Killara High School

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Killara High School
Killara High School logo.png
Koola Avenue, East Killara,
, Australia
Coordinates 33°45′23″S 151°10′26″E / 33.75639°S 151.17389°E / -33.75639; 151.17389Coordinates: 33°45′23″S 151°10′26″E / 33.75639°S 151.17389°E / -33.75639; 151.17389
Type Public, Co-educational, Day school
Motto Latin: Conserva Progredere
(The preservation of the best of the past and continued development into the future)
Established 1970
Principal Jane Dennett
Vice principal Judy Paszek, Alison Gambino, Carla Marchesin
Teaching staff ~110
Grades 7–12
Enrolment ~1569
Campus Urban (Ku-ring-gai, Sydney)
Colour(s) Bottle green and yellow          
Slogan "A great school close to home"

Killara High School is a co-educational public secondary school, located on Koola Avenue in East Killara, Sydney. Established in 1970, Killara High School is one of the highest performing comprehensive non-selective public schools in the state.[1][2] The success of the school in the Higher School Certificate (HSC)[3] and its reputation are evident in extracurricular activities such as music, art, dance, debating and strong participation in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award program makes the school extremely desirable for upper class parents who wish to have their children educated in a great public school. Enrolment rose 21% from 2002 to a population of 1400 students in 2009. It now has 1569 students (2013). Currently, accepted catchment areas include Roseville, West Lindfield, Lindfield, East Lindfield, West Killara, Killara, East Killara, West Gordon and East Gordon.[4]


Killara High began construction in 1968 and was completed in 1970. The school facilitated the growing demands of the community in the newly created East Killara.[5] Most of the students that went to Killara were the eldest in their family as those who had older siblings went to their school, rather than the newly built Killara.[6]

In the 1980s, Killara High purchased a house occupying a corner of the school area, which later became the language centre and is now commonly referred to as "The House".

The crest and motto[edit]

The name: "Killara, an Aboriginal word meaning permanent"

The castle: A permanent place, shelter and reassurance, a means of maintaining that which is worthy of preservation, a storehouse of knowledge

The key: It is a symbol of progression, which opens doors of learning. It is also an emblem of growth and development into adulthood

The escutcheon: Provide protection against the unskilled, a pivoted keyhole cover

The motto: Latin: Conserva Progredere, symbolises preservation of the best of the past and continued development into the future


Dr. Mark Carter, a local boy and former student of the school, was the former principal.[7] won the principal of the year award in 2005.[8] As a child, he attended Gordon East P.S. He has since been promoted to a Director's position within the Department of Education and Communities.

During the end of 2013, he was promoted to a higher position in the D.E.T. system. For several months there was a series of acting principals. In Term 2 2014, Ms Jane Dennet took over as principal. She was a former teacher at KHS, yet had been teaching at another school for the past few years.



Killara High School is set on 3.8 hectares of prime bushland, half the area allocated to a typical high school in the region. The school comprises six blocks, (A, B, C, D, E and G) with the school canteen located in C block, and the library being part of E block. Each block contains around the same amount of classrooms (12 to 16) as found at other North Shore public high schools. The school has a library, named 'The Lion Library', 'The Kerrabee Centre', which is made up of a large hall capable of seating more than 1000 people and a 250-seat performance theatre with state-of-the-art sound and lighting, a small oval named Jubilee Oval, four multi-purpose courts, a large quadrangle, and a small residential building called 'The House', which contains school offices and a classroom for some of the LOTE classes. Koola Oval across the road is often used for sport classes as Jubilee Oval is not big enough.

Capital works since 2003 have resulted in the installation of security fencing, and five COLAs (Covered Outdoor Learning Areas) built around the school, grounds enhancements, upgrades to science laboratories, classrooms and the construction of studios above the canteen. With enrolment rising at the school,[7] the number of portable classrooms has increased from four to the current eighteen, with an extra two portable bathroom blocks also put in. This has led to complaints that the government isn't spending enough money on the school and that the school may have to resort to erecting tents as classrooms. After this the Government Built G block, containing technology, art & language classes. This freed up B block for the technology & art classrooms to be divided into a higher density of classrooms and the number of portables to be brought down to 4. [10][11] There have been vandalism incidents at the school, the worst being an arson attack on the theatre leaving it unusable for six months and costing 1.5 million to repair.[12] More recent capital works have included installing security fencing around the school, similar to those found at other public schools in Sydney, new landscaping to fit with the new fence and handrails installed for stairs.

