Harman Patil (Editor)

St Peter's College, Adelaide

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
15 July 1847

Rev'd Dr Theo McCall

White, Royal blue

Simon Murray

+61 8 8404 0400

St Peter's College, Adelaide

Independent, Day & Boarding

Pro Deo et Patria 'For God and Country'

Religious affiliation(s)
Anglican Church of Australia

St Peters SA 5069, Australia

School fees
25,855 AUD (2017, Year 12)

Independent Primary School Heads of Australia, G20 Schools

Prince Alfred College, Pembroke School, Wilderness School, Pulteney Grammar School, St Peters Girls School


April 3d at st peter s college adelaide

St Peter's College (officially The Collegiate School of St Peter, but commonly known as SPSC, Sancti Petri Schola Collegiata, St Peter's or Saints) is an independent boys' school in the South Australian capital of Adelaide. Founded in 1847 by members of the Anglican Church of Australia, the school is noted for its history and famous alumni, including three Nobel laureates, forty-two Rhodes scholars and ten Australian State Premiers.


Three campuses are located on the Hackney Road site near the Adelaide Parklands in Hackney. The Senior School (years 9-12) and Middle School (years 7-8) comprises the bulk of the grounds and most of the historic buildings. To the south of the site are the Preparatory School (years 3-6) and Palm House (reception-year 2). The College also owns an outdoor education campus in Finniss, near Lake Alexandrina. The School is a member of the G20 Schools group.

St Peter's is a day and boarding school and offers two matriculation streams in secondary education: the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) and the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB).

In 2010 The Age reported that St Peter's College ranked equal seventh among Australian schools based on the number of alumni who had received a top Order of Australia honour.

In 2014 "The Australian" ranked the school third in South Australia based on overall NAPLAN results, behind girls' schools Wilderness School and St Peter's Collegiate Girls' School. It was ranked 16th in Australia for boys' schools.

St Peter's College, working with Martin Seligman and Lea Waters, has been instrumental in the development and implementation of positive education programs throughout Australia. The Headmaster is currently Chairman of the Positive Education Schools Association.


The origins of the school lie in the ambition of the early colonists to establish for their sons an institution equivalent to the Public Schools from which they benefitted in Great Britain. They founded the Church of England Collegiate School of South Australia, or "The Collegiate School", as a proprietary school on 15 July 1847 in the schoolroom of Trinity Church on North Terrace. The name Sancti Petri Schola Collegiata (SPSC) was given. The school's foundation was followed by the arrival of the first Bishop of Adelaide Augustus Short in December 1847. Short brought with him an endowment of £2,000 from the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge with which he was expected establish an institution for the Church of England. He intended to use the Trinity School as the basis for this institution and had his chaplain the Reverend T.P. Wilson appointed as its Head Master. He also purchased the school's current estate in Hackney.

In 1849, negotiations between Short and the proprietors concluded, and a Council of Governors was established as per their agreement. The school was rededicated as the Collegiate School of St Peter upon incorporation in July 1849. The Latin translation, Sancti Petri Schola Collegiata, is still used as the school acronym, SPSC, although it is often Anglicised to "St Peter's School Collegiate".


The school's emblem consists of a blue shield with white trim, surmounted by two golden keys and bishop's mitre (contemporary versions place the mitre within rather than above the shield, dissimilating the emblem from that of the Diocese of Gloucester). The keys represent Saint Peter while the mitre represents the school's link to the Anglican Church. Beneath the shield is a scroll with the school's Latin motto "Pro Deo et Patria", in which translates into English as "For God and Country".

House system

Upon entering the Senior School in Year 7, all boys are assigned to a house. There are 10 houses, each named after prominent figures in the school's history. Four of these—Da Costa, Farrell, Hawkes and Short—were the original four houses founded in 1920. To accommodate the growing student population five additional houses were founded: MacDermott, Woodcock, Young, Howard and Farr. There is also a boarding house—School & Allen House, that was established in 2003 through the amalgamation of School House with Wyatt & Allen. Houses meet several times each week, and compete in various intra-school competitions throughout the year. Through sporting, academic, musical, fundraising and other competitions throughout the year, the houses compete for the Sir George Murray Shield.


