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Firbank Girls' Grammar School

Firbank Girls' Grammar School

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Firbank Grammar School is an independent
Independent school
An independent school is a school that is independent in its finances and governance; it is not dependent upon national or local government for financing its operations, nor reliant on taxpayer contributions, and is instead funded by a combination of tuition charges, gifts, and in some cases the...

, Anglican
Anglican Church of Australia
The Anglican Church of Australia is a member church of the Anglican Communion. It was previously officially known as the Church of England in Australia and Tasmania...

, day
Day school
A day school—as opposed to a boarding school—is an institution where children are given educational instruction during the day and after which children/teens return to their homes...

 and boarding school
Boarding school
A boarding school is a school where some or all pupils study and live during the school year with their fellow students and possibly teachers and/or administrators. The word 'boarding' is used in the sense of "bed and board," i.e., lodging and meals...

, situated in the suburb of Brighton
Brighton, Victoria
Brighton is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 11 km south-east from Melbourne's central business district. Its Local Government Area is the City of Bayside. At the 2006 Census, Brighton had a population of 20,651...

, in the bayside area
City of Bayside
The City of Bayside is a Local Government Area in Victoria, Australia. It is located in the southern suburbs of Melbourne. It has an area of 36 square kilometres and has a estimated population of 96,329 people.-City of Brighton:...

 of Melbourne
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne City Centre is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division—of which "Melbourne" is the common name. As of June 2009, the greater...

, Victoria
Victoria (Australia)
Victoria is the second most populous state in Australia. Geographically the smallest mainland state, Victoria is bordered by New South Wales, South Australia, and Tasmania on Boundary Islet to the north, west and south respectively....

, Australia.

Established in 1909, by the Anglican Archbishop
An archbishop is a bishop of higher rank, but not of higher sacramental order above that of the three orders of deacon, priest , and bishop...

 of Melbourne, Henry Lowther Clarke
Henry Lowther Clarke
Henry Lowther Clarke was the fourth Anglican bishop and first archbishop of Melbourne, Australia.-Early life:...

, the school currently caters for approximately 1,100 students. The Early Learning Centre and primary school are co-educational, whilst the secondary school
Secondary school
Secondary school is a term used to describe an educational institution where the final stage of schooling, known as secondary education and usually compulsory up to a specified age, takes place...

 (Years 7–12) is for girls only.

Firbank is a member of the Australian Anglican Schools Network,http://www.aasn.edu.au/index.cfm the British Schools and Universities Foundation http://bsuf.org/index.htm and Girls Sport Victoria
Girls Sport Victoria
Girls' Sport Victoria was established in 2001, and is one of the largest independent school sporting association in Victoria, with 24 member schools from around Melbourne....

 (GSV). Firbank has close ties with its brother school
Sister school
The term sister school has several meanings:*a definite financial commerce between two colleges or universities*two schools that have a strong historical connection...

, Brighton Grammar School
Brighton Grammar School
Brighton Grammar School is an independent, Anglican, day school for boys, located in Brighton, a south-eastern suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia....

, a boys' school. Students of the two schools participate in a number of co-educational activities together such as music and drama.


Firbank Grammar School was established as a Christian, day and boarding school for girls in 1909, by the Anglican Archbishop
An archbishop is a bishop of higher rank, but not of higher sacramental order above that of the three orders of deacon, priest , and bishop...

 of Melbourne, Henry Lowther Clarke
Henry Lowther Clarke
Henry Lowther Clarke was the fourth Anglican bishop and first archbishop of Melbourne, Australia.-Early life:...

 who was left a legacy for educational purposes. The Archbishop purchased 'Gawsworth', a property which stretched between Outer and Middle Crescents, and named the school after his birthplace in Westmorland
Westmorland is an area of North West England and one of the 39 historic counties of England. It formed an administrative county from 1889 to 1974, after which the entirety of the county was absorbed into the new county of Cumbria.-Early history:...

, England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. He chose the motto
A motto is a phrase meant to formally summarize the general motivation or intention of a social group or organization. A motto may be in any language, but Latin is the most used. The local language is usual in the mottoes of governments...

, Vincit Qui Se Vincit ("She conquers who conquers herself") and gave the School his Archbishop crest
Crest (heraldry)
A crest is a component of an heraldic display, so called because it stands on top of a helmet, as the crest of a jay stands on the bird's head....


Under the leadership of Maud Cameron, Firbank's first and longest serving Headmistress, enrolments grew and further land was purchased, including the 'Pen-y-bryn' estate and 'Atherstone' in Sandringham
Sandringham, Victoria
Sandringham is a suburb in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 16 km south-east from Melbourne's central business district. Its Local Government Area is the City of Bayside. At the 2006 Census, Sandringham had a population of 8693.-History:...

. Since its foundation, Firbank has maintained a strong connection with St Andrew's Anglican Church, Brighton where formal school services are held.


