Concordia College (South Australia)

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Concordia College
Concordia College, Adelaide Logo 2017.svg
Highgate, SA
Type Co-educational Lutheran school
Motto Fortiter in Re, Suaviter in Modo
(Firm in Principle, Gentle in Manner)
Religious affiliation(s) Lutheran Church of Australia
Established 1890
Principal Lester Sagenschnitter & Michael Paech
Years offered ELC-12
Enrolment 1275 (2016)
Colour(s) Blue, Gold
Concordia College at Murtoa, c.1890s
The College at Highgate on opening day, 1905
Gymnasium team in front of the main building, c.1921

Concordia College is an independent and co-educational Lutheran school located in Adelaide, South Australia. Established in 1890, Concordia caters for around 1300 students from ELC to Year 12.[1] The school has been an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School since January 2001 and offers the IB Primary Years, Middle Years and Diploma Programmes. Concordia is a Latin word meaning "harmony".


The College's existence is largely due to the vision and enterprise of W. F. Peters, a Lutheran pastor in the Victorian country township of Murtoa, who purchased a private school founded there in 1887 by T. W. Boehm and established it in 1890 as a boys' college and training ground for future pastors and teachers. Lutheran leaders in South Australia recognised that the College was too important to the future of the church for it to remain in a remote country town in Victoria, so Concordia moved to its present Highgate site in 1905. Due largely to the efforts of Pastor P. B. Zweck, Concordia became a Christian co-educational secondary college in 1927, operating under the South Australian District Synod of the Lutheran Church of Australia. Today the College caters not only for Lutheran families, but for all students whose parents are prepared to support the educational program and Christian ethos.

In 2016 Concordia College amalgamated with the neighbouring St John’s Lutheran Primary School to form the new ELC to Year 12 Concordia College.


Concordia is located on two adjacent campuses in suburban Highgate, five kilometres south of the Adelaide city centre.[2] The St John's Campus caters for students from Early Learning Centre to Year 6 while the Concordia Campus caters for students in Years 7 to 12. The College grounds feature a combination of historic and modern architecture. At the Concordia Campus, the buildings surround a central grassed quadrangle.

The Concordia Campus includes:

  • The Chapel: The most notable of the buildings is the Chapel, which has been the recipient of numerous awards.[citation needed] The Chapel features a waterfall and fountain visible through a glass wall behind the altar, and a cross with a crown of thorns. The facility doubles as an assembly hall and a performance venue. It is also used for weddings and is made available for performances by local schools which do not have their own performance venue.[citation needed]
  • The Suaviter: Named from the school motto, the Suaviter is one of the original school buildings, and was formerly the Chapel. Retaining its stained glass windows, it has been converted into a conference and exhibition/display centre with catering facilities, where students participating in the hospitality curriculum receive training.[3]
  • The Yangadlitya Resource Centre was opened on 29 May 2006 by Mrs Ningali Cullen, possibly the first female indigenous Concordia College student (class of 1954). The College was given permission to use the name "Yangadlitya" (meaning "for the future") by the elders of the Kaurna people, who are the traditional owners of the land on which Concordia stands. The building is of a modern design with bold colours, with facades both to the quadrangle and Winchester street. It recently has also become home to the ICT department, which keeps computers updated.
  • Murtoa: A new addition to the school in 2010, this multipurpose building houses a brand new state-of-the-art television studio and media-editing suite as well as several multipurpose classrooms. The music centre has also been expanded into the building featuring new practice room space and a large acoustic rehearsal room. Built by Sarah Constructions, it features a modern design similar to the Yangadlitya building, including a skybridge connecting the two buildings. It was named after the town, Murtoa, Victoria, the original location of the school.
  • The Hamann Wing:
    • Upstairs: Year 9 and 10 classrooms, the LOTE (Languages other the English) rooms, and an open workspace.
    • Downstairs: Offices and services.
  • The Tech Centre: Facilities for woodworking, metalworking, plastics and electronics. (Also has two classrooms.)
  • The Gymnasium: One big gym room (used for basketball, netball, volleyball,etc.) which can be split into two, plus a weights room, a classroom, changing rooms, administrative facilities, and a large foyer (with mirrors, which is also used for dance and other activities).
  • The Atrium (formerly Maths Centre): Seven classrooms, and a storage room.
  • The Science Building: Six laboratories and associated offices.
  • The Music Centre: Practice rooms, a computer room and an ensemble room.
  • The Drama Centre: A configurable performance area with lights, sound and video facilities. The main performance space features a movable seating system enabling it to be used for a wide variety of corporate, drama and musical performances.
  • The Canteen.
  • Various outdoor sporting facilities: tennis courts, netball courts, ovals, etc.

