Crest & Motto
The College crest was first adopted on 23 August 1888 at a College Council meeting. The crest was based on the crest of the Presbyterian Church of NSW with only minor modifications.
The Church’s crest at the time consisted of a shield surrounded by the words nectamen consumebatur – Latin for ‘yet it was not consumed’ in reference to the biblical description of the burning bush. Graphics of a burning bush, the stars of the Southern Cross, a Latin cross and the floral emblems of Scotland, England and Ireland were also included in the crest. The shield was surrounded by a border with the words ‘Presbyterian Church of New South Wales’. The star of Jacob sat at the top of the border. The St Andrews cross appeared behind the shield and borders, in blue.
The College modified the crest by changing the words ‘Presbyterian Church of New South Wales’ to ‘Presbyterian Ladies’ College, Sydney’ and substituted the school motto sancte sapienter for nectamen consumebatur. A Maltese cross was placed at the top of the shield.
At Federation in 1901, the Australian Presbyterian Church adopted the NSW crest as its own – changing New South Wales to ‘Australia’.
In 1939, the General Assembly adopted a new crest – the star of Jacob was removed; the Latin cross was added; the floral emblems were redrawn, with the thistle being moved to the centre position.
These changes account for the differences between the College’s crest and the Church’s crest today.
Traditionally, the crest has been produced in the school colours – red and white.
The School motto sancte sapienter was also adopted on 23 August 1888. No Latin translation was given but the motto can be loosely translated to ‘be holy wisely’ – encapsulating the two broad aims of PLC Sydney’s religious and academic education.