The school is situated on 32 hectares of landscaped grounds only 3 kilometres from the Adelaide central business district on Hackney Road and North Terrace in the suburb St Peters. The suburb St Peters and its neighbour College Park were named after the school. The main campus' facilities include seven ovals, a hockey pitch, ten tennis courts and two swimming pools. It features mostly heritage architecture, such as "Palm House" (built for William Peacock), but also includes modern buildings. The "Big School Room" is thought to be Australia's oldest classroom still in constant use.

The most recent addition to the school has been the extensive redevelopment and extension of the Pentreath Building, featuring new technological state-of-the-art classrooms and wide open corridors with learning in mind. After redevelopment, it became the centre of the Middle Years program, which sees Year Sevens and Eights moving into the Senior School as regular students. The next most recent redevelopment is the Junior School, featuring new classrooms and lecture facilitates as well as an observatory. In the Senior School, the Burchnall Sports Centre is also a recent development, which includes two basketball courts, a 25-metre pool, a diving pool, a weights and conditioning room, and café. The school is soon to commence construction of the 'Leadership and Ethics Centre' featuring lecture facilities, a new Year 12 common room and the school's museum.

The College also owns a large outdoor education property in Finniss, situated on several hectares of land on the banks of the River Finniss. The property includes dormitories, teacher accommodation and a gymnasium, and students are involved with the property's revegetation program of native flora.


A significant source of the school's revenue is the estate of Benjamin Mendes da Costa. Da Costa, a successful Adelaide businessman, bequeathed his estate of £20,000 to the Collegiate School of St Peter when he died in 1868. The bequest was subject to the life interests of ten relations; the last surviving relation died in 1910 and in 1912 the property was vested in the school. A large portion of the estate remains land in prominent city-centre locations. Income generated by the estate is used to subsidise the fees of all students, along with several scholarships and bursaries.

A somewhat common Adelaidean urban myth asserts that the da Costa estate was intended to be given to the Catholic church rather than the Anglican, and that the funds were awarded to Saints after a supposed legal battle. This myth has no basis in fact and most probably stems from misconceptions of da Costa's religion due to his Portuguese family name.

St Peter's College sold Da Costa Arcade, near Rundle Mall, in 2005.


Each student at St Peter's is required to play both a summer and winter sport.

Staff and past students conduct training sessions. Weekend competitions are held at the school (or at away venues) each weekend against other schools in Adelaide. Each sport has an annual intercollegiate showdown against rivals Prince Alfred College, known as the "Intercol". Some intercols include Head of the River, Football showdown, Water Polo and The Basketball. The Cricket Intercol is one of the oldest continuing cricket matches in the world, having been played annually since 1878.


The school runs an extensive music program which encourages students to study musical instruments and perform in ensembles. These ensembles perform in several concerts throughout the year, both within the school and externally. Groups include an intermediate and a senior concert band, senior choir, orchestra, string orchestra, and two stage bands until recently named after prominent Australian jazz musicians James Morrison and Don Burrows.

Outdoor Education

The Outdoor Education campus at Finniss is used by students from years 4 to 10 for annual camps. In addition, students have the opportunity to join the Exploration Society, which allows boys with a passion for outdoor activities to pursue more challenging ventures. Activities include hiking, kayaking, rockclimbing, mountain bike touring and cross country skiing.

Exchange Program

St Peter's College's exchange program has links with schools in Germany, France, China, South Africa, England, Switzerland and Canada.