Firbank consists of three educational sections on two campus
A campus is traditionally the land on which a college or university and related institutional buildings are situated. Usually a campus includes libraries, lecture halls, residence halls and park-like settings...

es: 'Sandringham House', a co-educational primary school in Sandringham; 'Turner House', a primary school for girls; and the Senior School catering for girls only in Years 7 to 12.. The houses are Sheppard-Tyson,Aylwin-Cameron, Tonkin-Clarke and Hancock-Crowther.


Firbank has competed in rowing
Rowing (sport)
Rowing is a sport in which athletes race against each other on rivers, on lakes or on the ocean, depending upon the type of race and the discipline. The boats are propelled by the reaction forces on the oar blades as they are pushed against the water...

 since 1992. It claims to have produced many nationally and internationally recognised swimmers. Firbank has lots of very special students when it comes to sports, and Firbank also has a program going every term called Gsv sports for year 7-12, and lots of girls participate. There are two sports every term.


The Brighton campus was one of the sites for filming the 2005 television series We Can Be Heroes: Finding The Australian of the Year
We Can Be Heroes: Finding The Australian of the Year
We Can Be Heroes: Finding The Australian of the Year is an Australian mockumentary TV series created, written and starring Chris Lilley and directed by Matthew Saville.It follows the story of five unique Australians, who have each made a large achievement...

and, in 2007, two episodes of the television production Neighbours
Neighbours is an Australian television soap opera first broadcast on the Seven Network on 18 March 1985. It was created by TV executive Reg Watson, who proposed the idea of making a show that focused on realistic stories and portrayed adults and teenagers who talk openly and solve their problems...


Notable alumnae

  • Diana Bryant
    Diana Bryant
    Diana Bryant QC was appointed Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia on 5 July 2004.Bryant attended grammar school in Melbourne, at the Firbank Girls' School. Chief Justice Bryant holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from Melbourne University, and a Master of Laws degree from Monash University....

     – Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia
    Family Court of Australia
    The Family Court of Australia is a superior Australian federal court of record which deals with family law matters. Together with the Federal Magistrates Court, it covers family law matters in all states and territories of Australia except Western Australia...

  • Judy-Joy Davies
    Judy-Joy Davies
    Judy-Joy Davies was an Australian backstroke swimmer of the 1940s and 1950s, who won a bronze medal in the 100m backstroke at the 1948 Summer Olympics in London. At national level, she won 17 Australian Championships in freestyle, backstroke and medley swimming...

     – Olympic swimmer and Journalist
  • Beverley Dunn
    Beverley Dunn
    Beverley Dunn is an Australian actress.She has appeared in numerous films including The Dish and Shine , and was a regular cast member on the television series The Flying Doctors as Claire Bryant....

     – Actress
  • Jennifer Hansen
    Jennifer Hansen
    Jennifer Hansen is a former news presenter on Australia's Network Ten and former news presenter on Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Hansen was born in Orbost, Victoria.-Biography:Jennifer attended Firbank Girls' Grammar School, in Brighton, Victoria...

     – Former co-presenter, Channel 10 News
  • Asher Keddie
    Asher Keddie
    Asher Keddie is an Australian actress who is perhaps best known for her role in the Australian television series Offspring. She is also known for her theatre work and leading roles in the television series Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo, Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities and Love My...

     – Actress
  • Kirstie Marshall
    Kirstie Marshall
    Kirstie Marshall is a notable Australian aerial skier and Victorian state politician.Marshall was an ex-gymnast who became an aerial skier at Mount Buller, Victoria. During her skiing career Marshall won over 40 World Cup medals, including 17 World Cup gold medals...

    , OAM – ALP celebrity MP for Forest Hill and former Aerial Skiing World Champion, also went to Mentone Girls' Secondary College
  • Ida Elizabeth Osbourne
    Ida Elizabeth Osbourne
    Ida Elizabeth Osbourne was an actor and broadcaster born in Brighton, Victoria, the only daughter of Mr and Mrs W. L. Osbourne and educated at Firbank Grammar School.-Career:...

    , MBE – founder of A.B.C. Radio's national Children's Session
  • Amber Petty – Bridesmaid to HRH Crown Princess Mary of Denmark and roving reporter on Molly Meldrum's music show
  • Therese Rein
    Thérèse Rein
    Thérèse Rein is an Australian entrepreneur and founder of Ingeus, an international employment and business psychology services company. Ingeus operates from more than 150 locations across the UK, Australia, France, Switzerland, Germany, Korea, Sweden, Poland, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and New...

     – Wife of former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and founder of employment agency Ingeus.
  • Jan Wade – Jeff Kennet's Attorney General
  • Jacqui Cooper
    Jacqui Cooper
    Jacqui Cooper is an Australian freestyle skier and motivational speaker.Cooper has been participating in aerial skiing since she was 16, and has been in the Australian team for 13 years. She has had many injuries, including a shattered knee and a broken back.She competed at the 1994 Winter...

    - Aerial Skiing World Champion