Brief Historical Account

Wilderness School, South Australia's oldest Independent Girls' School was founded by the Brown family in 1884 to provide education within a family environment.

The School, which began with four students, was controlled by the Brown family for sixty-five years. These women, each significant in her own right, provided the energy and drive to ensure that the School prospered. Under the four Brown sisters, Wilderness was a forerunner in encouraging girls to pursue academic and professional careers.

In 1948 the Browns handed over the School by Deed of Gift to a private company and the Council of Governors, the Company's Board, has continued to maintain Wilderness as a forward-looking Christian non-denominational family school.

Governance Today

Wilderness School is a company limited by guarantee. The management and control of the company is vested in a Council of Governors (Board of Directors) consisting of a maximum of 15 members and, in addition, elected representatives of the Old Scholars' Association and Parents' and Friends' Association, and the Chairman of the Foundation as an exofficio member. The Principal attends all Council meetings. The School's Business Manager is The Company Secretary.

The Council is responsible for the School's strategic direction, establishing goals for management and monitoring the achievement of these goals. To assist in the execution of its responsibilities, Council has established two Standing Committees – Finance and Development and Sites and Services . Council has adopted formal guidelines governing its membership and operations.

In order to provide for the introduction of new skills and ideas, members of Council, as a general policy, can serve a maximum of ten years. Council members are either elected by the members of the Company at the Annual General Meeting or are appointed by the Council.

Factors such as commitment to the philosophies of the School, background experience and skills are taken into account in the nomination of individuals to join Council. The Council endeavours to ensure that its membership includes a mix of skills and backgrounds including business and finance, legal, building/architecture, education and medical.