Houses are at the heart of Corio Campus life.

Whilst we are Australia’s largest boarding community, crucially, our boarding houses operate as individual, warm micro-environments, much like a family. In the House, students can find a safe, stable environment to grow and learn, experience understanding and encouragement from the dedicated staff around them, and, importantly, foster a sense of identity and belonging that leads to confidence in the broader school environment.

Middle School Houses

Years 7 to 8 boarders join one of our Middle School boarding houses, Parrwang (Boys) or Kunuwarra (Girls). Day students at Corio Campus in Years 5 to Year 8 join of one of the Middle School day houses, Highton or Otway (co-educational). Our Middle School community broadly consists of 50% boarding students and 50% day students.

Parrwang is the magpie, who in the Wadawurrung creation story lifted the blanket of darkness from the land to bring the first dawn. After community consultation in Term 4 2020, Barwon became Parrwang and Connewarre was renamed Kunuwarra to strengthen our connection to place, enhancing our links with local Indigenous culture whilst honouring the heritage of our Middle School boarding houses. Barwon opened in 1914 as a section of Junior House and became a standalone house in 1934.

Kunuwarra is the black swan, which is a significant female symbol in the Wadawurrung creation story (kunuwarra was the wife of bundjil, the creator spirit of the Kulin nation). After community consultation in Term 4 2020, Connewarre was renamed Kunuwarra and Barwon became Parrwang to strengthen our connection to place, enhancing our links with local Indigenous culture whilst honouring the heritage of our Middle School boarding houses. Connewarre opened in 1914 as part of Junior House, became a standalone house in 1934, and a girls’ boarding house in 1984.

Named after the nearby Otway Ranges, Otway opened in 1962 and initially contained only Third Form students before expanding to include both Second and Third Form students between 1963-1976. Otway amalgamated with Connewarre between 1976-1983 due to the first girls commencing at Geelong Grammar in First Form in 1975. With the houses reverting to single sex in 1984, Otway ceased to exist for a period between 1983-1997, before being reinstated as one of two day houses in 1998.

Highton House opened for day students in Years 5-8 for the 1998 school year, following the closure of the School’s Highton Campus in 1997.

Senior School Houses

There are ten houses in Senior School, four boys’ boarding houses, four girls’ boarding houses and two co-educational day houses. 80% of the Senior School student population are boarders, and 20% are day boarders.

The layout varies between boarding houses, but the structure is primarily the same.  Year 10 students share small dormitory rooms and work in small study areas collaboratively. Year 11 and Year 12 students will typically have single rooms with their study desks. In addition, each boarding house has common living areas, indoor and outdoor recreation areas, library rooms and kitchenettes for students to enjoy.

Day houses have the full amenities of a boarding house but without the sleeping facilities, including a common assembly room and kitchenette for students to enjoy throughout the day. Year 10 students will typically share larger study rooms, and Year 11 and 12 students will have a single or twin study room for their evening Prep and free study time.

Clyde House was one of the two senior girls’ houses, along with Jennings, established following the amalgamation of Clyde and The Hermitage schools with GGS in 1976. Clyde House initially consisted only of former Clyde School students which helped to create a family atmosphere and carry over traditions of the former school. The House was demolished and rebuilt in 2018/19 and reopened on 2 March 2019.

Elisabeth Murdoch House began in 2009 with 20 Year 10 girls spending their first five terms at Geelong Grammar residing in the Annexe while Elisabeth Murdoch was constructed. Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, the House’s eponym, attended Clyde School (1922-26), was a generous benefactor of GGS as well as a parent, grandparent and great-grandparent of Geelong Grammarians. Dame Elisabeth, aged 101, formally opened the new building on 24 April 2010.

Named after Tommy Garnett OAM (Headmaster 1961-73), who was instrumental in introducing co-education at GGS, Garnett House was formally opened by Tommy on 26 March 1984. Garnett House was formally the headmaster’s residence (1914-81) and originally housed 24 Fourth Form (Year 10) girls.

Following the amalgamation of Geelong Church of England Girls Grammar School (known as The Hermitage) and Clyde School, two senior girls’ boarding houses were created: Clyde School and Jennings House. The House was named after Reginald Jennings, housemaster of Junior House (1914-32), Connewarre House (1935-41) and Master of Junior School (1933-1941). In the August 1985 edition of Light Blue, The Hermitage alumni Clare Greaves (nee Carter) bemoaned the fact that the School did not have a boarding house named in honour of The Hermitage in a Foundation Q and A. The response from the School at the time suggested that the most “satisfactory way forward” would be to name a new social or craft centre after The Hermitage. Fast-forward eight years and Jennings was renamed The Hermitage as it was though appropriate that there should be an official commemoration of The Hermitage at Corio.

Cuthbertson is one of three foundation houses at Geelong Grammar, along with Manifold and Perry, established in 1914. Old Geelong Grammarians wished to name the House after James Lister Cuthbertson, classical master at GGS from 1875-96. Cuthbertson founded the Annual, which would become the Quarterly and, finally, the Corian, established rowing at GGS and introduced the prefect system and interschool sporting competitions, based on the English model. On 10 March 1925 the building was ravaged by fire; only the outer brickwork of the original 1913 building remains. Money for the rebuild was raised from OGGs and ticket sales to theatrical productions.

The foundation stone of Francis Brown House was laid on 21 August 1936 by John Manifold, Chairman of Council. The House was built on the site of the old Chapel Oval and named after Rev. Francis Ernest Brown, Headmaster of Geelong Grammar School from 1912-1929.

Manifold House is one of three foundation houses at Geelong Grammar, along with Cuthbertson and Perry houses. The house’s eponym is the Manifold family, whose connection with Geelong Grammar began when William Thomson Manifold commenced at GGS in 1873 and continues today with a number of Manifolds residing in the House in 2021.

Perry House is one of three foundation houses at Geelong Grammar School, along with Cuthbertson and Manifold houses. The house is named after Charles Perry, the first Anglican Bishop of Melbourne, who was a founder of the School in 1855.

The eponym of Allen House is Rev. Joseph ‘Joey’ Hollins Allen, former chaplain and long-time housemaster of Geelong House (staff 1917-45). Students in Geelong House, as it was known between 1931-1972, travelled from Geelong each day and completed their schooling, prep and stayed for dinner at Corio before returning to Geelong each night on the 8.15pm train. The house was renamed in 1972 to reflect the fact that day students were no longer coming solely from Geelong but further afield.

Named after Hector Douglas Lovat (Doug) Fraser (master 1931-63, head of Junior School 1945-61), Fraser began as Junior House in 1963 before being renamed Fraser in 1967. It initially housed Form 1 (Year 7) students from Otway House as part of the creation of middle school however, as numbers dwindled in 1972, the house ceased to exist for a period between 1972-75. During this period, the Fraser House building was refurbished and modernised, before re-opening as a senior day house in 1976.