On 31 October 2016, a new building was opened on Winchester Street containing more classrooms upstairs, as well as several administrative offices, a new Student Services Office and a Year 12 common room downstairs. Some of the Hamann wing and a locker area have been demolished to make way for this project. The science block is also to be demolished and rebuilt.[4]


Middle School[edit]

The Concordia College Middle School Curriculum in Years 7 - 10 incorporates the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (IBMYP). Students in Years 7 and 8 undertake a common course, except in 'Language B', where they choose from German or Indonesian. An after-hours Special Interest Music Program is available to selected students in Year 8. Students in Years 9 and 10 are able to make subject choices in The Arts and Technology learning areas. Two further components of the Year 10 course are The Personal Learning Project and The Personal Learning Plan (PLP). The latter helps students plan for their future by making informed decisions about course and subject choices at Years 11 and 12, as well as possible career pathways. Details about the subjects on offer at Concordia in Years 7 - 10 can be found in the MYP Curriculum Handbook.

Senior School[edit]

The IB Middle Years Programme in Years 7 - 10 prepares students to undertake one of three pathways for Year 11 and 12 students at Concordia College:

  • International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP)
  • The South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE)
  • Vocational Education and Training (VET) in the SACE

Details about the courses and subjects on offer in Years 11 and 12 are provided in the Years 11 & 12 Curriculum Handbook.

Student leadership is strongly encouraged at Concordia and leadership opportunities are offered at each year level. Students from each year level may participate in Forum (Student Representative Council) or become a School or House Captain in Year 12. Students may also volunteer for one of the leadership roles at their year level, for example, Year 9 Ambassador or Year 12 Action Leader.


Students can choose to participate in a range of co-curricular and extra-curricular programs and activities according to their individual interests and abilities. Co-curricular programs and activities offered include national subject competitions, career counselling and work experience, excursions, field camps and instrumental music tuition. Concordia competes in a wide range of interschool sports competitions that include the following sports: athletics, basketball, cricket, cross-country, football, netball, soccer, softball, tennis, swimming and volleyball. Year 7 students have the opportunity to be involved in the SAPSASA sports competition. Other extra-curricular programs include Middle & Senior School choirs, the annual College musical, Big Bands, School Orchestra, Concert Band, Music Ensembles (Concert Vocal, String, Percussion), Chapel music, Chess Club, Debating, Duke of Edinburgh's Award, Pedal Prix, Snow Trip, Writers' Club, Mind and Body Club, Electronics Club and House competitions.


Concordia students may participate in the annual College musical. The musicals were performed at the Scott Theatre[5] until 2009, then moved to the Hopgood Theatre[6] for the musical Grease. The Sound of Music in April 2014 was the first Concordia musical to be held in the College Chapel. While Godspell was also held in the Chapel, the 2016 performance of Hairspray was once again in the Hopgood Theatre. The performances are generally held in March or April. A long-established tradition, these musicals are a showcase of the music and drama departments. Musicals presented have included:

