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Eltham College (Victoria)

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Eltham College
Eltham College.png
Research & Lonsdale Street, Victoria, Australia
Coordinates 37°42′03″S 145°11′33″E / 37.7008°S 145.1926°E / -37.7008; 145.1926Coordinates: 37°42′03″S 145°11′33″E / 37.7008°S 145.1926°E / -37.7008; 145.1926
Type Independent, Co-educational, Day School
Denomination Non-Denominational
Established 1973
Principal Mr Simon Le Plastrier
Grades Kindergarten - Year 12
Enrolment ~1,200
Houses     Bell
Colour(s) Cranberry, Cream & Sage
Publications College Connections
Forum Magazine
School Song We're All Different People

Eltham College is an independent, non-denominational, co-educational day school situated in Research, an outer suburb north east of Melbourne.

Founded in 1973, the school has a non-selective admissions policy and currently caters for approximately 1,200 students from Kindergarten to Year 12.

Although no longer a part, having become an affiliate of the EISM (Eastern Independent Schools of Melbourne), Eltham College is a founding member of the ACS (Association of Co-educational Schools). The College is also affiliated with the Association of Independent Schools of Victoria (AISV).

The school is also associated with EC Waves swimming club and training most training is held at the Eltham College pool.


  • 1973: Mr Desmond D. Davey appointed as first principal. Construction of the College begins with the Principal's residence and Preparatory School
  • 1974: Classes commence with an enrolment of 135 students. The College's facilities now consist of an Early Learning Centre (kindergarten), Junior Primary Building, craft workshop, and two aboveground swimming pools
  • 1975: Enrolments increase to a total of 399 students to Year 9. Administration and Junior Secondary buildings are constructed, along with a music suite
  • 1976: 590 students up to Year 10. First part of the Middle School constructed, along with another craft workshop, and the completion of the ECCA Centre sports stadium. Tennis and basketball courts are established, along with a hockey pitch and oval
  • 1977: 764 students to Year 11. Second part of the Middle School and Music Centre opened.
  • 1978: 893 students to Year 12. The Senior School is established, along with extensions to the Music Centre
  • 1979: 960 students. The second part of the Senior School is established, along with science laboratories
  • 1980: 1050 students. 43 acres of land opposite the College are purchased for later use
  • 1983: School Photo, a book commemorating the College's first ten years is produced. The College is now a complex of 16 buildings, complemented by a cohort of 1050 and a staff of 85. The founding Principal, Mr Desmond D. Davey, retires. The new D. D. Davey Library and Auditorium are named in his honour
  • 1984: Mr Brian Webber is appointed Principal. The College's leadership program is established
  • 1987: The College's Performance Centre is opened, along with the Preparatory School Library and the L. E. Clarke Visual Arts Building. Middle School science laboratories are established, along with another playing field. Mr John Brennan replaces Mr Brian Webber as Principal
  • 1992: Stage one of oval, and environmental reserve commences, built on the 43 acres of land purchased by the College in 1980
  • 1993: The College celebrates its 20th Anniversary. Stage two of the oval and environmental reserve development is completed, thus providing students with new facilities. New uniforms are introduced
  • 1996: The Year 9 City Campus (located in Flinders Lane) officially opens. The College's quadrangle, known as the Forum, is officially opened, with a Halpern sculpture, to which students contributed, being unveiled
  • 1998: A new preparatory centre opens in the former Principal's residence (made available by the construction of a new residence the previous year). Further construction work on the Senior School commences, opening the following year
  • 1999: Mr John Brennan retires as principal
  • 2000: Dr David Warner is appointed as principal
  • 2001: The College's name is officially changed to ELTHAM College of Education
  • 2002: Construction begins on the College's hospitality facilities. The Knowledge Network, a revolutionary intranet service, is unveiled, along with the History Centre for Years 3 and 4
  • 2003: The College celebrates its 30th Anniversary, along with officially opening the new hospitality centre, now known as Swipers Gully
  • 2004: Construction commences on the Arthur W. Kirkright sports pavilion
  • 2005: The College now consists of 1171 students, along with 186 members of staff. Students of the College successfully raise $10,000 to build a library in Laos
  • 2006: The Arthur W. Kirkright sports pavilion officially opens
  • 2007: The College announces plans for the Melbourne City School
  • 2013: The Year 9 City Campus moves to its current location on Lonsdale Street. Dr David Warner retires as Principal
  • 2014: The College celebrates its 40th Anniversary. Mr Simon Le Plastrier is appointed as the fifth Principal of the College


Period Details
1973 -1983 Mr Desmond D. Davey
1984 - 1986 Mr Brian Webber
1987 - 1999 Mr John Brennan
2000 - 2013 Dr David Warner
2014–present Mr Simon Le Plastrier


The College currently comprises two campuses:

  • Research Campus Kindergarten to Year 4 (Junior School), Years 5 to 8 (Middle School) and Years 10 to 12 (Senior School), day.
  • Year 9 Campus Year 9, day.

