History and Heritage

St Margaret's Berwick Grammar has been continuously educating and nurturing young people since 1926.

Originally founded as St Margaret's School for Girls with 18 puplis in the manse of the Toorak Presbyterian Church by Dora Gipson, the school was named after Queen Margaret of Scotland (1045 - 1093) who was known for her leadership, service, charity and piety.

In 1927 St Margaret’s School moved to Mayfield Avenue, Malvern, and in 1931 leased the former Governor’s residence, Stonnington. By the 1930s St Margaret’s School had grown to 330 pupils.

In 1929 the Berwick Presbyterian Girls’ School, our current Berwick campus, was purchased. This branch of the main School was established in 1930, with a purpose-built boarding house, Campbell House where it developed a reputation for producing academically accomplished, well-rounded and empowered young women.

In 1941 the whole School was established at Berwick as a rural boarding school where it developed a reputation for producing academically accomplished, well-rounded and empowered young women.

In 1947 the School was purchased by parents and Old Girls from Miss Gipson, who retired.

In 1948 St Margaret’s School was incorporated and the first School Council was established.

In 1978 the school ceased to offer boarding.

In 2009, following growth of demand, the school expanded launching a purpose-built boys School on a dedicated 20-acre plot of land on Tiverndale Road, Officer, 7km down the road from St Margaret’s Berwick Campus. The selection of land and the building process was chosen to allow space for the boys to move and to grow with extensive provision for sporting facilities.

In 2021 the schools were formally brought together under a new operating name St Margaret’s Berwick Grammar and a new visual identity designed to bring the community together.

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Principals:

Miss Dora Gipson  1926-1947

Mrs Hilda Strugnell   1948

Miss Elizabeth Woodyatt   1949-1964

Miss Ruth Maguire   1964-1978

Mrs Joan Butler   1979-1986

Miss Virginia Henry   1987-2000

Dr Helen McDonald   2001-2011

Mrs Paula Anderson   2011-2012

Mr Doug Bailey   2012-2016

Ms Carole Reed   2016

Ms Annette Rome   2017-