Glen Waverley Campus Golden Jubilee
18 March 2016
Thank you Joy and good afternoon everyone.
Congratulations students and the Soul Band on Its Your thing
, you couldn’t have performed two more appropriate numbers to celebrate our Golden Jubilee.
Exactly 50 years ago today in 1966, on another sparkling sunny day like this, the new campus of Wesley College, then known as the Junior School at Syndal, was opened by the Governor of Victoria, His Excellency, Sir Rohan Delacombe.
After arriving in a Rolls Royce, the Governor addressed the crowd of nearly 4,000 people, recalling past Wesley headmasters and famous old boys who had attended the school since its opening in 1866, and he looked ahead to the bright future of Wesley.
Over the 50 years since, this campus has flourished, and grown from the 345 boys across Years 2 to 8, who were here in the beginning, to nearly 1,200 students today from early childhood to Year 12, and nearly 60 students from across the top of Australia, who are part of Yiramalay.
The transformations that have taken place have been remarkable and the role played by the Glen Waverley campus, in the development of the whole of Wesley, as a contemporary 21st century Australian school, has been pivotal.
Three of the most significant innovations at Wesley in the last 50 years were initiated here.
The first was the introduction of coeducation to Wesley in 1978.
The majority of the first girls came from the suburbs of Glen Waverley, Mount Waverley and Wheelers Hill and in 1985 Glen Waverley became a fully coeducational school growing to include girls and boys at all levels from early childhood to Year 10.
In those days all students travelled to St Kilda Road for Years 11 and 12, but soon a decision was made to build a senior school here at Glen Waverley, and the next transformation began.
Since 1993 two Wesley senior schools have worked side by side and over more than two decades many developments in educational programs including the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, Primary Years Programme, and Middle Years Programme, Clunes, Yiramalay, and at Chum Creek, Mallana and Lochend, have taken shape. And of course there have been wonderful developments in buildings and grounds at all campuses in Melbourne too.
Now, in 2016, a third major transformation to Wesley initiated at Glen Waverley will occur, as boarding returns to the College, with the opening of the new Learning in Residence
in Term 4 this year on this campus.
The growth that Glen Waverley has undergone is profound, and I too would like to acknowledge the Council and our President, Marianne Stillwell, former Heads of Campus and staff of Glen Waverley, Our Head of Campus today, Mr Peter Dickinson, current staff and parents, and former Principals, whose foresight and hard work enabled it all to happen.
But as Sir Rohan Delacombe said at the opening 50 years ago, it’s not the buildings and grounds that make a great school.
It’s what takes place in and around the buildings and grounds that matters. It’s the people and their community who build the culture and traditions that make a great school.
And here Wesley Glen Waverley has been blessed.
The values and beliefs of our College, which characterise the Christian Methodist values on which Wesley was founded - of openness, acceptance of difference, of respect for each individual, and of diverse cultures and beliefs, are as strong as they’ve ever been.
Prominent at all levels in a True Education today is our emphasis on community
, on the importance of belonging to the Wesley community - of belonging to a place with fine traditions, to a school which is open and accepting, and of belonging to a community which is proud of its achievements.
Today we rejoice in that community, and the talents and contributions of everyone who has been part of it, and especially our boys and girls.
We celebrate their place in history and the enduring spirit that is Wesley which will always define who we are.
Congratulations on 50 years Glen Waverley and a very happy Golden Jubilee!