The Armidale School

The Armidale School

Infobox Aust school private
name = The Armidale School

motto = " _la. Absque Deo Nihil"
(Latin:"Without God, Nothing")
established = 1894cite web|url =|title =Case Study: Armidale Educational Excellence|accessdate = 2007-10-24|work = Regional Australia - Schooling|publisher = Regional Living Australia]
type = Independent, Single-sex, Day and Boarding
denomination = Anglican
slogan = "Creating avenues of success for every individual student"
key_people = Mr. Murray Guest (Headmaster)
Rev Richard Newton (Chaplain)
Mr Andrew Murray (Chairman)
fees = AU$3,440–13,155 p.a (Day)
AU$20,420–28,845 p.a (Boarding)cite web|url =|title =Fees Schedule 2008|accessdate = 2008-01-18|year = 2008|format = PDF|work = Admissions|publisher = The Armidale School]
city = Armidale
state = New South Wales
country = Australia flagicon|Australia
coordinates = coord|30|31|13|S|151|40|26|E|display=inline,title
enrolment = ~575 (T–12)
num_employ = ~53cite web|url =|title =Annual Report 2006|accessdate = 2007-10-24|year = 2007|format = PDF|work = Current Happenings|publisher = The Armidale School]
revenue =
colours = Navy Blue and Straw color box|#000080color box|#FBEC5D
homepage = []

The Armidale School (TAS) is an independent, Anglican, day and boarding school predominantly for boys, located in Armidale, on the New England Tablelands of northern New South Wales, Australia. It is administered by the Anglican Diocese of Armidale.cite web|url = |title = Diocesan Schools |accessdate = 2008-01-28|work = Diocesan Profile|publisher = Diocese of Armidale]

Founded in 1894 as the New England Proprietary School, The Armidale School has a non-selective enrolment policy and currently caters for approximately 575 students, including 190 boarders from Years 5 to 12. TAS is made up of a co-educational Junior School with classes from Transition (4 years old) to Year 5, a Middle School for boys from Years 6 to 8 and a Senior School from Years 9 to 12 (18 years old). In 1993, The Armidale School became the first school in Australia to provide internet access for its students.cite web|url =|title =Prospectus|accessdate = 2007-10-24|year = 2007|format = PDF|work = Publications|publisher = The Armidale School]

The School is affiliated with the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA),cite web |url= |title=AHISA Schools: New South Wales |accessdate=2007-10-24 |year =2007 |month =April |work=Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia] the Junior School Heads Association of Australia (JSHAA),cite web |url= |title=JSHAA New South Wales Directory of Members |accessdate=2007-10-24 |year =2007 |work=Junior School Heads' Association of Australia] the Australian Boarding Schools' Association (ABSA),cite web |url= |title=The Armidale School|accessdate=2007-10-24 |year =2007 |work=New South Wales|publisher=Australian Boarding Schools' Association] and is one of only three Round Square schools in the state of New South Wales.cite web |url= |title=Member Schools|accessdate=2007-10-24 |year =2007 |work=Members|publisher=Round Square] TAS is also the only member of the Athletic Association of the Great Public Schools of New South Wales (AAGPS)cite web|url =|title =AAGPS History|accessdate = 2007-10-09|year = 2007|work = Info|publisher = Athletic Association of the Great Public Schools of New South Wales] located outside of the Sydney metropolitan area.cite web|url =|title =The Armidale School|accessdate = 2007-10-24|year = 2007|work = New South Wales|publisher = School Choice]


