Our Headmasters

The King's School has had a long history of Headmasters who have each left their mark on the School. You can read more about each of our Headmasters in detail below.

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The Reverend Robert Forrest (1832-39)

Forrest was born near Kendal, Westmoreland on 30 June 1802 and educated at St. Bees College Cumberland. Priested in London 21 December 1828, Bishop Blomfield of London recommended him to the Colonial Office as Headmaster for The King’s School.

He arrived in Sydney in January 1832. Included in his job description was the role of Assistant Clergy to Parishes, firstly St John’s Parramatta and Field of Mars (1838-39) and then as incumbent Campbelltown (1838-43).

He resigned from King’s citing ill-health in 1839 and became the assistant at Narellan and Camden (1843-47). He was reappointed to The King’s School from 1848 t 1853. Forrest was awarded an MA from Lambeth in 1843 and passed away 7 Nov 1854. See ADB (1966) vol 1 pp 401-2.

The Reverend William Branwhite Clarke (1839-40)

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Clarke was born at East Bergholt, Suffolk 2 June 1798. He was educated at Dedham Grammar School and Jesus College Cambridge where he graduated BA in 1821 and MA in 1824. Priested in 1824, Clarke took an active interest in in Science particularly Geology and is recognised as Australia’s earliest geologist.

Held concurrently with the headmastership was the incumbency of the Parish of Castle Hill and Dural which he continued until 1944 after resigning at King’s, citing health issues. Rector at Campbelltown in 1844 to 1846, he then moved to St Thomas’ North Sydney where he remained until he retired in 1871.

He became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1876 and passed away 16 June 1878; see ADB (1966) vol 1 pp. 39-40.

The Reverend William West Simpson (1841-43)

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Simpson was born on 27 June 1795. It is not known where he attended school, however he received an MA from Lambeth in 1839 before being priested the following year.

Following King’s, Simpson was the incumbent at Cornelia (1843), the Hawkesbury region (1844-46) and Dapto (1852-69). He passed away on 21 June 1869. See S.M. Johnstone’s History of The King’s School (1931) pp 93-97.

The Reverend James Walker (1843-47)

Simpson was born on 27 June 1795. It is not known where he attended school, however he received an MA from Lambeth in 1839 before being priested the following year.

Following King’s, Simpson was the incumbent at Cornelia (1843), the Hawkesbury region (1844-46) and Dapto (1852-69).

He passed away on 21 June 1869. See S.M. Johnstone’s History of The King’s School (1931) pp 93-97.

The Reverend Robert Forrest (1848-53)

See information above.

The Reverend Frederick Armitage (1855-62)

Armitage was born at Kirby Wiske Yorkshire on 1 May 1827. He was educated at Cheltenham College, Bromsgrove School, Worcester College Oxford graduating BA in 1850 and MA in 1852. 

Armitage was priested in 1853 and became Headmaster of King’s in 1855. He raised the academic standing of the School and introduced the arms in 1859. He resigned and returned to England where he undertook an MA in Mathematics at St. John’s College Cambridge graduating in 1873. 

He was appointed an assistant master at Clifton College (1867-71) and was the founding Headmaster of Neuenheim College (1885-91). Armitge passed away 21 Dec 1906. See ADB (1969) vol 3 p 49

The Reverend George Fairfowl Macarthur (1868-86)

Macarthur was born at The Vineyard, Parramatta on 19 January 1825. He was educated at The King’s School Parramatta (1832-39), tradition having it he was enrolled student No 1. 

He attended St. James’ College, where he was priested in 1849. He was the incumbent at Alexandria, St Mark’s Darling Point (1851-58), Bodalla (1886-88) and founding headmaster St. Mark’s Collegiate School Macquarie Fields (1856-68). 

He passed away 16 June 1890. See ADB (1974) vol 5 pp 123-4.

The Reverend Arthur St. John Gray (1886-88)

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Gray was born on 27 December 1859 and educated at Clifton College and Magdalen College Oxford where he graduated MA in 1884 – the same year he was priested. He was the incumbent at Walton-by-Clevedon in Somerset before being appointed Headmaster at King’s. 

