Sligo Era

The Reverend Charles Sligo, Headmaster 1974 - 1996

Charles Sligo came to Ivanhoe as an experienced Headmaster. His vision was articulated clearly and it was to be based upon traditional "public" school values and symbols. Sligo once described Ivanhoe as a diamond that needed a little polishing and he set about strengthening the school's self-confidence and pride in itself. It was the antithesis of the individualism that characterised the sixties and early seventies. Sligo wanted each boy to develop a strong sense of belonging to the school and of being part of something special.

Sligo introduced mass singing at weekly assemblies, which he often led. He looked for ways to assist boys towards their manhood through leadership, cadets, outdoor education and sport and he looked for opportunities to support excellence and bring it to the surface. These aspects of school life thrived throughout his headship. In 1980 Sligo's first AGSV premiership was won. The swimming team's famous victory was Ivanhoe's first swimming premiership in 40 years and so the entire school was given a holiday. The cheering in assembly the following day must have confirmed for Sligo the importance of success in sport in building school spirit. It heralded an extraordinary era in sporting success at the school which lasted almost two decades.

As public funding for private schools diminished the school's governing body and its headmaster recognised the importance of planning for the school’s long term financial security. Models of fund raising were considered and Ian Rule was appointed to establish the Development Office.

In addition to the country centre at Lima East, land at Mernda was purchased and in 1990 a new Ivanhoe Campus opened. Within a short time girls were added to the enrolment. Sligo transformed a relatively small and rather parochial school into a large complex organisation. His leadership was fundamental to the rise in prominence of Ivanhoe Grammar School as a major educational provider with a proud reputation across Australia.