Toorak College, Mt Eliza

Toorak College, Mt Eliza

Infobox Aust school private
name = Toorak College, Mt Eliza

motto = " _la. In Labore Quies"
(Latin:"In work is the true rest of life")
established = 1874cite web|url =|title = Toorak College |accessdate = 2008-03-15|year = 2007|work = Find a School|publisher = Association of Independent Schools of Victoria]
type = Independent, Single-sex, Day and Boarding
denomination = Non-denominationalcite web |url= |title=Toorak College |accessdate=2008-03-15 |work=Victoria |publisher=School Choice]
slogan = "Toorak Girls Can Do"
key_people = Mr. Noel Thomas (Principal)
Mrs Mae Louise McGuinness (Deputy Prinicpal)
Mr P Moir (Chairman)
Jennifer Georgiadis (Chaplain)
fees = AU$3,035–17,274 p.a (Day)
AU$33,838–36,058 p.a (Boarding)cite web |url= |title=Schedule of Fees and Charges 2008 |accessdate=2008-01-21 |format=PDF |work=Enrolling at Toorak College |publisher=Toorak College]
city = Mt Eliza
state = Victoria
country = Australia flagicon|Australia
coordinates = coord|38|10|20|S|145|5|35|E|display=inline,title
enrolment = ~925 (P–12)cite web|url=|title= About Toorak College|accessdate= 2007-08-15|work= About|publisher= Toorak College ]
num_employ = ~87cite web|url=|title= Report of School Performance - 2006|accessdate= 2007-08-15|date= 2007-07-03|format= PDF|work= Publications|publisher= Toorak College|pages= p.4]
revenue =
colours = Red, Yellow and Blue color box|#FF0000color box|#FFD700color box|#000080
homepage = []

Toorak College is an independent, inter-denominational, day and boarding school for girls, located above Port Phillip Bay in Mt Eliza, a town approximately forty kilometres south of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The school began in 1874 as a boy's school in Toorak, a suburb of Melbourne, but moved to its current location at Mt Eliza in 1928, as an independent school for girls. The College currently caters for approximately 925 students from Kindergarten to Year 12, including 70 boarders from Years 7 to 12, and offers a range of Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) subjects. Toorak College also offers a range of co-curricular activities, from performance to sports. Toorak has been an IB World School since November 2007, and is authorised to offer the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP).cite web |url= |title=Toorak College |accessdate=2008-03-15 |work=IB World Schools |publisher=International Baccalaureate Organisation]

Toorak College is affiliated with the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA),cite web |url= |title=Victoria |accessdate=2008-03-15 |year =2008 |work=School Directory |publisher=Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia] the Junior School Heads Association of Australia (JSHAA),cite web
url =|title = JSHAA Victorian Directory of Members|accessdate = 2008-03-15|year = 2007|work = Victoria Branch|publisher = Junior School Heads' Association of Australia
] the Alliance of Girls' Schools Australasia (AGSA),cite web|url =|title = Member Schools|accessdate = 2008-03-15|last = Butler|first = Jan|year = 2006|work = Members|publisher = The Alliance of Girls' Schools Australasia] the Association of Independent Schools of Victoria (AISV), the Australian Boarding Schools Association (ABSA),cite web|url =|title = Toorak College |accessdate = 2008-03-15|year = 2005|work = Schools|publisher = Australian Boarding Schools Association] and is a founding member of Girls Sport Victoria (GSV).cite web
url =|title = Member Schools|accessdate = 2007-10-11|last = Mawkes|first = Leonie |year = 2005|work = Profile|publisher = Girls Sport Victoria


Toorak College takes its name from the township of Toorak, where it opened as a boys' school on Wednesday, January 21 1874. At first, classes were held in the brick hall of St John's Presbyterian Church in Jackson Street, Toorak, but the school soon moved into specially erected buildings in nearby Douglas Street. The founding Principal was John Stevens Miller, a Scot, who had been involved in several schools since his arrival in Victoria, in 1854.His successor, John Thomas Craig, was also a Scot. During his years at Toorak College (1877–1895), Craig built the school into one of the largest privately-owned schools in Melbourne, and he had a reputation as a fine educationist. After the prosperity of the 1880s, the economic difficulties of the next decade reduced enrolments dramatically. Craig, whose health had never been strong, leased his school to Margaret Oliver Tripp.