The College’s main campus, located in Research, focuses on Kindergarten to Year 12, with only a small portion of Year 9 completed there. The Research campus houses the College's sporting facilities, environmental reserve and restaurant, known as Swiper's Gully.

The College's Year 9 campus is located in Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, and caters solely for Year 9 students and their preparation for life in the city should their career path be based there. Students spend four of the five school days at the city campus, with the fifth day attended at the Research campus.

Swiper's Gully restaurant

Eltham College is known for being one of the few schools with its own restaurant across the road, better known as "Swiper's Gully". This restaurant is predominantly student run, functioning during most days as a café, and most nights as a restaurant. Employees can either work in the kitchen, making the meals (back of house), or can serve the meals (front of house) as part of their VET in the VCE qualification for hospitality. The menu changes termly and features an entreé, main and dessert, with a variety of wines produced on site and produce also available.



Music at ELTHAM College has become a rather large part of the curriculum. Classes based around music are organised in the kindergarten year. Throughout the junior years students are taught to play recorders as well as song and dance. In the latter years of the junior program students are taught about music technology.[1]

From years 7 and 8 students learn about instrument construction, the role of music in films, percussion performance, an introduction to song writing, the history of pop and rock music and computer music composition. In Year 9 music becomes a partial elective (students must choose two of music, art and ceramics) and from Year 10 onwards music becomes a complete elective.[2]

The VCE music course is based around being able to create a solo performance as part of the assessment. Music also offers two certificates separate to the VCE program which involve developing skills for the music industry.[3] These programs, assessed by the school's music staff, allow senior students to organise and coordinate regular weekend performance nights that showcase the talents of both current and past alumni.

Outside of classroom lessons, private instrumental classes are offered to students. These are run either before, during or after school hours.[4]

ELTHAM College also has a competition based around music. Each year students compete in their houses for the Pitcher Trophy. Each house must develop and perform a 15-20 minute performance incorporating Acting, Dance, Choir and Instrumental. Eltham invites external adjudicators to judge the performance of the acts. The event takes place annually at Hamer Hall in the Melbourne Arts Centre.[5] There is a singing competition that takes place each year.[6]

Sport and physical education

Inter-school sport

The physical education program is offered to all students from Prep to Year 12, with students being able to compete in inter-school competition from Grade 3, with compulsory participation from Grade 5 up to and including Year 10. Grades 3 to 6 play many of the same sports as the secondary students, often with slight rule and equipment modifications to cater for their ages.[7] Most of the sporting venues are on campus including playing fields, tennis courts, basketball courts, A hockey pitch and a Swimming Pool.

In the primary years (grades three to six) ELTHAM College is part of the Eltham District Primary School Sports Association (EDPSSA). St. Thomas Apostle, Eltham North Primary School, Eltham Primary School, Eltham East Primary School, Research Primary School and Our Lady Help of Christians Primary School are also in the district league.[7]

In the secondary years (years 7 to 12) ELTHAM College is a founding member of the ACS. (Association of Co-educational Schools). Westbourne Grammar, St Leonard's College, St. Michael’s Grammar, Loyola College are also members of this district league. Overnewton College and Thomas Carr College joined the league in 2003.[7]


Eltham College Houses
House Name Colour
Bell Green
Evelyn Yellow
Nillumbik Blue
Ross Red

House sport

ELTHAM has a house sports competition involving all students, which comprises athletics, swimming, cross country running and tennis. Squads are selected following these carnivals to represent the school in the district competition, which incorporates bi weekly training sessions leading up to the carnivals. Doncaster Little Athletics (athletics), Watermarc, Greensborough (swimming) and Cross Country and House tennis are on the school grounds.

School Song

The school song, We're All Different People, was written by Mr Graeme Wall, the first Director of Music at the College.

There is in all of us, something to set free.
Something that hides within, your eyes cannot see.
We'll strive forever, we'll follow our lead
We'll search for the answers in word and in deed.

Sometimes it's easy, the way seems so clear
But most of us cannot know, just what we will be
We all have something
We all have a star
We're all different people
We're different by far.

Onward still striving, no matter how far
We're all different people
We'll show what we are.

Onward still striving, no matter how far
We're all different people
We'll show what we are.

We're all different people
We'll show what we are.

School Journal

The Forum Magazine is the journal of ELTHAM College. It is published on an annual basis; with the first edition having been issued in 1974.



  • Alexandra Phelan – Prominent lawyer and recipient of the General Sir John Monash Scholarship


Media, entertainment and the arts


External links