The School was founded in 1989 taking its name from John Ramsden Wollaston, the first Archdeacon of Western Australia. Born on 28 March 1791 in London, John Ramsden Wollaston enjoyed the greater part of his life as a village priest in England before migrating to Western Australia where his Christian ministry in the colony was recognised by his appointment to the position of Archdeacon.
He was schooled at Charterhouse, where his father, Edward Wollaston, was a Master and his maternal grandfather, Headmaster, and at Christ's College, Cambridge (B.A., 1812; M.A., 1815). Having taken holy orders, he married Mary Amelia May in 1819, the youngest daughter of Colonel George Gledstones. They had five sons and two daughters.
Finding the income from his time at West Wickham, Cambridgeshire, insufficient for his growing family, he applied in 1840 for the position of Chaplain to the Western Australian Land Company's proposed settlement at Australind.
In 1841, aged 50, he left the known comforts of parish life to begin a ministry in the colony of Western Australia. He arrived in the settlement of Australind in that year as a free settler, only to find that he was unable to receive an appointment or salary as a colonial chaplain until he had constructed a church building. Struggling for survival against the harsh and strange conditions, he completed the little church at Picton, with the help of his family, in less than 18 months. His energy and efficiency became widely known, and he was asked to minister to the people of Albany. In 1848, he completed St John's Church and was appointed the first Archdeacon of WA. In this capacity, he rode on horseback all over the South West, caring for the church. He was much loved by lay people and earned a reputation for bringing the diverse clergy of the colony together. He died, chiefly as a result of exhaustion, after his second main archidiaconal tour in 1856. In 1984, he was proclaimed as a local saint and hero of the Anglican Church.
THE SCHOOL CREST
In chivalry, the shield represents protection against the weapons of the enemy. Knights on horseback would carry shields with their distinctive coat of arms. In a school founded upon the Christian philosophy, it protects us from wrong doing, hurting others, denying our Christian heritage, being untrue to ourselves and subscribing to false standards. The cross is the fundamental symbol of Christianity and is used to separate the four different sections of the shield – symbolic of the spiritual, physical, social and intellectual programmes within the School. Colours, called 'tinctures', are used in heraldry. As knights were decorating their shields in the days when the kings of England had estates in France, and Norman-French was the language spoken at Court, the colours were called by old French names; gules, azure, argent and or.
The colour red (gules) is symbolic of the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ and is also used to represent our English heritage. The standard of St George was one of the few embellishments that John Wollaston brought to his parishes of Picton and Albany. The colour blue (azure) is symbolic of loyalty and splendour; it represents the Canning River and its tributaries.
The colour white (argent) is symbolic of serenity and nobility; it represents the colour of the books and seats of knowledge.
The colour gold (or) denotes generosity and perseverance.
The three interwoven fields represent both our picturesque site – originally Melody Farm – and the interwoven strength of our school – the students, parents and staff. The mitre, the symbol of a Bishop or Archbishop, adorns the crest, as the School is an integral part of the body of the Anglican Diocese of Perth.