Founded in 1922, Seymour College is one of Australia’s leading day and boarding schools for girls and is an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School.
Our spacious campus, conveniently located in Glen Osmond, provides a unique environment where girls (and boys in our Early Years) can thrive in their learning and find their own worth, beliefs and values.
The vision at Seymour is to develop women of strength, optimism and justice, confident for the future. This is achieved by uncovering the passions of every individual girl and inspiring them in their learning to ensure that they grow with every experience to become confident, driven, passionate and community minded young women.
There is no doubt that girls benefit from the culture and environment here at Seymour. The College is based on meeting the needs of girls; our focus is girls, their learning, their wellbeing, their needs and activities.
Seymour strives to give students the best education to allow their leadership and other strengths to flourish.
Seymour College is affiliated with the Uniting Church in Australia and the International Baccalaureate Organisation.
To request a personal tour of the College with Sally Penn, our Director of Enrolments and Community Relations, please click here.
Meet the Principal
Meet the Deputy Principal
Vision and Values
Our Vision: Women of strength, optimism and justice, confident for the future and ready to take on the world.
Seymour inspires within each student a passion for lifelong learning, a celebration of community, and a quest for personal excellence.
- Excellence - we strive to provide opportunities for all students to attain personal excellence.
- Respect - we respect the humanity and rights of others, our Christian heritage and College traditions, and our local and global environments.
- Innovation - as we live in a dynamic environment, we encourage initiative and creativity, divergent and lateral thinking, independence and flexibility.
Seymour College is a single 25 acre site located in the Adelaide foothills, 5km southeast of the city centre. It features magnificent trees, gardens, an oval, its own creek and green spaces at every turn.
The College is comprised of the Barr Smith Campus, home of the Middle and Senior Schools, and the McGregor Campus, which houses the Seymour Early Years and Junior School.
You can view of map of the College here.
Barr Smith House
Centre for Performing Arts (CPA)
The Mitchell Oval and Sports Centre
Seymour College map
Clans and Scottish heritage
The College crest is made up of the cross of St Andrew, the thistle and the words "Crescam Ministrando" (the College motto). Since 1927 the Black Watch tartan has been used in the College following permission being granted by the Commander in Chief of the Black Watch Scottish Regiment.
From their establishment in 1927, the Clans have been an important part of the College and its Scottish tradition.
The four Clans are Bruce, Douglas, Stewart and Cameron (Wallace, 1927-29). Each year, the Principal appoints a Chief and two Chieftains to lead the Clan, following elections by members of the Clan.
Clan Bruce was named after Robert Bruce and the Clan Birthday is celebrated on the anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.
Clan Cameron was, until 1929 called Clan Wallace. The Clan Birthday is celebrated on the anniversary of the Battle of Preston which was fought between the followers of Donald Campbell and the forces of King George II in 1745.
Clan Douglas was named after Sir James Douglas. The clan birthday is celebrated on the anniversary of when the Castle Dangerous was surrendered to Sir James Douglas in 1306.
Clan Stewart celebrates its birthday on the anniversary of the day in 1745, when Prince Charles Edward raised the standard for the Stewarts of Glenfinnan in an attempt to regain the crown for the family.
In 1945 the traditional banners were first presented to the senior Clans on their birthdays. They are still carried at the front of the Clans on ceremonial occasions and on Sports Day.
The Seymour College Strategic Plan 2017-2022 continues to provide excellent learning and wellbeing experiences for girls in the 21st century. Our centenary in 2022 is an opportunity for further development on the global stage and for celebrating 100 years of success in developing women of strength, optimism and justice.
To view the Strategic Plan, please click below.
One of our commitments to the future is to deliver infrastructure for 21st century learning. The first step towards this future has been achieved through the building of the Yurrebilla Centre for Learning and Innovation. Additional projects, including the Stage 1 refurbishment of the Abbie building, upgrading learning areas in the Junior School and creating a new canteen at the Sports Centre have also reached completion.
The video below provides more information about the opening of Stage 1 of the Abbie building refurbishment in June this year.
Our Service Program - which has a local, national, and global focus - has a “head, hands and heart” approach.
Students engage locally and nationally with issues affecting many of our society’s marginalised, including Indigenous Australians, the homeless, refugees, women, aged, sick, disabled, and other vulnerable communities. Our College’s global focus is India, and every year a group travels to India to connect with our partner communities there. Our Service Learning Program is embedded in the curriculum and aims to move students from charity to justice and advocacy.
