1899 - 1913
Simpson Sisters

Where it all began: 1899 - 1938


Mentone High School for girls' was founded by the Simpson sisters, Effie, Minnie, Ethel, and Daisy, at "Cobbalanna" – 100 Como Parade, Mentone. Effie Simpson served as the school's inaugural Headmistress.


Miss Ada Murray and Miss Jane Elizabeth Bullow jointly commenced running the School.


Miss Ada Murray assumed leadership of the School.


Miss Alice Maxwell-Hyslop took over as the Headmistress. Under her leadership, the School transitioned to a co-educational institution, welcoming up to 40 students.

1919 - 1924
1924 Whole School

Miss Maxwell-Hyslop retired and Miss Ethel Simpson returned to the School as Headmistress.


Miss Evaline Mary Pearson became Headmistress. The School moved to a new location in Venice Street when the Parents’ Committee arranged for it to be the Mentone Branch of Presbyterian Ladies’ College.


The Presbyterian Church Board decided to close the School. At a Public Meeting, debenture capital was subscribed to form a company; a deposit was paid for the property now the site of St Bede’s College.


The School was reopened and rebranded as Mentone Girls' Grammar School (St. Margaret's). The Students and Music Teacher, collaborated to compose the School song. During this period, the School motto "VERO NIHIL VERIUS" was coined, which translates to 'Nothing is truer than truth'. Additionally, the House groups 'Grammar' and 'St. Margaret's' were established.

1925 - 1935
1933 MGGS Senior Students

The School Magazine ‘Spindrift’ was first published.


The Old Girls’ Club held its first meeting.


During the challenging years of The Depression, Miss Bessie Johnston assumed the role of Headmistress.


Miss Johnston introduced new curriculum initiatives to provide vocational skills for business employment: typing and shorthand.


Miss Jeannie McCowan was appointed as Headmistress, and she served in this capacity until 1955.

1936 - 1938
1939 Betty Davidson Old Girls v2

When the owners of the current site foreclosed on the mortgage, Miss McCowan took the initiative and offered to buy a more suitable site for the School. Demonstrating her visionary leadership, she made the strategic decision to purchase a property with Beach Road frontage.


Additional land was purchased, with playing fields added to the campus. The School was now recognised as a Day School and Boarding School.


An Infant School was registered. Miss McCowan made a progressive move to begin training girls for matriculation to University - something that was unheard of at the time.

1939 - 1953
1950 Softball Team. v2

A Period of Growth: 1939 - 1979


During World War II, as the conflict erupted, all students actively participated in evacuation procedures to prepare for a potential enemy attack. Slit trenches were dug within the School grounds, and regular drills were conducted to familiarise staff and students with the air-raid shelters.

The students also took part in gathering eggs from a chook pen to provide a healthy breakfast for the boarders. Furthermore, the School showed its support to the Hospital Appeals by donating fresh eggs throughout the entire War period.

During this significant period, the School established a close connection with St. Augustine's Church of England, located on Como Parade, Mentone. As a tribute to the Duke of Kent, Kent House was created and named in his honour.


The School had now secured four acres of land, 10 classrooms and Boarding house.


The position of Sports Captain was created.

1956 - 1966
1956 Prue Lewty Council appointment

Miss J Prudence Lewty was appointed Headmistress.


A large adjoining house was purchased to provide a Kindergarten and classrooms.


Additional land was acquired for sporting facilities. The School now covered nine acres.


The School became affiliated with the Church of England, and the Bishop's mitre was added to the crest.


The Science Laboratories were opened by Senator The Honourable J.G. Gorton.

1969 - 1978
1969 Fencing Team Coach

McCowan House created; named in honour of Miss Jeannie McCowan; the School’s longest serving Headmistress.


Mr David Hunt was appointed as the first male Principal of the School. A Thanksgiving and Dedication Service was held to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of the School. The School completed a successful building plan of a Junior School, Science Block, Kerferd Library and Prudence Lewty Hall.


The Annette Kellermann Sports Complex and Swimming Pool were constructed.


Middle School was established.

1986 - 1992
1987 Senior Netball Team

Continued Growth: 1986 to Present


The David Hunt Centre was opened, comprising a gymnasium, Music school, classroom and specialist facilities.


Mrs Janice Douglas was appointed Principal.


Australia’s Bicentennial Year was celebrated with special school events. The satellite project expanded to allow languages to be received directly from Europe and Japan.


The Simpson Visual Arts Centre was opened by the Honourable Lindsay Thompson, son of Miss Ethel Simpson. Year 12 students were awarded the new two-year Victorian Certificate of Education.

1994 - 1999
1997 Aths Captains Halligan Cutler Winners

The School celebrated its 95th Birthday with special events. The Early Learning Centre for girls and boys opened in February.


Laptop computers were introduced into classrooms.


The Janice Douglas Junior School was officially opened by the Premier of Victoria, the Honourable Jeff Kennett.


Ms Jillian de Araugo was appointed Principal.


Centenary Year – celebrated throughout the year at a variety of functions including a Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral, the Centenary Concert at the Melbourne Concert Hall and Speech Night at the Melbourne Town Hall.

2000 - 2007
Junior School girls 18 1 min

Mentone Girls' Grammar School Old Girls' Club celebrated its 75th Anniversary.


The Rose Courtyard was refurbished.


Our iconic red uniform was launched.


Mrs Fran Reddan was appointed Principal.


The award winning Cobbalanna VCE Centre was opened on the site of the original Cobbalanna School House.


Bay Café was opened.

2008 - 2011

International Baccalaureate Formal Process commenced for Junior School.


110-year anniversary included many celebrations and the introduction of an annual Founder’s Day event.


The new Early Learning Centre (ELC) opened across from the Junior School at 20 Mentone Parade.


Formal sister school agreements signed with Yamanashi Eiwa Girls' School in Japan and Huaxia Girls' School in Beijing, China.

2012 - 2015
Remarkable Women

Year 7 & 8 Creative Learning Centre opened with the introduction of 1:1 iPad technology and a new Media Design Suite for TV and film production, industrial and web design.

Establishment of the Remarkable Women Series, honouring Mentone Old Girls who have made their mark personally or professionally on the local, national or world stage.


Year 9 & 10 Global Learning Centre opened in conjunction with the new Food and Nutrition Centre.


School’s 115th Anniversary year. Wellbeing Centre opened. We became the first school in the world to be accredited with a CIS International Certification, and became an ASIC MoneySmart School.


Media Design Suite opened and new Junior School playground unveiled. Anzac Memorial Garden Bed established in the Willow Courtyard.

2016 - Present
Natalie with Student

Enterprise Academy officially opened by Creel Price, Founder of Club Kidpreneur. The School was one of only 10 Club Kidpreneur Hero Schools.


Several renovations were undertaken at the School, including the commencement of construction of the new Wellbeing Precinct.


The new Wellbeing Precinct was opened in January, featuring an Aquatic Centre with a 25m Pool, Learn to Swim Pool and Diving boards along with three outdoor Netball / Basketball courts and 12 Tennis courts / Hockey pitch.


Ms Natalie Charles was appointed as Principal. COVID-19 worldwide pandemic caused campus closure from March until June, with classes conducted online.

Digital Archives

1899 Simpson Sisters 2

Exploring our History

Immerse yourself in the rich heritage of Mentone Girls' Grammar School through our Digital Archives, a testament to our long history of…