Our College

Our History

'Faithfulness in service'
— Cecil Henry Druitt
The Right Reverend Doctor Cecil Henry Druitt

Bishop Druitt College takes its name from the Right Reverend Doctor Cecil Henry Druitt, MA, DD who served from 1914-1921 as the first Bishop of the Diocese of Grafton. Cecil Henry Druitt was a godly man who believed deeply in the potential of the younger generation. Educated in Bristol, England in the 1880s, he read the Old Testament directly from the Hebrew. He was awarded a Master of Arts in 1901 and a Doctor of Divinity in 1911.

A lecturer at St Aidan's College Birkenhead, England, Dr Druitt was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Grafton and Armidale on the 6th of August 1911. The Diocese of Grafton was formed in 1914 and Dr Druitt was elected Bishop on the 26th of March. A diabetic, the bishop continued to work despite his increasing ill health. When he could not stand up he delivered many sermons from his chair and had a sign placed at Grafton Racecourse asking the question 'What will win? Come to the Cathedral at 3 o'clock and find out'. He travelled to the Lambeth Conference in England in 1920 but died the following year, not long after his return to Grafton.

An Idea Flourishes

Bishop Druitt College was the brainchild of Ken Langford-Smith, Headmaster of The Armidale School, in collaboration with the Bishop of Grafton, the Right Reverend Bruce Schultz, in 1991. Over the next two years Father Stephen Pullin, Rector of St. John's Anglican Church Coffs Harbour, chaired the interim Bishop Druitt College Council that laid the foundations for an independent Anglican college.

After much preparation, land was purchased in the North Boambee Valley in 1993 and building began. The college opened in 1994 with 57 primary students and this number grew rapidly to 100 students by the end of the year. In 1995 the secondary school opened in newly built classrooms. Since then development has been rapid with the student body growing to around 1200 in 2011, with some 150 teaching, administrative and property maintenance staff.

The college aims to educate students within a Christian framework, providing quality teaching, excellent facilities and a wide program of activities all focussed on the full development of the individual. The school has quickly gained an enviable academic record, has become a leader in music, drama and art, and has a varied sporting program. Bishop Druitt College is one of six Anglican schools on the North Coast from Taree to Tweed Heads.

Principals Past and Present

The founding principal, Mr Victor Branson, BA (Hons), BD (Hons), DipEd, MACE, MACEA, was appointed from Trinity Grammar in Sydney at the end of 1993 to establish Bishop Druitt College as an independent Anglican primary school, to open at the start of 1994. Victor left the college at the end of 2003 to pursue educational management positions in the Anglican diocese of Sydney. He had built the student population to over 1,000 and the staff to over 100. 

Roger Oates, MEd, BSc, GradDipTeach, MACE, our second principal, was Senior Master and Deputy Principal at Girton Grammar in Victoria. Mr Oates left Bishop Druitt College at the end of 2009 to head a Uniting Church school in Billanook Victoria.

Alan Ball, BA, DipEd, MEd, MACE, MACEL, our third principal, came to us from Canberra Grammar School in 2010 where he was Deputy Headmaster. Mr Ball also taught at Brisbane Boys’ College and St Joseph’s College Brisbane, as well as 3 years in Japan and 5 years in Scotland. Mr Ball left the college during 2017 to open the Rugby School Thailand.

Carmel Spry, BA, DipEd, GradDipTchrLib was the acting principal during the second half of 2017. Mrs Spry was Assistant Principal (Head of Secondary) at the college prior to stepping into the acting principal role. Mrs Spry accepted a promotion to Principal of Moama Anglican Grammar School at the commencement of the 2018 teaching year.

Nick Johnstone, MEd, BSc, DipEd, GradCertTheol, was the Principal of Geraldton Grammar School in Western Australia before coming to Bishop Druitt College as our fourth principal. Prior to his position in Western Australia Nick was Head of Science at St Luke's Anglican School in Bundaberg Queensland and then Head of Middle School and Curriculum at St Luke’s Anglican School. Nick enjoys turning action and cutting-edge educational research into reality in regional Anglican schools around Australia.

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