Heritage Guide to The Geelong College

Search the Guide

To find information in this Guide please select one of the green coloured options.

To Select a Page Group when displayed, right click and select 'Open'.

Copyright Conditions Apply.



Sir Zelman Cowan (Centre) at the Opening of the Austin Gray Centre, 7 June 1980.

Sir Zelman Cowan (Centre) Austin Gray Centre Opening, 7 June 1980.

Interpretative Sign at the Austin Gray Centre, 2015.

Interpretative Sign at the Austin Gray Centre, 2015.

This group of buildings, including the first Preparatory School from 1921 to 1959, is collectively known as the Austin Gray Centre. The Centre now includes facilities for the teaching of art and design within a Design and Creative Arts precinct.

Named after principal benefactor, and former College student, Alexander Austin Gray (1902 - 1979), the Centre was renovated and extended in 1979 and opened by the Governor-General, Sir Zelman Cowen on 7 June 1980.

The Centre has at times, housed mathematics and music facilities as well as a student and community activity area known as the ‘House of Guilds’. It was designed by McGlashan Everist Architects and constructed by Millford Builders.

By the mid 1970s the School’s various creative programs including art, music and the House of Guilds had outgrown their original facilities. At a Planning Committee Meeting in 1977, the School Council established an ad hoc group to 'proceed with the development of plans for a Creative Arts Centre’. This group led by Robert Ingpen and Neil Everist submitted a proposal to Council recommending inclusion within a new comprehensive centre of: the House of Guilds, Art School, Music School, Graphics and Woodwork Facilities together with community access.

In 1979, directly as a consequence of the recommendation, the College Council constructed a fully integrated 'creative activities centre' in the North West corner of the Senior School Campus which was opened by the Governor-General Sir Zelman Cowen on 7 June 1980. The buildings used for this centre included those of the original Preparatory School. The Centre originally housed music facilities as well as a student and community activity centre known as the ‘House of Guilds’.

Austin Gray provided the generous bequest which initially made the project possible. At the same time, general community access to the Centre was enabled by then Principal, Peter Gebhardt. The Centre was a focus for creative activity, not only within the College but for the wider community. Since 1980, the Centre has evolved. Music and the performing arts eventually gained more dedicated facilities with the development of the Keith Humble Centre for Music and the Performing Arts. Following planned re-development of the Austin Gray Centre in 2010, community access was reduced at the end of 2010. It is now known as the 'Design and Creative Arts Centre'. Art, Woodwork and Graphic Communication are taught in adjacent classrooms.
© The Geelong College. Unless otherwise attributed, The Geelong College asserts its creative and commercial rights over all images and text used in this publication. No images or text material may be copied, reproduced or published without the written authorisation of The College.