Our goal is to send out into the world a generation of young women who understand the role and power of advocacy, who are committed to making ethical and just decisions, and who have a desire to make a difference in our world.
Seymour College seeks to respond to today's challenges of nationhood and national identity in a way that comprehends the past and the present, and gives hope for the future.
We acknowledge the strength, courage and survival of Indigenous peoples, their status as traditional custodians of the land, and recognise the impact of history relating to land, cultures, languages and families.
Education has a critical role in supporting Reconciliation and so we make a professional commitment:
- To recognise our shared past, foster understanding, and work together for a shared future based on co-existence of rights in which all people are treated with respect and dignity.
- To actively support and implement a range of principles that value human rights, and counter stereotyping, institutional and personal racism across all cultures and nationalities.
- To support, encourage and promote educational opportunities that consult with and involve local Aboriginal communities, elders and traditional custodians.
- To ensure that all learners in our care and at all stages of schooling undertake studies to celebrate, value and learn from and about Aboriginal peoples - including the diversity of histories, cultures, languages, achievements and issues, past and present.
- To incorporate Aboriginal perspectives throughout the curriculum.
- To promote the use of recommended resources: print, video/DVD, audio, CD, and online, as well as relevant locations and cultural instructors.
- To support and promote an understanding of Indigenous Australian cultures within the general Australian community.
- To work towards encouraging the enrolment of Indigenous students, valuing the individuality of each, acknowledging the diversity of their backgrounds and preferred learning styles and supporting them to achieve success.
- To implement culturally appropriate strategies for Aboriginal learners to achieve equitable learning outcomes through literacy, numeracy and learning technologies.
Projects and Initiatives:
The Indigenous Focus Group was established in 2004 to promote interest in, and support the College's commitment to, Indigenous matters. Participation is open to students, staff and the wider community, and the group has involvement in various projects throughout the college. This includes celebrating significant events such as National Reconciliation Week and Harmony Day, and being involved in state-wide programmes such as Reconciliation SA’s Schools Congress.
Seymour College offers specific Indigenous Scholarships to support Indigenous enrolments and increase the diversity of our community.
In the role of Indigenous Student Coordinator, I am excited to offer the Indigenous students and families specific support and, as part of that, assist where I can to promote significant and relevant learning. I look forward to contributing to and experiencing the benefits of our ever-growing, diverse and culturally rich student population at Seymour College.
Indigenous Student Coordinator
Seymour College is a proud partner of the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation in achieving proven outcomes in Indigenous education. For more information, head to www.aief.com.au
Seymour College Board
The Seymour College Board meets at least eight times a year to discuss strategy, performance and governance for the College and to monitor the implementation of the College Strategic Plan.
BSc (Computer Science)
Chair of the Board; Member Finance, Risk and Compliance; Governance, Nominations and Remuneration and Infrastructure and Digital Committees
Richard Dodsworth is currently a Director of Systems Engineering at Cisco Systems. He joined the company in the UK in 1997 before transferring to Singapore in 2001 and returning to Adelaide in 2010. In his role at Cisco, Richard develops strategy and leads a diverse team of technical consultants across Asia-Pacific and Japan that provide guidance on technology directions to Cisco’s customers in the region.
Richard is a current Seymour parent and his expertise in the area of technology ensures that the College are bringing the right type of technology to the learning environment and the wider Seymour community.
BA (International Politics), MBA
Deputy Chair of the Board
Rebecca Humble is a global leader in the defence and national security sectors. She returned to Australia in 2018 after 18 years working in senior executive roles around the globe.
She currently works as Chief of Strategy & Corporate Affairs for Australian owned Nova Group and is responsible for delivering future growth across their global companies. She has worked for large corporates including the global defence company, BAE Systems in Australia, the UK and US and had executive roles such as Vice President Global Strategy for a US$12bn business, driven multi-billion dollar acquisitions in the US and UK, has a track record for developing and executing enterprise growth strategies and been a member of executive leadership teams world-wide. Bec in a member of the University of Adelaide Defence, Cyber and Space Industry Engagement Board, has also served as a board member for the international section of the Red Cross based in Luxembourg, is an Old Collegian (Head Girl in 1990) and a current Seymour parent.