Year Musical
2017 Annie
2016 Hairspray
2015 Godspell
2014 The Sound of Music
2013 Guys and Dolls
2012 Aladdin
2011 The Wizard of Oz
2010 Grease
2009 Children of Eden
2008 Oklahoma!
2007 Beauty and the Beast
2006 Cabaret
2005 Les Misérables
2004 Viva Mexico
2003 Little Shop of Horrors
2002 The Mikado
2001 Godspell
2000 42nd Street
1999 The Wizard of Oz
1998 Guys and Dolls
1997 Me and My Girl

Others in previous years have included: L'il Abner, Carousel, My Fair Lady, Annie Get Your Gun, The Boy Friend, Fiddler on the Roof, The Pirates of Penzance, Calamity Jane, Viva Mexico, Ruddigore, HMS Pinafore, Can You Imagine, Free As Air, A Penny For a Song, God So Loved, Where Is God, Anything Goes, David Modra the Musical, Tom Sawyer, Salad Days, and Trial By Jury.


Extra-curricular sport is an integral part of College life. Students are encouraged to participate in at least one of the variety of sports offered at Concordia, which include: basketball, cricket, cross country, football, hockey, netball, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis and volleyball. Students also have the opportunity to participate in:

  • Knockout Competitions – the College enters representative teams in statewide competitions in various sports such as basketball, netball and volleyball.
  • Sports Day – a whole school event, held annually in March at the Santos Stadium.
  • Interschool Athletics SSSSA (combined boys/girls) in Term 1; Achilles Cup (Boys) and IGSSA (Girls) competition in Term 3.
  • Swimming Carnival – a school event for Years 7 – 10, held in the last week of the school year at Unley Swimming Centre.
  • Interschool Swimming Carnivals organised by SSSSA (combined boys/girls) and IGSSA (girls only)
  • Lunchtime House Competitions in Netball and Volleyball
  • Gymnasium – all students can use the Gym for recreation with staff supervision
  • Weights Room – senior students can use the Weights Room for personal training with staff supervision

House system[edit]

As with most Australian schools, Concordia College utilises a house system. There are currently four houses, three named after three of the streets surrounding the College and the fourth, Malvern after the neighbouring suburb.

House Colour Moniker
Cheltenham (Green) The Green Army
Highgate (Blue) The Highgate Heroes
Malvern (Yellow) The Malvern Lions
Winchester (Red) The Winchester Warriors

Students represent their house in a number of activities, including Sports Day, Swimming Carnival and lunchtime house sports. Students earn points for their house through participation in these activities, and the house with the most points at the conclusion of the school year is awarded the House Shield.


Some of Concordia's notable old collegians include:

  • Australian poet Ernest George Moll
  • Ron Nagorcka, contemporary composer, didjeridu and keyboard player
  • Errol Wayne Noack, First Australian National Service conscript to be killed in the Vietnam War
  • Jay Schulz, Full Forward for Port Adelaide Football Club and previously Richmond Football Club
  • James Aish, Midfielder for Collingwood Football Club
  • Cameron Bayly, cyclist for OCBC Singapore Cycling Team and Search2Retain Cycling Team

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Celeste Villani (18 March 2015). "Highgate’s Concordia College and St John’s Lutheran in merger talks". The Adelaide Advertiser. Retrieved 27 May 2017. 
  2. ^ "Why Concordia". International Students. Concordia College. 2008. Archived from the original on 29 October 2007. Retrieved 2008-03-25. 
  3. ^ "The Suaviter – the 'gentle' meeting place". Facilities. Concordia College. 2008. Archived from the original on 19 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-25. 
  4. ^ "Concordia Community Spring 2015" (PDF). Concordia College. 2015. Retrieved 2016-02-06. 
  5. ^ Scott Theatre: [1], [2], [3]
  6. ^ Hopgood Theatre, Ramsay Place, Noarlunga Centre

Further reading[edit]

  • Leske, E. 1990. Concordia 100 years, Murtoa-Adelaide: a history of Concordia College, Adelaide. Concordia College, Highgate, South Australia. ISBN 0-646-00401-8.

External links[edit]