Appointment of Headmaster

The appointment of the Headmaster is a most important event in the history of any School. Arguably, it is the most important responsibility of any School Council. As a result, in case you missed the announcement of Wednesday 29 May, which is on the School website, I would like to repeat parts of it here.

It is with great pleasure that I announce the unanimous decision of Council to appoint Mr Philip Grutzner BForSci DipEd MBA FACE as the 15th Headmaster of Melbourne Grammar School.

We reviewed an impressive field of candidates from both Australia and overseas. Philip Grutzner was selected because of his unique combination of skills, values and ethos:

  • his exemplary experience as a progressive educator and leader of three diverse Australian independent schools;
  • his capacity to lead, inspire and significantly develop the school communities he has overseen;
  • his outstanding education sector leadership experience, both in Australia and internationally; and
  • his personal commitment to, and passion for, Melbourne Grammar School.

Philip is an Old Melburnian. He attended Grimwade and Senior School from 1976 to 1981. In his final year he was Captain of Deakin House and the First XVIII football team. He will be the first Melbourne Grammar alumnus in the School’s 161-year history to return as Headmaster.

His career in education began in 1987 at Camberwell Grammar School. Following a year at Manchester Grammar in the UK, in 1997 he was appointed as Headmaster of Braemar College, Woodend, Victoria. He served as Headmaster of St Peter’s College in Adelaide, from 2005 to 2010. He is currently Principal of Carey Baptist Grammar School, where he will conclude at the end of 2019, having overseen a significant programme of innovation and development.

Philip has an outstanding reputation as both a leader and progressive educator. He is widely and respectfully regarded in the Australian education sector as a person of substance, intelligence and humanity. He is ideally suited to our School community and will build on the significant legacy that will be left by Mr Roy Kelley.

Philip is fully committed to Melbourne Grammar’s approach to educating the whole person, its diverse co-curricular programme, its Anglican values and traditions, its co-educational junior and single-sex secondary campus structure, and its emphases on academic excellence, together with opportunity, diversity and inclusion.

Philip is married to Dr Yasmine Layher, a consultant anaesthetist. They have two daughters aged in their early 20s.

With his permission, I would also like to share with you parts of a humble and most impressive letter Philip sent to me on Friday 31 May, thanking the School Council for his appointment:

…My parents made tremendous sacrifices to send my older brother Richard and me to MGS and my sister to Merton Hall. We never went without, but we did not have access to fancy cars, restaurants or holidays. My brother Richard appreciates his MGS education as it has contributed to a thriving personal life and a professional career as a consultant anaesthetist. Anna enjoyed her time at Merton Hall, especially her acting in the combined MGS and Merton Hall Shakespeare plays and Senior School plays. Like her brothers, Anna has had a successful personal life and has enjoyed careers in journalism and public relations. I too am grateful for my MGS education which has been a major contributor to the person I am today. There is no doubt it will be a privilege to serve the School that gave me so much.

My parents’ sacrifices for Richard, Anna and me, remind me of the same sacrifices so many independent school parents are making to provide their children high quality education. This continues to keep me grounded, engaged and accountable.

Yasmine and I are looking forward to living with the Melbourne Grammar community in South Yarra. As we walk past the St Peter’s Chapel we will be reminded of our wonderful wedding there in 1993 …

…It will be an honor and privilege to serve the MGS community as the 15th Headmaster and I am excited to take up that position next January.

I very much look forward to welcoming the Grutzner family to our School community.

Michael Bartlett Chairman