Our Story

The Scots College has raised generations of fine men since it was established in 1893 at Brighton-le-Sands. This was along the shores of historic Botany Bay by the Reverend Arthur Aspinall, in conjunction with the Presbyterian Church of Australia. The College was formally inaugurated later that year by the Governor of the Colony, Lord Jersey, becoming a member of the Athletics Association of Great Public Schools (AAGPS).

The College moved to its present Bellevue Hill site in 1895 at Aspinall House (previously St Killians), one of the College’s five historic boarding houses. The inaugural 1893 enrolment of 35 Senior day boys and boarders has now grown to over 2,000 students across seven campuses.

The Preparatory School commenced in 1922 with 49 boys and three teachers in Kambala House, now hosting over 650 students (T-6). The College’s rich history remains evident in the culture of the College today. Scots’ Presbyterian heritage and Scottish traditions are synonymous with life at Scots. The Scots College’s internationally acclaimed Pipes and Drums has been in operation since 1900 and the bandsmen continue to sport the 42nd tartan of the Black Watch.

The College’s 14,352 strong Old Boys Union is testament to the camaraderie and life-long friendships that are formed from a Scots education. Scots boys are inspired by generations of Old Boys who walked the halls before them including fine community leaders, Rhodes Scholars and world class sportsmen. They include Admiral Sir David James Martin AO, Professor Phillip John Crowe, Ian Kiernan AO, Dr John Solomon, Professor Graeme Clark AC AO, and Dr Charles Teo. These men are true examples of ‘Brave Hearts Bold Minds’ and feature on the walls of the College’s state-of-the-art facilities such as the new Graeme Clark Centre for Innovation in the Sciences, opened in 2009.

Inspired by the vision to provide defining chapters for boys growing into men, the College established an outdoor education program to challenge and extend boys in 1989 – Glengarry. This popular six month residential program is one of its kind in Australia and is a cornerstone to The Scots College’s philosophy of honouring the learning and adventures of boys.

In the spirit of the College’s song – Scots to the Fore – Scots strives to raise fine Christian leaders. The Scots College provides educational experiences of adventure, tradition, camaraderie and excellence to extend boys into new territories; mentally, spiritually and physically, while equipping them with Christian values, forming a platform from which they can flourish in life. In the words of the College’s Principal Dr Ian PM Lambert —

“Leadership, Character, Spirit — as a College our challenge is to ensure that these intrinsic elements resonate richly in the hearts and minds of every Scots boy.”

Meet Our Principals

This timeline by Principals depicts a visual snapshot of the College’s history of educating and raising fine men. By selecting each Principal during their years of stewardship, you will see the growth and progress of the College during their leadership.

The Scots College is a proud member of the following associations.

The Presbyterian Church (New South Wales) Property Trust T/A The Scots College, Sydney Australia
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William Elder


Mr Alan Elder was born in Scotland and migrated to Australia with his parents at a young age. He attended The Scots College for all his schooling, graduating in 1944. He played 1st XI Cricket and was a member of the College Cadet Unit. After leaving school Mr Elder studied accountancy and retained a life-long love of the College, especially the Pipes and Drums. Mr Elder never married, however the significant bequest he left will allow his Scots family to remember him through the Lang Walker Business Centre.