Margaret Tripp was a lady of many educational interests and long teaching experience. Assisted by two of her sisters, she took over Toorak College on February 4 1895. She is most important in the school's history, because in 1897 she changed Toorak College from a boys' school to a school for girls.

Toorak College was a very small school when its next Principal, Ellen Blundell Pye, arrived late in 1899. She encouraged the playing of a range of sports such as tennis, basketball, athletics, cricket and rowing. Slowly, numbers of pupils increased and a school spirit developed, expressed in "The Games Song" written during this period. The original building and the Red House, built by Pye to house junior boarders, still stand in Douglas Street as part of Glamorgan School, now the Toorak campus of Geelong Grammar School.

Ill health forced Ellen Pye to retire at the end of 1907, and the three Hamilton sisters came from Alexandra College, Hamilton, to take her place. They remained for nearly thirty years. Isabella and Robina (Beanie) were co-Principals and Barbara had charge of the Boarding House. Although new buildings were erected, the site at Douglas Street was no longer adequate. In 1919, the school moved to Mayfield Avenue off Glenferrie Road, Malvern. A severe influenza epidemic delayed the opening of classes that year until March 10. The 230 students found their new school "a very paradise of model classrooms, a playing field such as we never dreamt of, and a real Chapel with stone walls and stained glass windows".Citequote|date=August 2008

The parents and Old Girls of the school came to its rescue late in 1926, as it was proposed to close Toorak College. Many felt the loss of the College and the influence of the Misses Hamilton would be detrimental to the education of girls. After Speech Night 1926, a committee of parents was established for the purpose of continuing Toorak College as a private company. The school was moved into temporary premises known as "The Towers", in Lansell Road, Toorak, while a new home was found for it.

Late in 1928, the school moved for the third time, this time to its present site in Mount Eliza. For the next fifteen years, during which the Misses Hamilton retired and the country suffered another economic depression and then a war, enrolments were very low and the school continued only because of the support of its pupils, past and present.One sign of a recovery in Toorak College's fortunes was when Mrs Wardle (Headmistress 1943–1958) established junior classes. These were held in places as far apart as the Long Walk (new Year 9 block), "The Elephant", and "The Dolls House", until 1957 when, due to the gifts of Sir Reginald Ansett and Sir Norman Carson, two benefactors of the school, a separate Junior School was built in Charles Street, and named Wardle House. By the time Wardle retired in 1958, the composition of the pupils at the school had begun to change dramatically from the country boarding school as visualised by the Misses Hamilton. The growth of the Mornington Peninsula as a residential zone created a demand for education for day girls, and the years Lillian Bush spent as Headmistress (1961–1966) saw great developments in facilities at the school. Wardle House gained a hall and an extra classroom; the Norman Carson Library was in full use; the Mary Herring Hall was built and the Science Block planned.

Dorothea Cerutty led the school during the decade 1967–1976. Under her leadership, Toorak College experienced a period of considerable growth. It gained audio-visual facilities, and the swimming pool, new boarding house and the Chapel were opened. In 1981, the School Council undertook to have a history of the school written and in November 1987, "The Echoes Fade Not: a history of Toorak College", was launched.

With the completion in 1983 of the new Years 7 and 8 classroom block on the site formerly occupied by the Memorial Block, and in 1984 of the new Year 10 block, and the refurbishing of the Long Walk classrooms as homes for Year 9, Toorak College is developing in the tradition established since the years of Ellen Pye's principalship.

Toorak College is one of the Best schools in Victoria with the best teachers available. If you have to chose a school for your child this would be the best possible choice.

House system

Toorak College's house system began in 1928, when the school moved to Mount Eliza. Pupils were allotted to Douglas, Mayfield or Hamilton: the first two named after earlier addresses of the school and Hamilton after the then principals. In 1948, a further House, Tripp, for day girls was founded, but as day student numbers grew, a second House, Pye, was introduced for them in 1955. The original three Houses remained for boarders until 1962 when boarders and day girls were integrated in each of the Houses. In 1984, another House was added, Cerutty, to honour Dorothea Cerutty, who led the school during the decade 1967–1976.