The Armidale School was founded in 1894 as a boarding school for the sons of the gentry, however the origins of the school can be traced to 1838, when Patrick Grant, a magistrate at Maitland, conceived the idea of a proprietary school for boys in the Hunter Valley.cite web|url =|title = The Armidale School: An Introduction|accessdate = 2007-10-24|last = Constable|first = A.J |year = 1987|month = July|format = PDF|work = School Community|publisher = The Armidale School] This idea was taken over by prominent members of the Church of England in the northern districts of New South Wales, and 500 pounds was obtained from the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, as a result of the efforts of the first (and only) Bishop of Australia, William Grant Broughton. In 1840, a site for the school was purchased at Honeysuckle Point, in Newcastle. Nothing more came of the plan until the appointment of William Tyrrell, as the first Bishop of Newcastle in 1846. The property was passed on to Tyrrell, and in 1854 the land was resumed by the Hunter River Railway Company.By 1877, the school had still not been established, and Bishop Tyrrell began to push the matter further. Subsequently, a plan was drawn up and land selected at Blandford, near Murrurundi. In 1881, it was determined that the plan to build the School at Blandford was unaffordable, and a suggestion was made that it should be built on the New England Tablelands at Armidale. The additional capital required, to the amount of 6,000 pounds, was raised by James Ross, Archdeacon of Armidale, and his leading laymen.

On 5 June 1891, The New England Proprietary School Limited (NEPS) was incorporated with 100 pound shares, offered at 50 pounds each, allowing each shareholder to nominate one pupil for each share purchased. The Directors purchased convert|20|acre|ha|0 in Armidale in September 1891, adding to the convert|10|acre|ha|0 obtained in 1889.The foundation stone of the main building was laid on 22 February 1893, by the Governor of N.S.W., the Rt. Hon. Victor Albert George, Earl of Jersey. The Opening Ceremony was performed by the Rt. Rev A V Green, Lord Bishop of Grafton and Armidale on 15 May 1894.

The name of the Company and School, was changed in 1896 to The Armidale School (TAS). Also that year, TAS joined the Athletic Association of the Great Public Schools of New South Wales (GPS) in Sydney, and has remained a member over since.

In 1950, the School site was transferred to the Trustees of the Church of England Diocese of Armidale, and since then has been administered by a School Council comprising members from the Diocese, Old Boys and P&F.



The Armidale School is situated on a single convert|18|ha|acre|0 campus in Armidale, a university city on the New England Tablelands of New South Wales, midway between Sydney and Brisbane. The school features a mix of historic and modern buildings.

The facilities of the school include a heated indoor swimming pool, rifle range, cattle stud, chapel, gymnasium, library, music centre, computer rooms, climbing wall, weights room, an indoor cricket centre, indoor basketball court, five tennis courts, rugby and soccer fields, and cricket wickets.


TAS currently has five school boarding houses, named Abbott, Dangar, Croft, Tyrrell, and White. The senior boarding houses (Abbott, Croft and Tyrrell) each accommodate up to 50 students, with approximately 20 boys in each year group. In the lower years boys are accommodated in dormitories, and as they progress through the school are moved into private study/bedrooms.cite web|url =|title = The Armidale School: An Introduction|accessdate = 2007-10-24|last = Constable|first = A.J |year = 1987|month = July|format = PDF|work = School Community|publisher = The Armidale School]


Co-curricular activities available to TAS students include: Debating and public speaking, drama, band, orchestra, choirs, art, photography, Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme, school poll, and the Hereford stud involving participation in local and regional agricultural shows.

Community service

It is an expectation of TAS that all students must commit to at least 20 hours of community service per year, both in the local and wider community. Students may participate in the annual "Pilgrimage of Hope" to India. The pilgrimage involves students working alongside Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity, in their service to the "poorest of the poor".cite web|url = |title = The Schools & Pilgrims|accessdate = 2007-10-24|year = 2007|month = October|work = The Schools|publisher = Pilgrimage of Hope]

TAS boys may also volunteer for service at St Christopher's orphanage in Fiji, where they participate in the upkeepand daily maintenance of the orphanage and establish friendships with the children.


The Armidale School is one of the nine member's of the Athletic Association of the Great Public Schools of New South Wales (GPS) and participates in all GPS sporting competitions as well as several non-GPS or traditional sports. TAS students may participate in a variety of sports including: Australian Football, Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Canoeing, Cricket, Cross Country, Golf, Hockey, Rugby Union, Rifle Shooting, Soccer, Squash, Swimming, Tennis, and Touch football.

In addition to the NSW GPS Association, students may compete in local competitions, and against state and independent schools from throughout NSW and Queensland. The sports program is also facilitated by the school house system.

