Narrabundah College

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Narrabundah College
Canberra, ACT
Coordinates 35°20′10″S 149°8′52″E / 35.33611°S 149.14778°E / -35.33611; 149.14778Coordinates: 35°20′10″S 149°8′52″E / 35.33611°S 149.14778°E / -35.33611; 149.14778
Type High School
Motto Discover, Care, Excel
Established 1974
Principal Kerrie Grundy
Enrolment ~918
Campus Urban
Colour(s) Yellow and black

Narrabundah College is a government college that teaches the last two years of secondary education in the Australian Capital Territory.[1] It was the first school in Australia to offer the International Baccalaureate, starting the programme in February 1978.[2][3]

Despite attempts to close the college in the late 1970s due to falling enrolments, the school now has a full enrolment and an extensive waiting list. It has earned a reputation for academic excellence in the ACT, attracting 63% of its students from out of area including New South Wales.[citation needed]


Narrabundah College was formed as a result of the ACT developing its own education system in 1974. The new system meant that public high schools would only teach from grade 7 to 10, and that grades 11 and 12 would be completed at a separate college. The pre-existing Narrabundah High School was re-formed as Narrabundah College.[3]

Due to low enrolments, the ACT Schools' Authority threatened to close the school in 1978. This prompted the community into seeking backing for the IB programme. The Australian Minister for Education approved the commencement of the programme in 1979, ensuring the survival of the school.[3] It has prospered in the years since.


The college campus is located in the suburb of Narrabundah, Canberra. It consists of several buildings including the large "S Block" which was originally the segregated senior building for years 11 and 12 prior to the school becoming a secondary college. In addition to a quadrangle and a canteen, the college also has spacious playing fields on which students may spend their free time and is close to golf courses, public ovals and the local shops.


Narrabundah College showing front entrance and driveway, Winter 2008
People at Narrabundah College. From left to right: staff, student, assistant principal.
Narrabundah College students, along with Principal, Assistant Principal and representative of the Chinese Embassy in Canberra.

In 2006, 918 students were enrolled at Narrabundah College, which has a capacity of 912 students. 86% of college-aged students in the college's priority enrolment area attend Narrabundah, yet 63% of students enrolled in the school do not live in the priority enrolment area.[4]

In 2007, Narrabundah College was the best performing government-run college in the ACT, with a higher average UAI and a greater number of students achieving a UAI of 65 or over than any other state college. Narrabundah students also made a high proportion of those achieving in the top one percent of the state, with 18 students achieving a UAI of over 99. In addition to this, Narrabundah College also awarded more Tertiary Entrance Statements, and more Year 12 Certificates than any other college in the ACT.[5]

A very high percentage of Narrabundah College students who graduate with a Year 12 Certificate also obtain a UAI and go on to study at university. In 2007 of the 418 students awarded a Year 12 certificate, 77% were awarded Tertiary Education Statements. In 2007, the median UAI gained by students of Narrabundah College was 85 compared with the average of students from all across ACT colleges of 79. Over 87% of students from the college who were awarded Tertiary Education Statements in 2007 scored over 65 for their UAI compared with 79% of all ACT students.[6] 80 students were awarded a vocational certificate in 2007 and 166 students were awarded a vocational statement of attainment.[7]

Narrabundah College consists of a large number of students from foreign countries and non-English speaking backgrounds, being the school in Canberra with the most foreign students. There are significant numbers of diplomatic, exchange, and International Private Students (IPS) studying at Narrabundah College. The college is also known for its large numbers of students of Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese ethnicity.


Narrabundah College is able to offer a wide range of courses at Tertiary (T) and Accredited (A) levels, in addition to vocational courses and "R" units which are recreation/registered units.

Narrabundah College is notable for its community of students and teachers who hail from a diverse range of nationalities. The languages available for study at Narrabundah College are:

  • Chinese
  • French
  • German
  • Hindi
  • Indonesian
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Latin
  • Spanish

All of these languages are offered at three levels: beginning, continuing and advanced levels, and the level at which the language is studied depends on the student's prior knowledge.[8]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Narrabundah College
  3. ^ a b c
  4. ^
  5. ^ crCohortStats_NoVET.rpt
  6. ^ "Overview - 2007: Year 12 Certificates and Tertiary Entrance Statements awarded" (PDF). ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies. 2007. Archived from the original (pdf) on 2008-05-28. Retrieved 2007-12-21. 
  7. ^ "Overview - 2007: Year 12 Certificates and Vocational Certificates awarded" (PDF). ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies. 2007. Archived from the original (pdf) on 2008-05-28. Retrieved 2007-12-21. 
  8. ^ Narrabundah College | Languages
  9. ^ a b Griffiths, John (6 November 2014). "Celebrating ACT Public School alumni". Archived from the original on 16 April 2016. 
  10. ^ BBC - h2g2 - The Doug Anthony Allstars
  11. ^ Pryor, Sally (26 September 2013). "Short end of the stick". Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. 
  12. ^ "Canberra actor Leon Ford is looking forward to performing one of theatre's most challenging roles, Hamlet, in front of his hometown audience, says Peter Wilkins". Asia Africa Intelligence Wire. 2003-04-26. 
  13. ^ Griffiths, John (6 November 2014). "Celebrating ACT Public School alumni". Archived from the original on 16 April 2016. 
  14. ^ Celebrating the Achievements of our Past Students, ACT Government, archived from the original on 30 January 2017, retrieved 31 January 2017 
  15. ^ Canberra Liberals
  16. ^ Doherty, Megan (25 January 2013). "Timomatic and the local hero ... a dynamic duo for Australia Day". The Canberra Times. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 27 January 2013. Retrieved 30 January 2017. 
  17. ^ "Machine Translations: We Chat with J Walker". Coast. Coast Media Pty Ltd (Maria Reed). Summer 2009. pp. 30–32. ISSN 1833-3648. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 

External links[edit]