Upon resigning he was appointed assistant master at Bromsgrove School (1884-85), and his alma mater Clifton College (1889-91) and (1901-06), before taking on the headship of Malvern College (1892-97). 

He passed away 14 February 1944.

The Reverend Edward Harris (1889-95)

Harris was born in 1837; ed. Reading Grammar School, Lincoln College Oxford; where he graduated MA and was priested in 1863. 

He was assistant master at Brimingham (1861-65) and Clifton College (1865-76) before his appointment as Headmaster of Exeter Grammar School (1876-81). He received his Doctorate of Divinity in 1888 before arriving at King’s. 

Following his return to England he was installed as canon of Hereford Cathedral, a position he held for ten years (1896-1906) before passing away on 9 March 1909. See KSM June 1909, pp 37-42.

The Reverend Arthur Hammerton Champion (1895-1906)

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Champion was born on 22 March 1859. He attended Shrewsbury School and Trinity College Cambridge, where he was priested and graduated MA in 1886. 

Travelling to Australia he was an assistant master at St. Peter’s Adelaide (1882-85) and Headmaster of Launceston Grammar School (1885-95). 

After leaving King’s he engaged in parish ministry as the incumbent of Watson’s Bay and Vaucluse (1906-09), the Parish of Canberra (1909-13), Bungendore (1913-24) before being installed as canon of Goulburn Cathedral (1918-26). He returned to England and served in several English parishes lastly at Cherington in Gloucestershire.

Champion passed away on 22 December 1953. See KSM May 1954, pp 64-5.

The Reverend Percival Stacy Waddy (1907-16)

Waddy was born at Carcoar on 8 January 1875. He was educated at The King’s School Parramatta (1890-93) and Balliol College Oxford graduating MA in 1899. Priested the same year, Waddy worked for a short time in England before returning to Australia where he was incumbent at Stockton (1900-05). 

He established the Preparatory School, increased boarding numbers and introduced an innovative curriculum for rural boys. He resigned in 1916 enlisting in the AIF as a Chaplain, firstly in France (1916) then in Palestine (1917) where he remained in communication with the School and many Old Boys. 

Installed as canon of St. George’s Cathedral Jerusalem (1918-22) he became Archdeacon of Palestine (1922-25). He was appointed Secretary for the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (1925-37) during which time, he graduated from Oxford Doctor of Divinity in 1933. 

Waddy passed away on 8 February 1937. See ADB (1990) vol 12 p 338.

The Reverend Joseph Alfred Pattinson (1916-19)

Pattinson was born on Christmas Eve 1861. He was educated at Manchester Grammar School and St. John’s College Cambridge where he held two Exhibitions. He graduated MA and was priested in 1886. 

Pattinson was an assistant master at Manchester Grammar School and secretary of the Diocesan Association for Church Schools in Manchester before travelling to Brisbane where he was installed as sub-dean and Canon of Brisbane Cathedral (1910-15). Appointed acting warden at St Paul’s College Sydney University (1915-16), he was appointed to King’s and passed away in office on 1 June 1919. See KSM September 1919, p 1.

The Reverend Edward Morgan Baker (1919-32)

Baker was born on 12 August 1874 and educated at Denstone College and Keble College Oxford. He was priested in 1898 graduating MA in 1900. 

From 1897 to 1912 he had various English clerical appointments, before being appointed incumbent St. Paul’s East Brisbane (1912-16), and Wollangatta (1916-18), while simultaneously holding the position of Warden of St. John’s College University of Queensland (1912-16). 

Following his retirement from King’s, he passed away on 25 November 1940. See KSM May 1941, pp 4-9.

The Reverend Charles Tasman Parkinson (1933-38)

Parkinson was born on 1 October 1886. He was educated at Wellington College New Zealand and Christ Church Oxford. 

He was priested 1913 and graduated MA 1914. He was senior curate St. Hilda’s South Shields (1911-14) before enlisting as a Chaplain in the British Army (1914-16), resigning to become an Officer in the Royal Artillery for the final two years of the War.  

After the War he was appointed an assistant master at Giggleswick School (1919) and Christ’s Hospital (1919-32). After leaving King’s he was incumbent at St. Jude’s Randwick (1940-46). He was a former President of New Education Fellowship and Freeman of Rostrum.