Alumnae of Toorak College are commonly referred to as Old Girls, and may elect to join the schools alumni association, the Toorak College Old Girls Association (TCOGA). The Toorak College "Old Girls Club" was founded on 15 June 1908, as a way of keeping past students in touch with one another. In 1918, its name was changed to "The Old Girls Association of Toorak College", and featured a membership of 389. Today there are approximately 3,000 members, and the association aims to support the College by providing such things as funds for the Archives Centre, Scholarships, student prizes, the Year 12 Leavers' Cocktail Party and Year 7 Luncheon. The TCOGA also supports a Golf and Tennis team which compete against other Old Collegian Associations.cite web|url=|title= About the Toorak College Old Girls Association|accessdate= 2008-05-14 |work= Toorak College Old Girls Association|publisher= Toorak College]

Some notable Toorak College Old Girls include: ;Aviation
*Freda Mary Thompson – Pioneering aviator, fifth woman in Australia to attain a commercial pilots licensecite encyclopedia| last = Dennis| first = Val| encyclopedia =Australian Dictionary of Biography| title = Thompson, Freda Mary (1906 - 1980) | url =| accessdate = 2008-03-15| edition = Online | year = 2002| publisher = Melbourne University Press| volume = 16| location = Melbourne| pages = p.381]

*Sir Francis William Rolland – Clergyman and educatorcite encyclopedia| last = Keith| first = B.R| encyclopedia =Australian Dictionary of Biography| title = Rolland, Sir Francis William (1878 - 1965) | url =| accessdate = 2008-03-15| edition = Online | year = 1988| publisher = Melbourne University Press| volume = 11| location = Melbourne| pages = pp.444-446]

;Entertainment, media and the arts
*Dame Zara Bate DBE – Fashion designer and wife of former Prime Minister Harold Holt (also attended Ruyton Girls' School)cite encyclopedia | last = Heywood | first = Anne | encyclopedia =Australian Women Biographical entry | title = Bate, Zara Kate (1909 - 1989)| url = | accessdate = 2008-02-01 | edition = Online | year = 2002 | publisher = National Foundation for Australian Women | location = Melbourne]
*Kristie Coade – Australian actress from TV show "Summer Heights High"
*Jessica Featherby – Australian actress from TV show "Summer Heights High"
*Eliza Jane Rowe – married to Prince James of Langford
*Lara Jean Marshall – Actress and recording artist best known for her co-star role on "The Saddle Club"
*Joanna Murray-Smith – Novelist, screenwriter and playwrightcite news| first = Jonathan| last = Green | title = Famous alumni on Latham's hit list| url =| work = Politics| publisher = Crikey| date = 2005-03-30| accessdate = 2007-08-06]

;Medicine and science
*Vera Scantlebury Brown – Pioneering medical practitionercite encyclopedia| last = Campbell| first = Kate | encyclopedia =Australian Dictionary of Biography| title =Scantlebury Brown, Vera (1889 - 1946) | url =| accessdate = 2008-03-15| edition = Online | year = 1988| publisher = Melbourne University Press| volume = 11| location = Melbourne| pages = pp.530-531]
*Gwynneth Buchanan – Zoologistcite encyclopedia| last = Close| first = Cecily | encyclopedia =Australian Dictionary of Biography| title =Buchanan, Gwynneth Vaughan (1886 - 1945) | url =| accessdate = 2008-03-15| edition = Online | year = 1979| publisher = Melbourne University Press| volume = 7| location = Melbourne| pages = pp.471-472]
*Thomas Stephen Hart – Scientistcite encyclopedia| last = Farrall| first = Lyndsay | encyclopedia =Australian Dictionary of Biography| title =Hart, Thomas Stephen (1871 - 1960)| url =| accessdate = 2008-03-15| edition = Online | year = 1983| publisher = Melbourne University Press| volume = 9| location = Melbourne| pages = pp.221-222]
*Dame Mary Ranken Lyle Herring – Physician and community worker


See also

* List of schools in Victoria
* List of schools offering the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme

External links

* [ Toorak College Website]

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