Growth in enrolment and the predicted future growth of population in the region is expected to continue to place serious pressure on the school facilities and further capital works may be needed. The construction of G block to accommodate the arts faculty is in progress. [7]



Students at Killara High School produce outstanding results in the Higher School Certificate and Killara is consistently ranked as one of the highest-performing NSW high schools in this regard.[3]

Killara HSC students 2008 achieved 214 Band 6 results which translates into 30% of the group obtaining a UAI of 90 or above compared with 16% of the state and nearly 50% receiving a UAI of over 80 compared with 32% of the state. These statistics mirror those from over the past few years, making consistency in academic excellence one of the hallmarks of this great school.

Killara High was the best-performing public comprehensive top non-selective government school in the state for years 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013 by HSC performance.[13]


Teaching at Killara High School is divided amongst 11 departments, each teaching a variety of related Board of Studies endorsed subjects. The departments are:[14]

  • English studies (English including ESL and Drama)
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Languages (LOTE) including Chinese, French, German, Hebrew and Japanese
  • Social Sciences including Commerce, Aboriginal Studies and Geography
  • History
  • Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) including Music and Visual Arts
  • Industrial Arts including Design and Technology, Metals and engineering and Automotive
  • Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE)
  • Computing Studies & IT
  • Careers

Extracurricular activities[edit]


Students in years 7 and 8 at Killara High participate in an integrated sport program coordinated and taught by PD.H.PE staff, and compete in a number of Sport Gala Days with other schools.

Senior Students from years 9 to 11 also participate in sport throughout the year. These years participate in the Ku-ring-gai Zone Secondary School Sports against other schools this is known as Grade or students may choose a recreation sport. These events are held on Thursday afternoons [15][16]

The School also holds various carnivals during the year this includes:

  • Swimming Carnival
  • Athletics Carnival
  • Crosscountry Carnival [15]

Students may also compete in the Combined high schools (CHS) competition in various sports throughout the year [17]

Specialist welfare programs and camps[edit]

  • Year 7 - Year 7 Orientation Camp with Year 11 Peer Support Leaders running the program "DOB" (Don't Obey Bullies) Program
  • Year 8 - Resolution the Solution A whole day program focusing on strategies for managing conflict
  • Year 9 - Year 9 Camp at Stanwell Tops (the 2009 camp was however held at Toukley): running the program, Talking Tolerance, focusing on acceptance of difference, generalizing and stereotyping, year 9s are also allowed to get student laptops.
  • Year 10 - It's Your Life and It's Your Training, This includes goal setting, motivation, skills development, personal defense, communication, student leadership training and peer support training.
  • Year 11 - Jindabyne Camp: running the Crossroads program that focuses on personal challenges, teamwork and support: personal development, independence as well as discussions of issues related to drug and alcohol use.[18]

According to Ann Dixon a teacher at the school said in the Sydney Morning Herald Article (15 June 2002) "At Killara High School, we noticed that with the advent of the New HSC, our senior students were exhibiting signs of stress. The welfare team and the staff, as a whole, sought ways to help them."

