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History and tradition

The Hutchins School was founded in 1846 as a memorial to The Venerable William Hutchins, first Archdeacon of the colony of Van Diemen’s Land. Intended by the Church of England as a southern feeder school for Christ’s College at Bishopsbourne, it outlived the College and eventually absorbed its replacement – along with several other notable schools – to become the pre-eminent boys’ school in Tasmania.

Hutchins School, 1865 (S Clifford)

Hutchins commenced operations under Headmaster J R Buckland at Ingle Hall in lower Macquarie Street, one of the oldest homes still standing in Hobart. In 1849 it moved a few blocks up Macquarie Street to a purpose-built schoolhouse designed by Tasmanian architect, William Archer. The Buckland family’s combined forty-six years in charge of Hutchins served to set the School on a distinguished educational and spiritual path, and it continues to expand and develop to this day.

In 1957 a new Junior School opened at Sandy Bay, following the sub-primary block opened there in 1947 and the Memorial Oval in 1955. The Senior School followed in stages, after the purchase of the former Queenborough Cemetery in 1960 and the subsequent construction of a boarding house, science wing, administration block and classrooms, all opened in 1964.

The Macquarie Street building was sold in 1965 and Hutchins commenced full operations at Sandy Bay the following year, gradually adding a Middle School, Early Learning Centre, chapel, gymnasium, auditorium, sports grounds and performing arts centre.

Proud of its heritage, Hutchins has a tradition of producing good men distinguished in all fields of endeavour – from academia, politics and the law to business, sport and the arts. The School’s motto of Vivit Post Funera VirtusCharacter Lives After Death – exemplifies the School’s dedication to the building of character, moulded by faith, learning and service to others. For further information about the School's history, please visit the archives page.


Headmasters and Principals

  • Headmaster Rev J R Buckland (1846–74)
  • Headmaster Rev J V Buckland (1874–92)
  • Headmaster Rev H H Anderson (1892–1906)
  • Headmaster Rev E G Muschamp (1907–08)
  • Headmaster Major G A Gurney (1908–12)
  • Headmaster L H Lindon (1912–17)
  • Headmaster C C Thorold (1918–29)
  • Headmaster J R O Harris (1929–42)
  • Headmaster V S Murphy (1942–45)
  • Headmaster P Radford (1946–53)
  • Headmaster W H Mason-Cox (1954–58)
  • Headmaster H V Jones (1958)
  • Headmaster G H Newman (1959–63)
  • Headmaster D R Lawrence (1963–70)
  • Headmaster Rev Dr D B Clarke (1971–86)
  • Headmaster J M B Bednall (1987–96)
  • Principal W D Toppin (1997–2007)
  • Headmaster W P Dean (2007–16)
  • Principal R W McEwan (2017–present)

*In regards to the appointment of D R Lawrence as Headmaster of the School in 1963, the School acknowledges incidents of historical sexual abuse having occurred at our school. The Hutchins School Board apologises sincerely and wholeheartedly to any and all Hutchins Old Boys who have been sexually abused. Child sexual abuse is an abhorrent crime. Visit the National Redress Scheme for more information.

**Dr McEwan was known as Headmaster from 2017-2022 before the title was updated to Principal in 2023.

To learn more about the opportunities we provide for boys to become their best, contact our Enrolments Assistant, submit an online Enquiry form or phone 03 6221 4236. We encourage you to book a tour with our Registrar as this is the best way to see our School in action. Read more…