Braemar College began as one man’s inspired solution to a community problem.
Mr Tony Tyler, a merchant banker living in Mount Macedon, had enrolled his daughter to begin her school life at what was then Clyde Grammar School, in 1976. When Mr Tyler was advised that Clyde was moving its educational activities to Geelong Grammar at Corio, he realised he would have to find alternative schooling for his children, as would other local families.
Mr Tyler rallied other parents to try and come up with a way to retain quality education in the district. He joined forces with the President of the Shire of Newham and Woodend, Mr Brian Jackson, to explore options for keeping Clyde open. Mr Tyler wanted, above all, to assure the continuing provision of the sort of independent education Clyde had provided for the past 56 years.
Following a well-attended meeting in June 1975, a steering committee was established and in February 1976, around 200 secondary students attended the newly-named Braemar College, under the guidance of Braemar’s first Headmaster, Mr Graham Farley.
Parents, who had worked hard during January to get the classrooms ready for use, were so inspired by the experience and opportunity of working as a close-knit team, they committed themselves to work on rosters in the College’s service areas to keep costs as low as possible. The College Service Scheme still exists today.
Over decades, additional facilities have been built and refurbished to enhance the learning and teaching environment. Today, the Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Centre provides a precinct for VCE students, the cafeteria, with magnificent views overlooking the ourskirts of Woodend, offers a gathering point for students of all levels, and the second campus in Woodend (only a few kilometres from the original Mount Macedon Campus) provides a home-base for Braemar’s Middle School students (Years 5-8). The historic, main building, Braemar House, remains the iconic piece of the Mount Macedon Campus; still standing strong and housing classrooms, office space, the College restaurant, meeting rooms, and the reception foyer, after being built in 1889.
Many local families played very significant roles in the establishment of the College; these families are known and respected within the College community today. To this day, the tradition of a strong community culture and sense of belonging continues, with many students attending as second or third generation Old Collegians.
Under the guidance of the Board of Governors and the current Principal, Mr Russell Deer, the College continues to build on its reputation for providing educational excellence for young people. The College is renowned for its caring and supportive educational environment and is proud of its strong academic record.