Pymble Ladies College

Pymble Ladies' College

Pymble Ladies' College, (known as P.L.C or Pymble), is an independent, non-selective, day and boarding school for girls, located in Pymble, a suburb in the North Shore of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

The college, formerly a school of the Presbyterian Church of Australia, is now administered by the Uniting Church in Australia, and is a founding member of the Association of Heads of Independent Girls' Schools (AHIGS). Girls of any religion may attend the school, although they are expected to also attend a weekly chapel service with the rest of the school. The school caters for all classes from Kindergarten to Year 12.

Twenty hectares in size, the grounds of the College feature a 50m swimming pool, gymnasium, several fields, tennis courts, an agriculture plot, library, buildings dedicated to specific subjects: an art building, a technology and applied studies building, a languages building, and a science block. There is also a music building, a chapel, healthcare centre, three boarding houses (Lang, Goodlet and Marden) and the most recent addition: the Gillian Moore Centre for Performing Arts.


Pymble was founded in 1916 as the Presbyterian Ladies College, Pymble, a branch of the Presbyterian Ladies' College, Sydney in Croydon, by the Presbyterian Church of Australia.

The idea of a second P.L.C was first recorded in 1902. A significant increase in enrolments at the Croydon P.L.C (established 1888) convinced Council of the need to set up a branch school on another site, preferably on the North Shore. A committee was set up in June 1907 to study the feasibility of a second school, yet recommendations were not considered by the Council.

By 1913, space at the Croydon college was at an absolute premium. The schools principal, Dr. John Marden reported that many applications were being refused because of "shortness of space". This matter was taken to the General Assembly of 1913, resulting in the approval of the establishment of a branch at Pymble under the Council of P.L.C Sydney. The Council was given £5,000 by the school to erect new buildings and lay out the grounds. Fifty acres of land close to the western side of the railway line at Pymble were purchased and building was commenced almost immediately. The Presbyterian Ladies' College, Pymble was subsequently opened on 8 February 1916 with 48 day girls and 86 boarders. The Pymble branch was officially opened by Lady Helen Munro Ferguson, wife of the Governor-General, on 31 July 1919.

Dr Marden remained principal of both schools until ill health forced his resignation in 1919. A principal was appointed to each branch - Dr McQueen to Croydon and Miss Everett to Pymble.

In 1924, Council negotiated to sell some of the Pymble land. Subsequently, 80 acres were sold to Mr James Reid at £160 per acre. Mr Reid together with some other gentlemen commenced the Avondale Golf Club on this land.

In 1977 the Pymble College was awarded to the Uniting Church after Church Union and became known as Pymble Ladies' College.


Period Details
1916 – 1920 Dr. John Marden, Principal of Croydon 1887 – 1920, Principal of both Colleges from 1916
1920 – 1921 Miss G. Gordon Everett
1922 – 1933 Miss Nancy Jobson
1936 – 1947 Miss Dorothy Knox
1947 – 1967 Mr. Tom McNamara
1967 – 1989 Miss Jeanette Buckham
1989 – 2007 Mrs Gillian Moore
2007 – Present Mrs Vicki Waters

School Uniform

The school uniform has undergone considerable changes through the years. The College's Presbyterian heritage has meant that the fabric of the uniform takes on the blackwatch tartan, even though it is now a school of the Uniting Church. Currently, Pymble has a summer uniform and a winter uniform.

The summer uniform consists of a white hat, tartan dress, bottle green socks and regulation black shoes for all girls. Upper school girls (Years 10-12) used to wear a belt with their summer uniform, however, this changed at the beginning of 2006, and with a new manufacturer, the uniform has now been changed to include concealed buttons, and adjustable tabs in lieu of the belt and no buttons going down to the bottom but end near the waist.

The winter uniform consists of a white blouse, tie and woollen tunic for younger girls - Preparatory school and Junior school girls wearing knee-length black socks. Senior school girls (that is, both Middle School and Upper School) wear 70 denier black stockings. Upper school girls wear a skirt instead of a tunic, and their colour of jumper and blazer are bottle green instead of navy blue.

The Tam O'Shanter was well-known for many a year as being a part of the Pymble uniform, however it has been replaced by a navy felt hat that predates it in Pymble history. It is said that it was replaced because it was difficult to get students to wear it properly. A recent addition to the Pymble uniform has been a vest, which has proved popular with both Upper and Middle school girls.

Notable alumni



  • P.L.C council had acquired further land between 1916 and 1924. The reason for the sale is unknown.


Further reading

  • Coleman, M. 1991. This is Pymble College: The First 75 years, 1916-1991. Pymble Ladies' College.
  • McFarlane, J. 1998. The Golden Hope: Presbyterian Ladies' College, 1888-1988. P.L.C Council, Presbyterian Ladies' College, Sydney. ISBN 0-9597340-1-5.

See also

External links

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