MLC School

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MLC school
MLC School crest. Source: (MLC website)
Walk as daughters of the light
Burwood, New South Wales
Coordinates 33°52′14″S 151°6′5″E / 33.87056°S 151.10139°E / -33.87056; 151.10139Coordinates: 33°52′14″S 151°6′5″E / 33.87056°S 151.10139°E / -33.87056; 151.10139
Type Independent, Day school
Denomination Uniting Church
Established 1886
Chairman Pauline Johnson
Principal Denice Scala
Chaplain Rev. Punam Bent & Rev. Naomi Cooke
Staff ~146[1]
Gender Girls
Enrolment ~1,250 (K–12)[2]
Colour(s) Blue and light blue         

MLC School is an independent day school for girls, located in Burwood, Sydney. It enrols students from pre-kinder age through to Year 12[3] and is a school of the Uniting Church of Australia .


Schofield Hall and the Tower Wing. The hall, to the left, was designed by Harry Kent and the memorial stone was laid by Mrs Schofield on 16 November 1891. The tower, to the right, was designed by Alfred Newman

MLC School, originally known as Methodist Ladies College, was founded in 1886, primarily to prepare students for entrance to the University of Sydney, which had recently admitted women to degrees. Today, MLC School is a day school in the Uniting Church of Australia.

The school song has music by Australian composer, Lindley Evans, who was a teacher at the School during the 1930s, to lyrics by Poet Laureate John Masefield.

A fire destroyed the boarding area, dining room, offices and some classrooms in 1977 and the boarding program was discontinued as a result. In June 1977, when the Methodist Church was subsumed into the new union of the Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregational Churches, the Methodist Ladies College Burwood became known officially as MLC School.

More recently, a number of new facilities at the school have been designed and constructed by architects Ed Lippmann and Associates, starting with the MLC Aquatic Centre, which was opened by Dawn Fraser AO, MBE in 2003. More recently, the Junior School was completed and opened in 2009 by Her Excellency Quentin Bryce AC. The facilities available in the Junior School include flexible learning spaces, learning studios, small group areas, wet areas, a literature and resource hub, outdoor learning and play spaces, the piazza, the kiss and drop, and the welcome wall.

MLC is listed on the State Heritage Register of New South Wales.[4]


A new quadrangle at MLC School

Principal Headmistress
1886–1899 Rev. C.J. Prescott 1886–1887 Miss E. Shiels
1900–1914 Rev. E.J. Rodd 1887–1909 Miss M.F. Wearne
1915–1922 Rev. L.H.Kelynack 1909–1912 Miss J. Hetherington
1922–1933 Rev. T.F. Potts 1912–1940 Miss M.H. Sutton
1933–1939 Rev. H.C. Foreman 1941–1959 Dr G. Wade
1940–1947 Rev. W. Deane 1960–1972 Dr A. Whitley
1948–1959 Rev. R.B Lew
1960–1964 Rev. W.D. O'Reilly
1965–1969 Rev. E.A. Bennett
1973–1989 Rev. K. Cornwell
1990–2011 B. Stone
2011 – present D. Scala


MLC School is registered and accredited with the New South Wales Board of Studies, and therefore follows the mandated curriculum for all years. In Year 10, students are prepared for the School Certificate, and in Year 12, the Higher School Certificate (HSC) or the International Baccalaureate (IB).

MLC became an IB World School in August 1999, and offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) to all students in years 11 and 12[5] as an alternative to the HSC. Students undertaking the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme in their final two years at school select one subject from each of six core study areas, ensuring a breadth of subject choice through humanities, experimental sciences, mathematics, arts and compulsory language study. The IB Diploma also requires a CAS component (hours dedicated to creativity, action and service), Theory of Knowledge classes and an Extended (5000 word) Essay in a subject area of the student’s choice.

The International Baccalaureate is offered as an international / global alternative to the NSW Higher School Certificate. It has been offered at MLC since 2001 and is chosen by 30% of the MLC's graduates. MLC’s 2010 IB Diploma results included four perfect scores, converting to the maximum Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR) of 99.95. The school's IB Diploma median rank was 98.80. The combined 2010 HSC and IB Diploma scores also resulted in 55% of candidates receiving an ATAR of 90.00 or above, with 14 candidates scoring 99.00 or above.



Caitlin Sinclair at the 2010 IGSSA Swimming Carnival

Primary School students may partake in competitive sport through the MLC's membership of the Junior School Heads Association of Australia (JSHAA). These competitions are usually held on Saturday mornings and include sports such as: Tee-Ball/Softball, Tennis, Netball, Cricket, Minkey/Hockey, and Soccer.

