Edith Badham

1895 - 1920

“Everyone who knows anything about schools knows also that the most desirable asset that any school can have is that quality which is called esprit de corps, tradition or atmosphere; none of the names by which it is known is entirely satisfactory, but the quality itself can always be recognised. We are, even now, not very old as a school, only twenty three years old, and it would have been hard to develop a strong tradition in that time; but we are a Church School, and our tradition goes back for 1900 years.”

Edith Annesley Badham, SCEGGS’ first headmistress,was was born at Louth, Lincolnshire in December 1853, the eldest child of Julia and Charles Badham, future Professor of Classics and Principal of the University of Sydney (1867 - 1884). Edith arrived in Australia at the age of 14 and was educated under her father’s supervision. She became an able Greek scholar and taught private students for many years.

Career at SCEGGS
Miss Badham was appointed Head of SCEGGS in 1895 at the age of forty-two. Initially agreeing to be the School’s ‘Lady Principal’ for six months, she stayed till her death, 25 years later.

Dignified, remote and a somewhat forbidding presence for both pupils and staff, Miss Badham was a firm believer in a classical education for women, and in the benefits of a trained mind for the nations’ future wives and mothers. Her views appear to have changed little over the years she remained at SCEGGS.

Other past and present Heads of School

Jenny Allum, 1996 - present
Diana Bowman, 1978-1995
Barbara Chisholm, 1947-1977
Dorothy Wilkinson, 1921-1947
Edith Badham, 1895-1920