Methodist Ladies' College, Melbourne

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Methodist Ladies' College, Melbourne
Methodist Ladies' College, Melbourne crest. Source: (MLC website)
Coordinates37°48′49″S 145°2′19″E / 37.81361°S 145.03861°E / -37.81361; 145.03861Coordinates: 37°48′49″S 145°2′19″E / 37.81361°S 145.03861°E / -37.81361; 145.03861
TypeIndependent, single-sex, day, boarding
MottoLatin: Deo Domuique
("For God and for Home")
DenominationUniting Church
PrincipalDiana Vernon
Enrolment~2,200 (ELC-12)[1]
Colour(s)Green & Silver         
Slogan"MLC girls become world-ready women"[2]
Methodist Ladies' College, c. 1930

Methodist Ladies' College (commonly referred to as MLC) is an independent, non-selective, day and boarding school for girls, located in Kew, an eastern suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The school has two additional outdoor education campuses known as "Marshmead" and "Banksia".

Established in 1882 on its current campus by the Methodist Church of Australasia, MLC is now a school of the Uniting Church in Australia and caters for approximately 2200 students from the Early Learning Centre (MLC Kindle) to year 12, including more than 100 boarders.[3]

The college is a member of Girls Sport Victoria,[4] the Australian Boarding Schools' Association,[5] the Junior School Heads Association of Australia (JSHAA),[6] the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA),[7] and the Alliance of Girls' Schools Australasia.[8]

MLC offers students both the Victorian Certificate of Education and the International Baccalaureate.[9]

Fees are up to $36,000 per student per year.[10]


William Henry Fitchett was secretary of a committee formed in 1879 to start a secondary school for girls.[11] MLC was founded on its current campus in Kew on 14 February 1882 as a modern school of the first order, with buildings that formed a collegiate institution for girls unsurpassed in the colonies.[citation needed] It was the first Australian girls’ school established by the Wesleyan Methodists and Fitchett was the first principal. The goal of its founders was to provide a high-class Christian education for girls, comparable with that provided elsewhere for boys.[citation needed] As the first Australian girls’ school established by the Wesleyan Methodists, MLC attracted boarders from all Australian colonies.[citation needed]

In 1990, MLC became the first school in the world to introduce laptop computers for all students from Year 5 to Year 12.[12] In 1991, MLC Marshmead opened, providing Year 9 students with an eight-week residential experience with a focus on outdoor education.[citation needed]

In 2001, The Sun-Herald reported a 1988 study which ranked MLC third in Australia's top ten girls' schools, based on the number of its alumni mentioned in the Who's Who in Australia (a listing of notable Australians).[13][a] In 2002, MLC won the title of 'Australian School of the Year', as published in The Australian newspaper.[5]

House system[edit]

As with most Australian schools, MLC has a house system through which students partake in inter-house competitions and activities. The college currently has five houses:

  • Berry - Colour: Purple, Mascot: Turtle.
  • Cato - Colour: Blue, Mascot: Bear.
  • Fitchett - Colour: Yellow, Mascot: Lion
  • Krome - Colour: Green, Mascot: Frog
  • Nevile - Colour: Pink, Mascot: Pink Panther

In the past, there was a Tiddeman house (which was red). This was a specific house for boarders.


MLC offers an extensive range of VCE and Vocational Education Training (VET) courses, as well as the IB Diploma Programme. It has one of the largest VCE subject selections in the state. The school's success with the IB Programme is internationally renowned, with students consistently achieving in the top global percentile each year. Its physical education program includes a wide variety of summer and winter sports. It participates in the Girls Sport Victoria competition.

The music school features an auditorium, and a department for woodwind, strings, keyboard, percussion and brass, with multiple ensembles including a concert orchestra, senior strings, choirs and bands. The music school is known for its excellence. The state of the art auditorium is often used for external performances.

The school offers a speech and drama program from early years and theatre arts and drama at VCE level, as well as a variety of studio arts subjects.

Indigenous programmes[edit]

MLC works with the Yalari scholarship programme to support Indigenous girls from regional, rural and remote communities to study and board at MLC. Yalari is a not-for-profit organisation that offers secondary education scholarships at leading Australian boarding schools.[14][15] MLC includes Indigenous issues in its mainstream curriculum, maintains a student Aboriginal Reconciliation Committee, grows an Indigenous garden, and appoints a senior Year 12 prefect to an Indigenous portfolio. MLC holds annual sporting and cultural exchanges with Worowa Aboriginal College at Healesville, Victoria.[16][17]

Sacking of principal, 2012[edit]

