Historical Timeline

Clayfield College has a rich history of successful growth from small beginnings into one of Queensland's leading independent schools. Please enjoy some of the milestones in our historical timeline below.


In the beginning

The tradition of Clayfield College began in 1902 when the Presbyterian Church purchased Mr A. W. Rudd's Boys' School. The school was in a house on Bonney Avenue, Clayfield, with 4 students. As enrolments increased, the school was moved to the corner of Bayview Terrace and Sandgate Road.


Brisbane Boys' College

In 1917, the Presbyterian and Methodist Churches of Queensland purchased the College. The College was officially opened on 2 March 1920 and renamed 'The Brisbane Boys' College', although the College was commonly known as Clayfield College throughout the twenties. Brisbane Boys' College was relocated to its current site at Toowong in 1931.


Clayfield College

The Presbyterian and Methodist Schools Association (PMSA) was formed in 1918. In 1930, the PMSA Council decided to establish Clayfield College as a Primary and Kindergarten School for girls and boys, with girls to start at primary age and continue to secondary, and boys until 10 years of age. The College was supervised by Co-Principals of Somerville House, Miss Harker and Miss Jarrett, who visited the school every Friday afternoon.


Foundation Day

Clayfield College was officially opened on 9 February 1931 with 9 enrolments: Joan Earnshaw,  Ian McLelland, Peggy McLaughlin, Leonard Patrick, Ray Lewis, Nancy Amos, Joan Marshall and Mavis Gamble and Ralph Moody who commenced on 23 February 1931. Miss Nancy Ashburn was appointed Mistress in Charge of Clayfield College.


Miss Nancy Ashburn

In 1934, there were 66 students enrolled at the College. A Secondary Department was established and Miss Nancy Ashburn was appointed Headmistress of Clayfield College.


Luceat Lux Vestra

A student of the College, Gloria Huish, designed the school badge. The College motto ‘Luceat Lux Vestra’ - Let Your Light Shine - was chosen by Miss Harker and Miss Jarrett.


Parents' Association

In 1937, the Parents' Association was formed and fundraising began for the College Pool. In September 1937, the PMSA Council approved a full Senior Program at the College and a graduate science teacher was employed. The pool was officially opened in 1939.


Boarding at Clayfield

In 1939, boarding at Clayfield College was established with six students: Heather McDonald, Margaret Henderson, Olive Searle, Annable Parry-Okenden, Janice Wilson and Nancy Fowles. The first edition of the Clayfield College magazine, 'The Collegian', was produced.


Senior Form

The total number of students enrolled in 1940 was 124, with 12 boarders and 112 day students, including 11 boys. The Senior Form was established with students - Joan Earnshaw, Edith Jackson, Mina Darker, Gloria Huish and Cecily Wrigley. First Dux and Captain of the College was Gloria Huish. The first Boarding House Captain was Heather McDonald.


Old Girls' Association

The Clayfield College Old Girls' Association was formed and the first meeting was held on 23rd May.


House System Introduced

The House system was introduced with four houses - Campbell, Gibson, Radcliffe and Youngman. Gold was also added to the green and blue College colours.


Gymnasium Opened

In 1956, the College opened its first Gymnasium. In sport, Clayfield dominated the swimming and life-saving competitions and our Tennis teams won two Premierships.


Henderson House

In 1958, a fifth House was added - Henderson.


Miss Ashburn Retires

In mid 1963, Miss Ashburn advised Council of her retirement at the end of Term 2, 1964.


The Nancy Ashburn Library

The library was opened and named in honour of Miss Ashburn in the year of her retirement.


Miss Ida Kennedy

Miss Ida Kennedy, teacher at Moreton Bay College and in charge of Moreton House, was appointed as Principal of Clayfield College. During her time as Principal, Clayfield College underwent a rapid program of expansion including a new science block, a separate Primary Department, a new boarding school in Gregory Street and the current Assembly Hall.


New Science Block Opened

On Open Day in 1969, the new Science Block was opened by Mr Ian Bissett, O.B.E.,M.Sc.


New Boarding House Opened

The new Clayfield College Boarding House was opened by Reverend G. Nash and Mr Eric Rea, Chairman of PMSA.



The green and white striped uniform was introduced as a summer alternative to the bottle green tunic.


Golden Jubilee Fine Arts Complex

The Golden Jubilee Fine Arts Complex including Speech and Drama, Music, Visual Art and Pottery rooms was opened.


New facilities

The new swimming pool was opened and new classrooms constructed in both the Primary and Secondary Schools.


