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Vale Philip Roff

Dear Members of the Scotch College Community

We have today learnt of the sad passing of Philip Anthony Vere Roff (pictured right with Bob Cottle (dec) in 2012), the fourth Headmaster of Scotch College. Philip is survived by his wife Barbara, and his children, Jonathan ’80, Caroline ’81, Katharine ’83, Charlotte ’84, Benjamin and their families.

Philip Roff joined Scotch in 1970, as its youngest ever Headmaster, and served in that role until 1975. Scotch College Adelaide was Philip Roff’s first headship and he inherited a school that was in a poor financial situation, with declining enrolments and outdated infrastructure. In his short tenure, he made a tremendously positive impact on each of those areas while also introducing radical innovations to Scotch.

Perhaps the greatest change that Philip championed was the transformation of Scotch from a traditional boys’ educational establishment into a strong coeducational school. Philip was an early believer in middle schooling and in 1973 he established one of Australia’s first Transition Schools here at Scotch. Philip also created one of Australia’s first Senior Centres in Australia, a building which today bears his name.

After his education at Launceston Grammar School and Melbourne University, where he studied Engineering, Philip taught for two terms at Melbourne Grammar School before going to New College, Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. At Oxford, he studied Mathematics for 2 years, followed by a year studying European History, at the end of which he received his Master of Arts. He was Captain of Boats at Trinity College Melbourne as well as New College. He returned to teaching at Melbourne Grammar School, from where he was recruited to Scotch.

Philip Roff helped to put Scotch College, Adelaide at the cutting edge of educational development in Australia. His legacy has helped define the Scotch of today, and for that, the community is grateful.

In 1975 Philip moved to take over as Headmaster of Scotch College Melbourne, where he served with distinction until 1982. After that he consulted with a number of schools, including Scotch College Adelaide, on matters of educational policy and recruitment.

Philip Roff’s funeral will be held in the Alison Monkhouse Mornington Chapel, 10 Strachan Rd, Mornington at 2pm on Monday, 8th May. We have asked Council member, Emma Ewer, to bear our condolences to the family and represent the Scotch College Adelaide community.

Yours faithfully


John H. Newton