Nobel Laureates

  • Sir William Lawrence Bragg, CH, OBE, MC, FRS (Nobel prize in Physics, 1915)
  • Howard Walter Florey, Baron Florey, OM, FRS (Nobel prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1945)
  • J. Robin Warren, AC (Nobel prize in Physiology or Medicine, 2005)
  • Political

  • Sir John Cox Bray, KCMG (Premier of South Australia 1881–1884)
  • Sir John Downer, KCMG, KC (Premier of South Australia 1885–1887 and 1892–1893)
  • Sir Frederick Holder, KCMG (Premier of South Australia 1892 and 1899–1901)
  • George Leake, CMG (Premier of Western Australia 1901 and 1901–1902)
  • Sir Richard Butler (Premier of South Australia 1905)
  • Sir Henry Barwell, KCMG (Premier of South Australia 1920–1924)
  • Don Dunstan, AC, QC (Premier of South Australia 1967–1968, and 1970–1979)
  • David Tonkin, AO (Premier of South Australia 1979–1982)
  • John Bannon, AO (Premier of South Australia 1982–1992)
  • Tom Lewis, AO (Premier of New South Wales 1975–1976)
  • Sir Arthur Campbell Rymill, (Lord Mayor of Adelaide, 1950–1953)
  • James Vincent Seaton Bowen, (Lord Mayor of Adelaide, 1979–1981)
  • Ian Murray McLachlan, AO (Australian Defence Minister, 1996–1998)
  • Military

  • Brigadier Arthur Seaforth Blackburn VC CMG CBE, soldier and lawyer; awarded the Victoria Cross in 1916.
  • Colonel Guy George Egerton Wylly VC CB DSO, army officer; awarded the Victoria Cross in 1900.
  • Sports

  • Nathan Adcock (Cricketer, former captain of Southern Redbacks)
  • Michael Cranmer (Cricketer, West End Redbacks)
  • Phil Davis (Footballer, current player at Greater Western Sydney Giants)
  • Henry Frayne - Australian representative to the 2012 & 2016 Olympics in Athletics (Long Jump)
  • Tom Harley (Two time premiership captain with the Geelong Football Club)
  • Mitch Harvey (Footballer, current player at Port Adelaide Football Club)
  • Riley Knight (Footballer, current player at Adelaide Football Club)
  • Philip Lee, (Test cricketer and footballer for Norwood)
  • Gillon McLachlan (CEO of the Australian Football League)
  • Hamish McLachlan (Australian sports broadcaster)
  • Will Minson (Current footballer with the Western Bulldogs)
  • Lachie Neale (Current footballer with the Fremantle Football Club)
  • Darren Ng (Basketballer, former player with the Adelaide 36ers Basketball Club)
  • Rod Owen-Jones (Olympic Water Polo player at 2000 Sydney, National team 1993-2000, Bronze medalist World Cup)
  • Hayden Stoeckel (Olympic swimmer, bronze and silver medalist at 2008 Olympics)
  • Alex Ross (Current Cricketer, West End Redbacks & Adelaide Strikers)
  • Other

  • Andy Thomas, astronaut
  • Scott Hicks, film director
  • Keith Conlon, OAM, Television and radio personality
  • Hugh Possingham, Conservation & environmental planning expert, applied mathematician, academic
  • Walter Bagot, Architect, founder of Woods Bagot
  • Peter Muller, AO, Architect
  • Ian George, AO, former Archbishop of Adelaide
  • Sir James Hardy, OBE, three times America's Cup skipper and renowned winemaker
  • Harold David Anderson, OBE, former Ambassador
  • Sir Denzil Ibbetson, KCSI, administrator in British India, author
  • Essington Lewis, a prominent Australian industrialist
  • Sir Arthur Murray Cudmore, Adelaide surgeon
  • David Rohrsheim, General Manager, Uber ANZ
  • Stuart Duckworth, Adelaide entrepreneur
  • Sir Joseph Cooke Verco, physician and conchologist
  • Sir George John Robert Murray, KCMG, Chief Judge of the Supreme Court of South Australia (1916-1942)
  • Dr Basil Hetzel, AO, Australian medical researcher
  • References

    St Peter's College, Adelaide Wikipedia

    Similar Topics