Clayfield College Chapel

Following the closure of vehicle access to Sandgate Road, a new circular drive and school entrance were established on Gregory Street. In 1985, the School Chapel was built across the old driveway.


Miss Kennedy's retirement

Miss Kennedy BA, B.Ed, L.A.S.A., MACE, OAM, or 'Ned' as she was known, retired after 26 years of service. During her time, the College underwent an exciting era of growth and modernisation.


Mrs Carolyn Hauff

In 1991, the Clayfield College community celebrated its Diamond Jubilee and welcomed Mrs Carolyn Hauff AM, BA, BEd.St.,M.Litt.,DipT,Th.C.,O.P.M (Harv).F.A.I.M.,MACE, MACEL, F.Q.I.E.A, as Principal. The next 16 years was a period of great school spirit and of dynamic change to all aspects of college life. Student enrolments grew from 620 to 950 and the college site trebled in size.


Development Plan

Stage 1 of Clayfield College’s Development Plan, incorporating the refurbishment of the Primary School and the ground floor/courtyard of the Boarding House, was completed and officially opened by the then Queensland Governor, Mrs Leneen Forde.


Ida Kennedy Physical Education Centre

During Stage 2, the Ida Kennedy Physical Education Centre was opened. The site had been occupied by the Clayfield Ten Pin Bowling Alley and, prior to that, the Savoy Theatre.


Clayfield College Boarding House

In 2003, Turrawan Hospital was purchased, and refurbished in 2006, to accommodate 120 boarders in an outstanding new Boarding House facility.


Mrs Hauff Retires

In 2006, Clayfield College celebrated 75 years; unveiled the roses mural; enjoyed the new courtyard and said goodbye to its third Principal, Mrs Carolyn Hauff AM, whose vibrant, creative leadership had guided Clayfield throughout some of its most innovative years.


Mr Brian Savins

In January 2007, Mr Brian Savins MEd, BEd, DipT, Cert Management & Leadership (MIT), MACEL (T1-2), commenced as the fourth Principal of Clayfield College. As an educational leader with interstate and international experience, he strived to develop Clayfield as a professional learning community focussed on inclusiveness, parent-school partnerships and continuous school improvement.


Swimming Pool Centre

The new Swimming Pool Centre was officially opened including classrooms, a viewing concourse overlooking the pool, a new change room and new coaching facilities.


Opening of Junior School

The new Junior School precinct was completed. A $7M project, with 10 classrooms for Years 1-5 and Administration offices, along with a wonderful new playground had finally become a reality, replacing old refurbished houses and transportable buildings.


Ms Melissa Powell

In January 2015, Ms Melissa Powell MEd, Post Grad Dip Ed Stud, BEd(Dist), DipT(Dist), MACE, MACEL, was appointed Principal after the retirement of Mr Brian Savins in 2014.


Nancy Ashburn Learning Resource Centre

In July 2015, the renovated Nancy Ashburn Learning Resource Centre was officially opened by Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO. The $3.1M construction and fit-out project refurbished the library/staffroom into a P-12 Learning Resource Centre, with state of the art technology and new furniture. Construction commenced in September 2014 and was completed in July 2015. The Learning Resource Centre now has a collection of P-12 fiction and non fiction of approximately 15,000 books.


Mrs Kathy Bishop

In January 2016, Mrs Kathy Bishop MEd, BEdSt, BA, GradDipEd, MACE, MACEL, AFAIM, MAICD, joined Clayfield College as Principal (Acting) after Ms Powell's resignation in 2015. Mrs Bishop was officially announced as Principal in September 2016. As the College’s sixth Principal, Kathy energetically led the school and created a community where students felt a strong sense of belonging. Her achievements included developing The Clayfield Way 2017-2021, overseeing the staff commitment to The Clayfield Classroom, and working to complete the 30-year Clayfield College Master Plan


Years 6 - 9 Precinct Complete

The Years 6 - 9 Precinct is an exciting refurbishment to student facilities, offering 10 classrooms over three levels to cater for our Years 6 - 9 students. This building has embraced the heritage of the College whilst creating outstanding facilities, providing a strong platform for the future growth of the campus.


Dr Andrew Cousins

Dr. Andrew Cousins (PhD., B.Mus., B.Sc., P.Grad.Dip.Ed., A.Mus.A. (Piano), MACE, MACEL) was appointed the seventh Principal of Clayfield College, following the resignation of Mrs Kathy Bishop in 2019. Dr. Cousins brings a keen intelligence as an educator and is a part of a new generation of educational leaders. He is passionate about educating the whole child, igniting their natural curiosity and developing them to be bold, imaginative and reflective.