The Honourable John Brumby, Ivanhoe Grammar School student 1956 – 1962
A glimpse into the institution that is Ivanhoe Grammar School, also offers a glimpse into the life trajectory of one of Victoria’s most prominent citizens - former Premier, John Brumby.
It was at Ivanhoe, where he attended until the age of nine, that the seeds of Mr Brumby’s illustrious political career were sewn.
Early Political Influence
Mr Brumby recalls one occasion at Ivanhoe that could be viewed as a foreshadowing of his subsequent future in politics.
The area of Lower Heidelberg Road outside the school desperately needed a pedestrian crossing and VicRoads finally agreed to perform a traffic count.
“I remember being sent home with a note asking parents to drop their children off on the opposite side of the road over the next two days,” Mr Brumby said.
As a result, the traffic count measured into the hundreds, the school got its pedestrian crossing and Mr Brumby got an early glimpse of the power of political influence.
It was also at Ivanhoe that Mr Brumby honed his skills in the art of politics and learnt the importance of being an articulate communicator.
Mr Brumby calls to mind two seminal teachers from Grades Two and Three and the value of their precise nature.
“Mrs Watson and Miss Greg were fastidious about correct reading and times tables. These early lessons in literacy and arithmetic certainly helped later in life especially during my term as State Treasurer.”
He is also full of praise for the extracurricular activities the school has on offer.
“I remember doing Judo, a school production of Jack and The Beanstalk, taking part in Cubs and learning to swim at Heidelberg Pool,” he said.
He later went on to swim at State Championship level.
A Benchmark for Other Schools
After completing a commerce degree at the University of Melbourne, Mr Brumby trained in education and went on to teach at Eaglehawk Secondary School in Bendigo. The school and the area were both struggling financially and as a result student achievement was low.
“I feel fortunate that my early education had demonstrated what a great school looked like. Ivanhoe had the perfect combination of great teachers, strong leadership and a broad range of challenging extramural activities,” Mr Brumby said.
He set about instilling the same values at Eaglehawk secondary, ultimately lifting the performance of the school and its students.
A Forward Thinking Foundation for Excellence
Mr Brumby believes Ivanhoe Grammar enjoys its proud history and excellent reputation because of its long held ability to challenge and excite students.
“The school not only inspires a love of traditional learning, but also encourages participation in a broad range of additional opportunities, including volunteering,” he said.
“This maximises the chance of a child achieving, produces great students and creates strong, well-rounded, civic minded citizens.”
While tradition is a pillar of the school, it is the way it has embraced the future and globalisation that really sets it apart from other private schools.
With a fair sized contingent of students from around the globe in particular the Asia Pacific, Ivanhoe has established a reputation as a truly international school offering intensive English language courses of various levels and the International Baccalaureate.
With these credentials, Ivanhoe Grammar School is set to continue to produce some of Australia’s leaders of tomorrow.