Student leadership[edit]

Killara High School offers many opportunities for students to engage in leadership within the school. There are currently 7 Leadership groups in the school with over 115 students engaged in improving the school and providing opportunities for the students. These include:

  • The Arts Council - Students selected by the Arts department to promote the Arts within the school.
  • The Sports Council - Students selected by the Sport department to promote sporting activities within the school.
  • Light & Sound Team - A small number of students in grades 8 to 10 in charge of running facilities mainly in the kirabee complex for assemblies & performances. The team is self nominated. It is organised by Mr Mulready of the CAPA department.
  • The Student Representative Council (SRC) - Are a peer elected group of students from all years whom liaise with teachers and the principal, to represent their year group and help their school through such activities as Mufti Days and Barbecues.
  • The Social Justice Committee (SJC) - Student body with representatives from all years elected to be the "conscience" of the school. They engage in awareness campaigns and charity fundraising. Recently, the committee has been involved in the Global Awareness Campaign, AIDS day (selling ribbons) and putting recycling bins in every classroom. In 2009, they hope to raise awareness about Fair Trade and to support a school in Tanzania called St. Judes.[19]
  • Prefects - Are a peer elected group of Year 11s whom liaise with teachers and the principal as well as being involved in the Red Cross Appeal and The Westmead Children's Hospital Teddy Bear's Picnic. Prefects represent the school at a number of events.
  • Student Leaders Council - Made up of two representatives from each of the groups and the School Captains who chair the meetings. Its role is to organize the groups and provide a body for inter-council activities.

Student exchange[edit]

Many Killara High School Students in various Years participate in the Rotary Youth Exchange Australia sending them to many parts of the world.[20]

Enrichment and other[edit]

  • Annual Yearbook Production named "The Greenyears" magazine. This magazine is designed mainly by a group of students under the supervision of a teacher
  • Chess Club
  • Debating
  • Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme
  • Inter-School Christian Fellowship (ISCF)
  • Public Speaking
  • Law Society Mock Trial
  • Model United Nations Australia (MUNA)
  • T.A.G Talk About God Christian talk group.
  • Shabbat Club, run by NSW Board of Jewish Education
  • Atheist club, a new initiative, run by parents of enrolled children. Introduced in 2013 so as to not alienate families who do not have religious beliefs.

Parents and Citizens Association[edit]

Killara High School has an active Parents and Citizens Association (P&C) that contributes to the life of the school and the opportunities that are offered to students. Meetings are scheduled for the third or fourth Wednesday of every month except where this clashes with vacations or school activities.

Performing arts enrichment program[edit]


Killara High School’s various dance groups have performed at the Sydney North Dance Festival, State Dance Festival, Schools Spectacular, MacDonald Performing Arts Challenge, Rock Eisteddfod and at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Pacific School Games and Olympic Games.

  • Dance Groups
    • Intermediate Dance Group
    • Junior A Dance Group
    • Junior B Dance Group


  • Concert Bands
    • Concert Bands One and Two
  • Stage Band
    • Stage Bands One and Two
  • String Ensemble
  • Orchestra
  • Choir
    • Extension Choir for Choir members wishing to extend themselves

School traditions[edit]

There are four houses at Killara High School these houses are named after Aboriginal words since the area in which the school sits in Ku-ring-gai is steeped in Aboriginal tradition these include:

  • Kimba (Fire): Red House
  • Caringa (Light): Yellow House
  • Mundara (Thunder): Green House
  • Doongara (Lightning): Blue House

There is also an honours system at Killara High School where students collect honour points from participating in extracurricular activities and completing excellent work in class.

The more points you earn the higher in the system you go, the ranks are as follows in ascending order:

  • Letter Of Merit
  • Inscription into Honour Book
  • Honour badge
  • Honour Pennant can be attained from getting at least 4 Honour Badges
  • Honour Blue can be attained from gaining Honour Badges for all 6 years at Killara High School.

An annual sports award ceremony and an annual award ceremony is held every year to acknowlage the sporting and academic achievements of the students at the school.


Enrolment at Killara High School has, since 2002, increased 21 percent making it one of the three largest government schools in the State. Local enrolment in year 7 now comprises 87 per cent of the cohort—up from 58 per cent in 2003—in an area with a number of excellent selective and private schools.[7]

The school has an enrolment policy which involves an area inclusive zone. Suburbs in the inclusive zone include Killara, East Killara, West Killara, Lindfield, East Lindfield, Gordon, West Gordon, East Gordon, and Parts of Roseville and West Lindfield, a detailed map of the local enrolment area and street names can be found on the school website.

