The Mac.Robertson Girls' High School traces its origin to the establishment of the first Victorian State Secondary School, the Melbourne Continuation School, in 1905, in the buildings of the old National Model School, Spring Street, and Melbourne. Emphasis was placed upon the educating of students to become teachers in the State system.
The school was an outstanding success and in 1912 the name was changed to Melbourne High School. From its inception the school was co-educational, but the second Principal, Mr Claude Searby, held the view that boys worked better in a single-sex environment and directed his energies towards obtaining a new school for the boys. In 1927 a new school at Forrest Hill was opened and called Melbourne Boys' High School. The girls remained in the cramped, dilapidated Spring Street building as Melbourne Girls' High School. When this building was condemned in 1930, the students were moved to Government House which had been vacated. With the appointment of a Victorian Governor in 1933 the girls moved again, this time to State School No. 1689 in King Street.
In 1934 Victoria celebrated its centenary. Sir MacPherson Robertson made a centenary gift of 100 000 pounds, 40 000 pounds of which was to be spent to provide a girls' high school. The present building was officially opened as The Mac.Robertson Girls' High School on November 7th, 1934. In 1942, during World War II, the school building was occupied as the U.S. Army Headquarters and later by the R.A.A.F. During this period students were located at Brighton Road State School, Camberwell East Girls' School and University High School. In 1987, the building, designed by Norman Seabrook (architect), was given a National Trust Classification. It was previously gazetted as a Historic Building in 1982.
In September 1990 the school gained occupancy of the second floor of commercial premises at 7 Bowen Crescent as the result of a 10-year lease by the Ministry of Education. In 1995, the Bowen House lease was extended to include an additional six classrooms on level 3.
In 1996, the Government approved funding of $800 000 for the building of a Gymnasium and change facilities and a further $4.96m was promised in 1997 for construction of classrooms, Learning Resource Centre, Information Technology rooms, Music suite and Visual Arts Centre, VCE lounge, and Canteen. The school community pledged $2m for additional works, including a Lecture Theatre. Construction of the Lakeside buildings was completed in October 1999. Refurbishment of the 1934 building was completed in 2001.