Dr Vivienne Brand
LLB (Hons), LLM, MEd, PhD
Chair Governance, Nominations and Remuneration Committee
Dr Vivienne Brand is an Associate Professor in Law at Flinders University, where she researches and teaches in corporate law and corporate governance. Prior to becoming an academic Vivienne practised in commercial law in Adelaide and undertook postgraduate studies in the United Kingdom. Vivienne is Chair of the Board’s Governance, Nominations and Remuneration Committee, which has responsibility for guiding the Board’s governance and the appointment of new Board members.
BSocSc (Hon), MEdAdmin
Eliza is a recognised leader, having led diverse teams across multiple countries to facilitate international partnerships in trade, investment, education and R&D over a long career in government, diplomacy and higher education.
She is currently Austrade’s Special Project Lead in International Education after returning to Australia after 10 years of diplomatic postings. She was Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner for Taiwan from 2015-2020, driving the Australian Government’s trade and investment promotion. From 2010-2015, Eliza was Austrade’s inaugural Education Commissioner for North Asia based in the Australian Consulate-General in Shanghai to re-position Australian education and training in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Japan and Mongolia. Previously, she held wide ranging leadership roles in policy, management, and global marketing portfolios at several Australian universities, including 14 years at The University of Adelaide from 1996-2010.
Eliza, who has recently been appointed as a member on the SACE Board, was a Seymour parent whose daughter, Pearl Li, graduated in 2009.
LLM (Cantab), LLB (Hons), BCom (Acc), BFin, GDLP, MAICD
Chair Finance Risk and Compliance Committee
Brenton is the Executive General Manager of Finance and Corporate at Adelaide Airport. He is also a Councillor of the Property Council of South Australia, the Freight Council of South Australia and is on the Adelaide University Business School Industry Advisory Board. At Adelaide Airport he is CFO, General Counsel, Company Secretary and responsible for Corporate Affairs, Community, Sustainability, Risk and Aviation Business Development. Before returning to Adelaide Brenton was non-executive director of Sydney Airport and Hobart Airport and worked with Macquarie in London and Sydney after completing a Masters Degree at Cambridge University. Brenton is a Seymour parent and Chair of the Finance, Risk and Compliance Committee – in that role he assists the Seymour team to ensure that the College exercises best practice risk management and financial control..
BEng, MAS, FIEAust, FAICD, CPEng
Chair Infrastructure and Digital Committee
Stephen is Managing Director, Growth Strategies at Aurecon and is responsible for leading strategy development and implementation throughout ANZ. He has worked with leading companies delivering projects throughout Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Asia. He joined the board in July 2016 and became Chair of the Infrastructure and Digital Committee after serving on the committee for 6 years.
Stephen is married to Carolyn and their two daughters, Belinda and Georgina, attended Seymour College between 2009 and 2014. He holds a Degree in Engineering, Masters Degree in Business (Innovation) and studied Global Strategy at Harvard Business School.
LLB, BBsc, GDLP
Katherine has 20 years’ experience in law, risk and governance having been in and advised the Board rooms of some of Australia’s largest companies.
Based in Adelaide with her family, Katherine is the General Counsel and member of the executive leadership team at Fulton Hogan, one of Australia’s largest construction and engineering companies employing over 8,000 people across Australia and New Zealand. Katherine lectures in Construction Law at Monash University, has studied business sustainability (Cambridge University) and has been an advisor to the Australian delegation to the United Nations in areas of International Law.
Katherine is an Old Collegian ('94) of Seymour College and a former Old Collegians' Association Committee member.
Seymour Board Charter
To download a copy of the Board Charter, please click here.
Seymour College Executive
Vanessa Browning, Principal
Vanessa has an extensive career in primary education and leadership across a range of Australia’s leading independent schools and also internationally. She has worked in single sex and co-ed settings across the day and boarding environment.
Vanessa believes in targeted and intentional teaching that fosters student engagement and enhances teacher impact enabling every student to achieve significant growth. Vanessa is driven by high expectations and excellence and is committed to a process of continual improvement. She prides herself on knowing each girl and building strong relationships with parents.
Emma Grave, Deputy Principal
Emma Grave is an educational leader with a strong passion for innovative teaching and wellbeing practices. Before joining Seymour College, she was the Head of Garnett House at Geelong Grammar School in Victoria and served as the Head of this Senior Girls’ Boarding House for 5 years.