Secondary School students compete against 28 other similar type schools in the Independent Girls' Schools Sporting Association (IGSSA) competition. These competitions occur on Saturday mornings or in the form of carnivals and include sports such as: Netball, Softball, Swimming, Diving, Cricket, Tennis, Athletics, Fencing, Cross Country, Rowing, Hockey, Soccer, Water Polo, Basketball, Touch Football and Gymnastics.

Students who perform well at JSHAA or IGSSA level may be invited to compete in NSW Combined Independent Schools' (CIS) competitions


MLC School offers instrumental music lessons in over twenty instruments to both current MLC students and external students. Lessons are conducted by professional musicians. Students interested in music are offered the opportunity to perform on a number of levels, including at studio concerts and smaller groups. Performance opportunities are available every year in the Sydney Town Hall and biennially at the Sydney Opera House.


MLC School won the 2008 Rock Eisteddfod Challenge NSW Open Division with their performance titled "The Shades of Grief"; a story about the Beaumont children who went missing from a beach in Adelaide and have never been found. They won 8 awards at the heats and another 8 awards at the finals plus the overall 1st place. In 2009 they were grand finalists in the Rock Eisteddfod Challenge NSW Premier Division and their performance titled "The Private Life of a Masterpiece" depicted the story of Edgar Degas' sculpture "Little Dancer of Fourteen Years". MLC School won the 2011 Rock Eisteddfod Challenge NSW Premier Division with their entry entitled "Granville"; a highly sophisticated and emotional piece that recalls the circumstances of how the Granville Train Disaster occurred and then explores how the accident impacted on Sydney’s Western Suburbs. They also had previously won the NSW Regional Championships with the piece, winning 9 awards to take 1st place at the Wollongong event.

House system[edit]

The house system was established in 1942, with four house's, each Aboriginal words:

  • Mooramoora: "good spirit" (green)
  • Leawarra: "uprising" (violet)
  • Churunga: "sacred place" (gold)
  • Booralee: "an ideal to which we must aspire" (red)

The colours were chosen to combine with the indigo and light blue of the school colours to create white light, to echo the school motto. The names were chosen to spell the school's initials, M.L.C. B (Burwood).

In MLC's high school, there are now ten houses altogether, including four from Kent House. The other six are Abbeythorpe (dark green), Prescott (blue), Wade (aqua), Whitley (maroon), Lester (orange) and Sutton (pink). The six additional houses are named after notable persons that taught at the school. Abbeythorpe House takes its name from one of the original homes on the school site, which was for many years the Junior School until it was demolished.

The Primary school, still utilises the original four houses.

Each House has a Head of House and House Tutors. There is an inter-house competition is a part of every year as Houses vie for Honours in Debating, Chess, Literature, Athletics Cross-Country and Swimming to take out the Spirit and Points Trophies on Speech Night at the end of the year.

Notable alumnae[edit]

Entertainment, media and the arts
Medicine and science
Politics and the law

See also[edit]


  1. ^ MLC School Annual Report 2006 (accessed:17-07-2007)
  2. ^ MLC School Facts and Figures 2007 (accessed:08-08-2006)
  3. ^ Facts and Figures 2007
  4. ^ State Heritage Register
  5. ^ "MLC School". IB World Schools. International Baccalaureate. 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-20. 
  6. ^ Anthony, Delyse (1996). "Haenke, Helen Joyce (1916 - 1978)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Melbourne University Press. pp. 350–351. Retrieved 2007-09-13. 
  7. ^ Vickery, Joyce Winifred (1908 - 1979), Australian Dictionary of Biography Online retrieved 2008-04-20
  8. ^ Scollay, Moira (1979). "Anderson, Phyllis Margery (1901 - 1957)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Melbourne University Press. p. 61. Retrieved 2007-09-13. 
  9. ^ Elmslie, Ronald (1993). "Abbie, Andrew Arthur (1905 - 1976)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Melbourne University Press. pp. 1–2. Retrieved 2007-09-13. 
  10. ^ SMH Obituary
  11. ^ Ferraro, Carmela. "Force of nature". Inside Story. 17 April 2013. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
  12. ^ "London 2012 - Jessica Ashwood Athlete Profile". Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  13. ^ "London 2012 - Elisa Barnard Athlete Profile". Retrieved 4 August 2012. 

External links[edit]