Parkinson passed away 20 August 196. See ADB (1988) vol 11 pp 143-4.

Mr Herbert Denys Hake OBE (1939-64)

Hake was born 8 November 1894 and educated at Haileybury College and Queens’ College Cambridge where he graduated MA in 1920. He was appointed an assistant master of Haileybury College (1921-26) and in (1929-38), following two years at St. John’s College Johannesburg. 

Appointed to King’s just prior to the outbreak of WWII, he remained as Headmaster to see the purchase and initiate the move to Gowan Brae. Chairman of Headmasters’ Conference of Australia (1952-54) he was appointed OBE for services to Education. 

Hake passed away 12 April 1975. See KSM December 1964, pp 4-16. 

The Reverend Stanley Wynton Kurrle OBE (1965-82)

Kurrle was born on 30 September 1922. He was educated at Caulfield Grammar School, Trinity College Melbourne University graduating BA, DipEd in 1947, following service during WWII. 

Travelling to England he attended St. Catherine’s Society and Wycliffe Hall Oxford graduating M.A. 1952 and was priested 1953. For two years he was curate at Sutton St. Helens (1952-54) before being appointed Headmaster of his alma mater Caulfield Grammar School (1955-64). 

Installed as a canon St. Andrew’s Cathedral Sydney in 1975 he was appointed Order of the British Empire in 1982 for services to Education. 

Kurrle passed away 20 January 2016.  

Dr Alan Robert Acheson (1983-84)

Acheson was born on 21 October 1937. He was educated at The Sullivan Upper School and Queen’s University Belfast where he graduated BA, PhD.

From 1964 to 70 he was a Captain in the Royal Army Education Corps. He was appointed an assistant master and Head of History at the Friends’ School Lisburn (1971-73) and Campbell College Belfast (1973-78) before he was appointed Headmaster at the Portora Royal School Enniskillen (1978-82).

Mr Jonathan Anthony Wickham (1984-97)

Wickham was born on 12 April 1943. He was educated at Guildford Grammar School and the Universities of Western Australia BA DipEd (1966) and New England BEd. (1970).

He was appointed an assistant master at The King’s School (1968-71) before teaching for a few years at Larchfield School, Scotland (1971) and King’s School Ely, England (1972-73).

Returning to King’s he became Housemaster Forrest House (1974-81) with a year on exchange at Tonbridge School England (1980), before being appointed Senior Master (1982-84). Wickham is the first Headmaster to have been appointed from the Common Room.

Dr Timothy Francis Hawkes OAM (1998-2017)

Hawkes was born on 4 May 1953 and educated at King’s School Rochester, Bede College, Durham University, New England and Macquarie Universities, where he graduated BEd(Hons), PhD, GradDip EdStud (Ed Admin.), FACE, MACEA.  

His first teaching appointment was at Loughborough Grammar School (1975-80) before returning to Australia as assistant master and senior boarding master at Knox Grammar (1981-1989). Hawkes was then appointed as Principal of St Leonard’s College, Melbourne (1990-97). 

He retired from King’s in 2017.

Mr Anthony Luke George (2017 - present)

Tony George is the 20th Headmaster of The King’s School, taking up his position in July 2017.

Mr George is a respected educator with extensive experience in leading large schools and is well-practised in making a considerable contribution to educational debate.

Mr George has a strong background in education, business and not-for-profit sectors, and a range of strategic, commercial and leadership skills that enable him to lead King’s in its mission to equip young students for life in a rapidly changing and complex world. His educational experience in the sciences, social sciences, languages and literature means that he is well-placed to lead and engage broadly across the curriculum.

Mr George holds tertiary qualifications in Science (BSc), Education (MEd, GradDipEd), Management (MBA), and Theology (BTh(Hons), DipMin). His doctoral studies (PhD) are in the Philosophy of Education with respect to the collaborative roles that religious, philosophic and scientific modes of human knowledge contribute to our understanding of education. Mr George’s passion is to see children grow in Christian character and integrity. He is married to Jen and has four adult children.

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