During her 15 years at Geelong Grammar School, Emma established herself as a leader within the field of Positive Education and Executive Coaching within the School. At Ballarat Clarendon College, Emma served as the Director of the Creative Arts Faculty.
She holds a Bachelor of Performing Arts, a Graduate Diploma in Secondary Education and a Graduate Diploma in Arts and Entertainment Management. Her postgraduate study within Education has been primarily associated with Staff Wellbeing.
Emma has a strong connection to The School for Life Foundation in Uganda where she has undertaken volunteer work with her family. She is committed to the delivery of an exceptional education for every Seymour girl. Emma is married to John and has four daughters.
Ruth Massie, Head of Senior School
Ruth Massie graduated with Honours in Computers in Education, a postgraduate degree from Monash University after completing her Bachelor of Arts and Diploma of Education at the University of Adelaide. She has been a member of the Seymour College staff since 1996.
Ruth has had many years experience as Head of English Faculty and Stewart Clan Guardian before taking on the Director of Studies role, Head of Senior School and occasional times as Acting Deputy Principal.
Ruth is passionate about preparing young women with the positive attributes of strength, optimism, and justice, equipped to handle life’s challenges and to successfully transition to life beyond school.
Katharyn Cullen, Head of Junior School
Katharyn has enthusiastically led the delivery of academic excellence and rigour across the Junior School since 2019. Her high energy factor and vision for results have been key in the creation of the innovative Junior School Model which has improved teaching standards, enhanced student engagement and lifted educational outcomes.
Katharyn regularly engages as a literacy education consultant, leading and facilitating professional development across leading independent schools in Australia. She is a regular conference speaker for the Australian Association for the Teaching of English and was a Keynote speaker at the National THRASS Conference in 2019. Katharyn has a First-Class Honours Degree from The University of Sydney and is currently researching for her PhD in the area of language and linguistics. Her work is frequently published in The Educator.
Katharyn received an Excellence in Teaching from the Teachers’ Guild of New South Wales in 2016, as well as a Citation of Excellence and NSW World Teacher’s Day Recognition Award in 2017. Katharyn was named on the 2020 Educator Hotlist as an influencer who is reinventing the educational landscape in Australia.
Katharyn shares a love and commitment to the growth and progression of each child, actioned through the continual learning and improvement of each teacher in her team.
Susan Lock, Head of Seymour Early Years
Susan Lock has been a passionate teacher for 28 years and worked in all sectors of education including Government, Lutheran and Independent schools. With qualifications in both Primary and Early Childhood education she has taught many ages and taken on many different leadership roles.
Susan's passion for Early Childhood Education began when teaching in a small area school in South Australia. In 1999, after traveling to Reggio Emilia for an intensive study tour, Susan set up the original kindergarten at Prince Alfred College. She joined Seymour College in 2014 as the Head of Seymour Early Years and has led the team to create a beautiful learning environment for both children and families.
Susan’s focus is on the child - creating opportunities and environments to share and optimise their learning. Through her deep belief that children are capable and competent, she sees Early Childhood as one of the most critical stages of development. Her education focus lies in wellbeing and positive self-image, discovery through nature play, visual documentation and child lead inquiry.
At Seymour Early Years, Susan aims to maintain our high standards in early childhood education and care for our youngest learners.
Meaghan Matthews – Director of People and Culture
Meaghan brings to Seymour College over 20 years generalist experience in the Human Resources industry. She has demonstrated success in helping businesses maximise the talent within their organisations which is a direct result of her drive to create exceptional employee experiences to enable people to reach their highest potential.
Having worked for many years in People and Culture management roles across the Defence and Professional Services sectors, Meaghan has a proven ability in delivering strategic and efficient solutions. She enjoys providing practical advice on all aspects of the employment lifecycle, especially change management and developing high performing teams.
Sally Penn, Director of Enrolments and Community Relations
Sally Penn is the Director of Enrolments and Community Relations and, as an Old Collegian and current parent, is passionate about Seymour College. As a member of the College Executive, Sally is responsible for enrolments, marketing, communications, publications, social media, community relations and fundraising.
Sally works with new families to ensure they have their questions answered and that they feel a part of the College from the moment they walk through the gates. Sally also manages the scholarship program and International student recruitment. It is also though Sally’s work in Community Relations that the connection with the College for current families and Old Collegians becomes stronger and that the College’s philanthropic program prospers.