Our Story

Somerset College came from humble beginnings in 1983, but from the start was characterised by a strong sense of community and a deep commitment to excellence that continues to this day.

The College opened with a simple ceremony on 27 January 1983 with 158 students in Years 1 to 8. Somerset's first Headmaster was Mr Rod Wells. By the commencement of Term Four, total school enrolments had grown to 248, 189 of which were in the Junior School. Our first Year 12 students graduated in 1987.

The site upon which Somerset College is built was originally used for dairy farming, was uniquely rural and owned by the original pioneering families to the area. Since 1983 the surrounding countryside has undergone considerable urban development.

Dr Barry Arnison OAM retired at the end of 2008 after 26 years at Somerset College. Dr Arnison was a foundation member of staff and was Deputy Headmaster before being appointed as Headmaster late in 1986. Upon Dr Arnison's retirement, Mr Craig Bassingthwaighte was appointed Headmaster in 2009.

Somerset College’s success has been built on well-qualified, talented and deeply committed staff, and the presence of very strong support from parents and the community. From the early days, the College has had a focus on personal success and on the academics. 

Building developments have taken place almost continually as the College has increased in size to its present enrolment of 1,600 students. We are justifiably proud of our facilities, but more so of our staff and students and what they continue to achieve and their place within the wider community. 

Each year, the College community comes together to celebrate Founders' Day, with our own set of traditions including the ceremonial aspects of the day and the much anticipated events that include the Steeplechase, the Inter-House Tug of War finals and the Courtyard Dash.