Wesley College Melbourne Australia
Wesley College history


The colours purple and gold distinguish Wesley College students in Melbourne. These colours were adopted soon after the foundation of the College. However, the colours were changed a few years later to light blue and white. The use of blue and white continued until the appointment of LA Adamson as headmaster in 1902. Adamson, a great classicist and traditionalist reinstated the colours purple and gold, which are today recognised as symbolising Wesley College.


 College Crest The crest appeared in time for the first edition of the Wesley College Chronicle in October 1877. It was designed by Frank A Goldstraw, later headmaster (1893-95), in order to interpret the school motto. 

The four stars on the cross quarters of the escutcheon are in recognition of Australia’s ruling constellation, the Southern Cross. The lion of the first quarter indicates not only progress, but the vigilance belonging to true daring; the books of the second and third signify that wisdom is to be gained by all who dare and care to seek her, while the lamp of the fourth, with steady rising flame, shows that constant light is necessary and ready to guide the student in the way of wisdom.

The crest, a lion’s head surmounting the shield, seems to assert that in the struggle royal courage is a ruling element. 


 Purple lion The lion and the colours of purple and gold are corporate symbols of the College. The various representations of the lion used by Wesley College can all be traced to the crest. The lion’s head surmounting the crest has been used extensively as a symbol in publications and, particularly from the student point of view, as the badge signifying the award of sporting colours. The Wesley College lion badge was introduced in the early years of the headmastership of LA Adamson. Its origin lies in the College crest and, in particular, the lion depicted in the first quarter of the crest.
This crest lion appears to be based on the Venetian lion. This classical connection has been further strengthened in the distinctive lion badge, as we now know it today. The Adamson lion badge seeks to reinforce the place of the lion in the tradition of the College. Adamson liked nothing better than to directly draw on the art and experiences of the great classical civilisations. It was Adamson who commissioned a leading Italian sculptor, Ettore Cadorin, to carve the four war memorial lions at the St Kilda Road campus.

Today, lions echoing the tradition of the St Kilda Road lions have been installed at the Elsternwick and the Glen Waverley campuses.

The Wesley College lion logo depicts a lion of truly noble bearing pressing forward in the spirit of the motto Sapere Aude. The lion symbolises Wesley College, as Wesley College symbolises the lion.