Braemar College is an ecumenical co-curricular private school located on Mount Macedon in Woodend, Victoria, Australia. Initially the school's board consisted of representatives from the three local municipalities (Shire of Gisborne, Shire of Romsey and Shire of Newham and Woodend - now replaced by the newer Shire of Macedon Ranges) and the three local Christian denomination churches (Anglican, Catholic and Uniting). The school's motto is Unum Corpus Multi Sumus (One body, many parts).
Braemar House was built as a guest house for affluent Melbourne residents by a consortium of Melbourne businessmen. The location of Braemar House in the Mount Macedon area which was noted for its bracing mountain air made it attractive to those who believed that city life was not conducive to good health and that regular vacations in a healthy environment would restore well being. Access to rail transport and proximity to recreational activities such as walking and climbing in picturesque locations such as nearby Hanging Rock made Woodend a suitable place for such a venture.
Braemar House operated as a guest house from about 1890 until at least 1908, and possibly until 1918.
Braemar House was listed on the Heritage Register of Victoria in 2003.
Clyde School was founded as a private girls' school in 1910 in St Kilda by Miss Isabel Henderson. In 1919 it moved to Braemar House, Woodend and in 1921 it was transformed into a public school (which was exclusively a boarding school).
In 1976 Clyde School, Geelong Church of England Grammar School, and Geelong Church of England Girls' Grammar School "The Hermitage" amalgamated, and today the combined school continues as Geelong Grammar School.
In 1975 the present name Braemar College was adopted as the school expanded to include years 7 to 12 for both male and female students.
Braemar College sits surrounded by the ferny undergrowth, Snow Gums, Alpine Ash and Mountain Ash bushland of the Macedon Regional Park On 16 February 1983, the school escaped relatively unharmed as the infamous Ash Wednesday fires raged around it. The statewide Ash Wednesday Bushfires raged across Victoria - scorching 295km² of bushland, taking 7 lives and destroying 628 buildings in the Macedon Ranges area alone. Despite the valiant efforts of local fire fighters and volunteers, the school did lose its historic stables and grand stand - now the site of a gymnasium and theatre building.
The college again expanded in 1995 with the construction of a primary school building along with full provisions for grade 5 and 6 students. At the moment the college is privately constructing a Year 9 Centre off campus school and a Primary school on Avenue of Honour in nearby Woodend. This complex will also include full sport venues.
Braemar College participates in many activities with other schools in the region such as cross country, athletics, swimming, chess, debating and orienteering.
In 1975 the novel was made into a film directed by Peter Weir which became very successful both in Australia and overseas. At the time of release, the association with Clyde School was noted in the press, although the actual school did not appear in the film. The film's producers chose Martindale Hall, in South Australia (with school buildings more typical of a 19th century English public school than the former alpine chalet styled guesthouse) to stand for the story's fictional school, Appleyard Hall.
In 1987, Joan Lindsay launched the final chapter or sequel to Picnic at Hanging Rock, titled The Secret of Hanging Rock, at a media event at Braemar College.
In 1987, The Australian 60 Minutes program televised a debate at the school on the abortion issue featuring students and community figures on either side of the debate (including notorious pro-life campaigner Margaret Tighe).