Rich History and Traditions
St Peter’s College is a school with a rich history and longstanding traditions. Founded in 1847, just 11 years after South Australia was established, our Founders demonstrated incredible foresight to create the Anglican Church of Australia Collegiate School of St Peter, Sancti Petri Schola Collegiata (in Latin), or SPSC as we know it. Opening its doors on 15 July 1847 (Founders’ Day), the School welcomed its inaugural 11 students and one teacher to a small red brick school room situated behind the Holy Trinity Church on North Terrace.
The first Anglican Bishop of Adelaide, Augustus Short, was instrumental in establishing St Peter’s College in the tradition of the great public schools of England. Arriving in December 1847 with a generous endowment of 2000 pounds from the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, Bishop Short facilitated the purchase of land on our present Hackney Road site. In 1850, 120 students were accommodated in the hastily built Big School Room, believed to be the oldest classroom still in use in Australia today. Over the years, our buildings, grounds and facilities have evolved to support the exceptional education St Peter’s College provides today.
The school’s rich tapestry of traditions spans generations, from the Junior School students’ spirited ‘storming’ of Da Costa Dining Hall on Bastille Day to solemn Anzac Day and Remembrance Day services that honour our young men who lost their lives at war. Seamlessly blending time-honoured traditions with an inclusive, contemporary approach, St Peter’s College cherishes its history while embracing the ever-evolving landscape of education.
We are honoured to have been educating the minds, hearts and spirits of students for over 175 years. We are proud of our old scholars and their contributions to society and our illustrious alumni include three Nobel Laureates, 10 Australian premiers, 42 Rhodes Scholars and an Australian of the Year. Over 400 old scholars have been recognised with Australian and Imperial Honours having made substantial contributions at local, national or international level. Their influence spans various domains, including the arts, sports, military and Anglican clergy to name but a few.
As we celebrate the accomplishments of the past, a new generation of leaders and innovators are emerging from the School and our old scholars are actively involved in school life through a range of initiatives including our CEO-in-Residence Program.
All who pass through our institution are custodians of a great tradition and all are responsible for building upon the foundations laid by those who have come before us. Together we look to the future and the legacy we are creating for generations to come.
Dedicated to safeguarding our rich history, St Peter’s College maintains an extensive collection within our Archives. This unique assortment of items traces the evolution of the School from its founding on 15 July 1847 to the vibrant community it has become today.
Exhibitions are held regularly and visitors are welcome by appointment. To volunteer or to donate memorabilia, please contact Elisabeth Bramford, School Archivist on email@example.com