In September 2012 the school board sacked the then principal of 15 years, Rosa Storelli, leading to calls by Storelli plus many parents and Old Collegians for the board's dismissal.[18] There were also protests outside the school by parents and students. The action by the board was made possible by changes to the school's constitution. This became a cautionary tale for other independent schools in Australia about the relationship between principals and the boards of those schools and the power-sharing relationships among the various stakeholders. By 2017 most members of that board had been replaced. Rosa Storelli is currently a senior academic at La Trobe University.[19]

Notable alumnae[edit]

MLC Old Collegians Club Logo

Alumnae of the Methodist Ladies' College are known as 'Old Collegians' and automatically become members of the 'MLC Old Collegians' Club' upon graduation. The club was established on 29 October 1904 for the purpose of providing an ongoing relationship between the College and its alumnae.[20]

Some notable "Old Collegians" include:

Entertainment, media and the arts
Medicine and science
Politics and the law
  • Millie Peacock – first woman elected to the Parliament of Victoria
  • Nicola Roxon – Labor, federal Minister for Health, Attorney-General of Australia
  • Fiona Richardson – State Labor Minister for Northcote, Minister for women and Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence
  • Mary Wooldridge – State Liberal member for Doncaster, Minister for Mental Health, Minister for Women's Affairs and Minister for Community Services, 2010–14
  • Judith Troeth – Liberal Senator for Victoria
  • Lara Giddings – Labor Premier of Tasmania
  • Julia Riley – barrister, cellist

Rhodes Scholars[edit]

MLC has produced four Rhodes Scholars:

  • Karen Yeung (1987) (law) (having studied at her local school, Gladstone Park Secondary College, in years 7-10)
  • Joanna Masel (1991) (zoology)
  • Sanya Reid Smith (1993) (law)
  • Kate Robson (2001) (history of medicine)[30]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Methodist Ladies' College: Position brief Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine (accessed:04-09-2007)
  2. ^ MLC Vision and Mission Archived 12 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved March 12, 2016.
  3. ^ School Choice Victoria: Methodist Ladies' College (accessed:14-08-2007) Archived 30 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Girls Sport Victoria: Member Schools (accessed:14-08-2007) Archived 20 August 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ a b Australian Boarding Schools' Association: Methodist Ladies College (accessed:14-08-2007)
  6. ^ Junior School Heads Association of Australia (accessed:14-08-2007) Archived 22 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (accessed:14-08-2007) Archived 17 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ The Alliance of Girls' Schools Australasia Archived 28 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine (accessed:15-06-2007)
  9. ^ Studies in Australia: Methodist Ladies' College Archived 29 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine (accessed:04-09-2007)
  10. ^ "Private girls' school students and parents push to oust principal". 10 December 2015. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  11. ^ Percival Serle (1949). "Fitchett, Henry William (1842–1928)". Dictionary of Australian Biography. Angus & Robertson. Retrieved 29 August 2007.
  12. ^ Methodist Ladies' College: History Archived 8 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine (accessed:15-06-2007)
  13. ^ Walker, Frank (22 July 2001). "The ties that bind". Sunday Life. The Sun-Herald. p. 16. Retrieved 12 September 2007.
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ The Australian: Sacked MLC school principal Rosa Storelli calls for school board's dismissal:Stuart Rintoul (accessed:19-09-2012)
  19. ^
  20. ^ Methodist Ladies' College: Old Collegians' Club Archived 30 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine (accessed:14-08-2007)
  21. ^ Australian Dictionary of Biography: Bale, Alice Marian Ellen (1875 - 1955) (accessed:14-08-2007)
  22. ^ Australian Dictionary of Biography: Forbes, Ada Lorna (1890 - 1976) (accessed:14-08-2007)
  23. ^ a b "Famous alumni on Latham's hit list" Archived 26 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine (accessed:26-04-2006)
  24. ^ Australian Dictionary of Biography: Wilson, Dora Lynnell (1883 - 1946) (accessed:14-08-2007)
  25. ^ Hall, Sandra. "The Will to Fly review: inside the elite world of aerial skiing". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  26. ^ Australian Dictionary of Biography: Cookson, Isabel Clifton (1893 - 1973) (accessed:14-08-2007)
  27. ^ Australian Dictionary of Biography: De Garis, Mary Clementina (1881 - 1963) (accessed:14-08-2007)
  28. ^ Australian Dictionary of Biography: Kincaid, Hilda Estelle (1886 - 1967) (accessed:14-08-2007)
  29. ^ Australian Dictionary of Biography: Vasey, Jessie Mary (1897 - 1966) (accessed:14-08-2007)
  30. ^ [MLC Development Office](22 October 2008)

Further reading[edit]

  • Zainu'ddin, A. 1982. They Dreamt of a School: a Centenary History of the Methodist Ladies' College Kew, 1882-1982. Hyland House, Melbourne. ISBN 0-908090-47-1.

External links[edit]