Outdoor education

The Armidale School has an outdoor education program, designed to develop a sense of responsibility and self confidence through activities such as abseiling, whitewater kayaking and bivouacs. Outdoor education activities in which students may participate in, include the following:


The TAS Cadet Unit is part of the Australian Army Cadet Corps, and has been operating at the school for over 100 years. This activity is compulsory for students in years 7 to 9, and is voluntary for years 10 onwards. It involves drill and ceremonial work, and outward bound training.cite web|url =|title = Cadets|accessdate = 2007-10-24|work = Activities|publisher = The Armidale School]


The Pioneers activities program was conceived in the 1980s, and is offered as an alternative to Cadets. The aim of the program is to develop responsibility, self reliance, and the development of bush skills. Year 10 Pioneers students spend five days in the wilderness.cite web|url =|title = Pioneers|accessdate = 2007-10-24|work = Activities|publisher = The Armidale School]

Rural Fire Service

This program aims to produce boys who are competent in aspects of bush firefighting, and who take an active roll in helping their community by obtaining a basic firefighting qualification. The activity is carried out in conjunction with the Armidale Fire Training Centre and the Rural Fire Service.

urf Life Saving

Before boys participate in Surf Life Saving, they are required to demonstrate a high proficiency in swimming and have attained their RLSSA Bronze Medallion. The program is run in conjunction with a coastal Surf Life Saving Club and they are instructed in inshore boat rescue - crewing, patient pick-ups and assessment, related signals, radio, equipment and safety; first aid - CPR; board rescues, tube rescues, patient care, patient carries, etc. This program culminates in an examination for their RLSSA Surf Life Saving Bronze Medallion.

Notable alumni

Alumnus of The Armidale School are commonly referred to as Old Boys and may elect to join the schools' alumni association, the TAS Old Boys Union.cite web |url=|title=TAS Old Boys Union|accessdate=2007-10-24 |year =2007 |work=School Community|publisher=The Armidale School] Some notable TAS Old Boys include: ;Rhodes Scholars
* 1949 – Robert Clarence Robertson-Cuninghame – BSc (Agric) University of Sydney, later Chancellor of the University of New England (1981–1993)

*James Keith Bain – Company Director; Farmer; Author; Chairman of Merryville Estates Pty Ltd, NatWest Aust. Bank Ltd (1985–91), W. Bain & Co. (1947–87); Sydney Stock Exchange Ltd (1983–87) (also attended The Scots College)cite encyclopedia| editor = Suzannah Pearce| encyclopedia = Who's Who in Australia Live!| title = BAIN James Keith| accessdate = 2007-09-23| date = 2006-11-17| year = 2007| publisher = Crown Content Pty Ltd| location = North Melbourne, Vic]

;Media, entertainment and the arts
* Alex Buzo – Playwright
* Peter Cousens – Musical theatre performer
* Ian Bruce Carrick Kiernan AO OAM – Environmentalist & around the world yachtsman (also attended The Scots College)cite encyclopedia| editor = Suzannah Pearce| encyclopedia = Who's Who in Australia Live!| title = KIERNAN Ian Bruce Carrick| accessdate = 2007-09-23| date = 2006-11-17| year = 2007| publisher = Crown Content Pty Ltd| location = North Melbourne, Vic]
* Angus Sampson – TV & Film actor. Recently appearing in "Kokoda" and "Thank God You're Here" (also attended the Presbyterian Ladies' College, Sydney and Trinity Grammar School)

;Politics, public service and the law
* William Wentworth – Liberal member of the Australian House of Representatives (1949–1977)

* James Holbeck – Representative Rugby Union footballer for the ACT Brumbies and Australia
* Joe Roff – Rugby union footballer for the ACT Brumbies and Australia
* Richard Tombs – Rugby union footballer for New South Wales and Australia (5 tests at inside and outside centre between 1988–1996)

* Sir Patrick Gordon Taylor – pioneering aviator and author


Further reading

* Graham, J. 1994. "A school of their own: The history of the Armidale School". The Armidale School, Armidale, NSW. ISBN 0-6461585-7-0.

See also

* List of non-government schools in New South Wales
*List of boarding schools
*Lawrence Campbell Oratory Competition

External links

* [ The Armidale School website]
* [ NSW Rhodes Scholars]

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