Parents are also entitled to apply for enrolment of their children at Killara High School if they reside outside the designated local enrolment area but due to the high enrolment numbers, non local enrolment is difficult as the school is currently at full capacity. The NSW Board of Jewish Education runs Hebrew classes at the school and the school accepts students out of the local enrolment area, who have studied Hebrew prior to coming to the school.[21]

Notable alumni[edit]


Entertainment and the arts[edit]


  • Andrew Blades - Former Wallabies prop[24][30]
  • James Deck - Young up and coming professional surfer. Noted for his achievements in the Big Wave Surfing scene, having recently surfed Shipsterns Bluff- a dangerous Tasmanian Big Wave.
  • Catriona Wagg - Played Netball for Australia as Goal Attack

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Outstanding HSC Results for Killara High School Students in 2011". 
  2. ^ "Killara High School". New South Wales Schools. 8 November 2007. Retrieved 28 February 2009. 
  3. ^ a b "Great expectations and HSC high achievers (Editorial)". The Sydney Morning Herald. 22 December 2006. Retrieved 28 February 2009. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ The Green Years (1970-73 ed.). Killara High. 
  6. ^ "Interview with Dr. Carter" Year 11 Society and Culture lesson
  7. ^ a b c d O'Dea, Jonathan; Paluzzano, Karyn (21 October 2008). "Killara High School". Retrieved 2 February 2009. 
  8. ^ "Northern Sydney Regional Council of Parents and Citizens Associations Photos". P&C Northern Sydney Region Narrabeen Lakes Public School Photographs. 1 November 2006. Retrieved 2 February 2009. 
  9. ^ Doherty, Linda; Norrie, Justin; Burke, Kelly (17 December 2005). "State school blitz of top HSC spots". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2 February 2009. 
  10. ^ Adamski, Katrina (4 December 2008). "Department says talks ‘ongoing’". North Shore Times. Retrieved 2 February 2009. 
  11. ^ Adamski, Katrina (4 December 2008). "Students talk of Tent City High". North Shore Times. Retrieved 2 February 2009. 
  12. ^ O'Dea, Jonathan (27 November 2008). "Kara Yong, Killara High School, Davidson Electorate Work Experience". Retrieved 2 February 2009. 
  13. ^ "HSC Results 2007". Killara High School. 6 February 2008. Retrieved 2 February 2009. [dead link]
  14. ^ "Curriculum Summary". Killara High School. 6 February 2006. Retrieved 2 February 2009. [dead link]
  15. ^ a b "Killara High School PD/H/PE -Website". 2 September 2008. Retrieved 2 February 2009. [dead link]
  16. ^ "Ku-ring-gai Zone Secondary School Sports Association". Ku-ring-gai Zone Secondary School Sports Association. 27 February 2008. Retrieved 2 February 2009. [dead link]
  17. ^ "New South Wales Combined High Schools Sports Association". New South Wales Combined High Schools Sports Association. 2 February 2002. Retrieved 2 February 2009. 
  18. ^ 2009 Killara High School Diary
  19. ^ "KHS Social Justice Committee". 9 September 2008. Retrieved 2 February 2009. [dead link]
  20. ^ "Rotary Youth Exchange Australia". 11 April 2007. Retrieved 2 February 2009. 
  21. ^ "Enrolments". Killara High School. Retrieved 2 February 2009. 
  22. ^ "NSW Rhodes Scholars 1904 - 2009". University of Sydney. 2 February 2009. Retrieved 2 February 2009. [dead link]
  23. ^ "Australia at large Rhodes Scholars since 1977". Australian National University. Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  24. ^ a b c "School Choice: Killara High". Retrieved 17 May 2011. 
  25. ^ "Famous alumni on Latham's hit list". 30 March 2005. 
  26. ^ Khoo, Valerie (1 July 2009). "Playing with words". Retrieved 2 February 2009. 
  27. ^ The Green Years yearbooks, 1978 - 1982
  28. ^ "Softly, softly approach". The Sydney Morning Herald. 26 September 2005. 
  29. ^ "Younger Years - Killara High days". Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  30. ^ "The Green Years" yearbook 2010

External links[edit]