

A not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, SCEGGS Darlinghurst Limited, was formed in 1976,[9] under a Board of Directors, to govern the school. On the school's Centenary in 1995, the school changed its name from Sydney Church of England Girls' Grammar School, Darlinghurst to SCEGGS Darlinghurst.[7]


Ordinal Officeholder Term start Term end Time in office Notes
1 Edith Badham 1895 1920 24–25 years [5]
2 Dorothy Wilkinson 1920 1947 26–27 years
3 Barbara Chisholm 1947 1977 29–30 years
4 Diana Bowman 1978 1995 16–17 years
5 Jenny Allum 1996 incumbent 27–28 years


SCEGGS Darlinghurst has expanded from a terrace house in 1895 to a campus incorporating a chapel, primary school, classroom blocks, assembly hall, science and library block, auditorium, sports hall, senior study building, lecture theatre, play house, Great Hall and performing arts centre and many more. From 1965 to 1983, a preparatory school was operated at Bellevue Hill for boys and girls up to Kindergarten age.[7] A new music centre has also been added, including a renovated church to be used for performances etc.

House system[edit]

The house system was introduced in 1926 by Miss Wilkinson to help generate school spirit and sporting enthusiasm, encourage good conduct and to provide girls with opportunities for taking on responsibility. House competitions are held in various sports, in music, drama, science and debating.

  • Badham – named after Edith Badham, first headmistress (1895–1920) and founder and first president of the Old Girl's Union. Colours: red and gold.
  • Barton – named after Edmund Barton, first Prime Minister of Australia (1901–1903), Justice of the High Court (1903–1920) and father of Jean "Muffie" Barton, pupil 1895–1899. Colours: red and white.
  • Beck – named after Ernest Beck, member of the school council (1895–1906) and second school chaplain (1901–1928). Colours: blue and gold.
  • Christian – named after Lydia Christian, member of the school council (1897–1919) and mother of Lilian Mary Christian, pupil 1895–1896. Colours: red and black.
  • Docker – named after Wilfred Law Docker, first treasurer of the school council (1895–1919). Colours: blue and black.
  • Langley – named after John Douse Langley, first secretary of the school council (1894–1927) and bishop of Bendigo (1907–1919). Colours: green and gold.

Notable alumnae[edit]

Media, entertainment and the arts
Medicine and science
Politics, public service and the law

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b c "SCEGGS Darlinghurst Annual Report 2019" (PDF). SCEGGS Darlinghurst. 2019. Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  2. ^ "AHISA Schools". New South Wales. Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia. November 2007. Archived from the original on 2 November 2007. Retrieved 12 December 2007.
  3. ^ "JSHAA New South Wales Directory of Members". New South Wales Branch. Junior School Heads' Association of Australia. 2007. Archived from the original on 18 December 2007. Retrieved 12 December 2007.
  4. ^ "Member Schools". Members. The Alliance of Girls Schools Australasia. 2007. Archived from the original on 19 May 2008. Retrieved 12 December 2007.
  5. ^ a b "Heads of New South Wales Independent Girls' Schools". About AHIGS. Association of Heads of Independent Girls Schools. Retrieved 2 December 2007.
  6. ^ Walker, Frank (22 July 2001). "The ties that bind". Sunday Life. The Sun-Herald. p. 16. Retrieved 12 September 2007.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Matthews, Linda (12 March 2007). "The History of SCEGGS". General Information. SCEGGS Darlinghurst. Archived from the original on 19 July 2008. Retrieved 16 March 2008.
  8. ^ "Sydney Church of England Girls Grammar School Group Including Barham, Church Bui, New South Wales Heritage Database (NSW HD) Number HI301". New South Wales Heritage Database. Office of Environment & Heritage. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  9. ^ SCEGGS Darlinghurst Limited Australian Securities & Investments Commission
  10. ^ "Keynote Speakers". APSAD Conference 2010. Retrieved 3 December 2010.
  11. ^ "Professor Elizabeth Elliot". Sydney Medical School. Retrieved 3 December 2010.
  12. ^ "Tanya Monro's brilliant career | Cosmos". Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  13. ^ Gustafson, Barry (1986). The First 50 Years : A History of the New Zealand National Party. Auckland: Reed Methuen. p. 348. ISBN 0-474-00177-6.
  14. ^ "Margaret Whitlam defined being a PM's wife". The Sydney Morning Herald. AAP. 17 March 2012. Retrieved 17 March 2012.
  15. ^
  16. ^ Fraser’s granddaughter goes to games The Australian

External links[edit]