Firbank was established in 1909 as a day and boarding school for girls, by the Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne, Henry Lowther Clarke, when he was left a legacy for ‘educational purposes’.
He purchased the property, Gawsworth, which stretched between Outer and Middle Crescents and established a school for girls. The School was named after his birthplace in Westmorland, England. He gave the School his crest as Archbishop and chose the motto, Vincit qui se vincit (She conquers who conquers herself).
Enrolments grew under the leadership of Miss Maud Cameron, who was Headmistress for 43 years and further land was purchased, including the Pen-y-bryn Estate in Brighton and Atherstone in Sandringham. Our Sandringham Campus, originally called Atherstone, was founded in 1896. In 1932, it became a part of Firbank Grammar School and established itself as a fully co-educational Junior school in 1994. Since that year, the number of boys has grown progressively. Currently, boys number 45% of the Sandringham student population.
Founded on Christian principles, Firbank has always maintained a strong connection with St Andrew’s Anglican Church, Brighton and All Souls Sandringham where formal school services are held.
Girls have a guaranteed pathway to Firbank’s Senior School in Brighton while our Sandringham Campus boys have a guaranteed pathway to our brother school, Brighton Grammar.