From the Archives: Thriving at School

This year the Uniting Church in Australia celebrates its 40th anniversary. Throughout 2017, Revive will feature significant events in the life of the church during that time. This edition, we focus on Uniting Church WA schools.

At the time of Union, five schools became part of the Uniting Church WA network. Methodist Ladies’ College, Penrhos College, Presbyterian Ladies’ College, Scotch College and Wesley College were all in operation many years before the Uniting Church formed. These schools have rich traditions and have celebrated many milestones and new initiatives.

Since Union, the Uniting Church WA has opened three schools.

St Stephen’s School (SSS) opened to students in 1984, in Duncraig. Originally for high school students, the school had 128 enrolments and was the first co-educational Uniting Church WA school. In 2001, a second St Stephen’s School campus in Carramar opened, with 470 primary and 80 secondary students. SSS is now the largest school in Western Australia, with more than 2 400 students from pre-kindy to year 12 across three sites.

Tranby College opened with 225 students in 1997. The co-educational school operates in Rockingham and currently has more than 1 100 students from kindy to year 12.

St Luke’s School opened in 1999 with 54 enrolments, four from overseas. Situated in Beeliar, the school was a joint venture between the Uniting Church WA and Beeliar Primary School, a state government school. St Luke’s School unfortunately closed in 2003.

Approximately 9 500 students are connected to the Uniting Church WA through their school. For many, it is their first experience of church. Community Service programs, working with  UnitingCare West and other agencies help to provide a wellrounded education within a Christian ethos for students all over Perth.

Top image: Doug Burtenshaw, founding Principal of Tranby College (opened in 1997), working on-site.

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