Martyn Smith, writing about Wesley College Melbourne


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Education Outdoors | Open Entry Enrolment | City Curriculum Project | Coeducation | Junior School | People | Boarding | History and Philosophy

Rev John Wesley MA  (1703-91)

Bio on this site

John Benjamin Wesley, born 17 June 1703, Epworth, England - fifteenth child of Samuel and Susanna.  Rescued from house-fire 1709.  Educated at home, Charterhouse School and Oxford University.  Elected Fellow of Lincoln College 1726.  Ordained C of E priest 1728.  Life's work inspired 24 May 1738 - "I felt my heart strangely warmed".   Died 2 March 1791, London, England.

The College is named after this eighteenth century English social reformer

Open Entry Enrolment 

1993  ‘Open Entry’ in its Historical Context - Our Social Mission.  Has it largely been a reactive response rather than a proactive policy?
Late twentieth-century Wesley College inherits an educational tradition which reaches back through the school's  foundation in 1865 to the eighteenth-century mission of the Reverend John Wesley.... Read more

1996  The Importance of All
Whilst fee levels and Wesley's rare inability to provide a suitable educational program narrow the field of entry to the school, Wesley's 'open entry' enrolment policy stems from the very genesis of its existence.... Read more

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Education Outdoors

1993  Chum Creek's Fortieth
The fortieth anniversary of the first Form Camp held at Chum Creek was celebrated at the camp on a wet Wednesday early in November last year.... Read more

1994  Mallana - Year Six Paradise
To watch Year Six students return from Camp Mallana on warmish November evenings, each year, is one of my Junior School delights.  Here are 'Storm Boys' from the Coorong, 'Karanas' from the Island of the Blue Dolphins.... Read more

1998  Portland Dreaming
They’re wise those teachers at Portland, Ross and Kate!  It’s mid-February in southern Australia and we’re camped in a bushy patch beside the Bridgewater Lakes, nestled gloriously between farmland and the Southern Ocean coast...  Read more

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Junior School

1994  Quiet Helpers
At any time during the life of a year in the Junior School, many people serve the students quietly and unobtrusively.... Read more

1995  In The Junior School
In a book called ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’, the father says to his daughter (whose nickname is ‘Scout’), “If you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks.  You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view – until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”.... Read more

1995  Overview of Pastoral Care in the Junior School at Glen Waverley
Pastoral care is the overseeing and guarding of the students' emotional, physical, social and educational well-being insofar as it relates to the students' life at Wesley.... Read more

1995  Preadolescent = energy and altruism
Once upon at time, at Wesley's western Campus, I taught middle to late teenagers Economics and Geography, English and History.  I also looked after those of them who lived at the school, in the old Adamson Boarding House.... Read more

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1977  Reverend James S. Waugh
When we think about the people who gave us Wesley College over 100 years ago, we musn't forget Daniel Draper and Walter Powell.  Both these men planned the building of the school but, strangely, neither of them was present at Opening Day, 11 January, 1866.... Read more

1977  Tony Conabere begins at Glen Waverley
Whilst not quite so hair-raising a tractor trailer ride a-la-Lormer, remembered with varying degrees of fondness by nineteen years of Wesley boys at Chum Creek, the new Headmaster of the Junior School.... Read more

1978  A story worth telling about James Flett
Martyn Smith, Lay Chaplain at Glen Waverley, has provided the following chain of co-incidental events.... Read more [includes an image]

1985  Tony Conabere ends at Glen Waverley
An article in 'The Lion' of December, 1977, said: "...he brings to the Junior School at Wesley his own empathy with spaciousness, beauty of environment and imaginative use of resources.... Read more

1991  Retirement of Beryl Cox
There is only one member of staff universally known to every Wesley College student and teacher who has attended Wesley at Glen Waverley.  That person is Beryl Cox.... Read more

1994  Barbara Lynch, Head of Glen Waverley Campus, 1986-1994
Mrs Barbara Lynch's Headship of the Glen Waverley Campus saw the campus reach its full development as a Beginners to Year 12 co-educational school.... Read more

200Tribute to Judy Ridgway
Commencing in 1975, Judith Ridgway served the Wesley community with high distinction.   Initially appointed as a part-time remedial teacher, Judy became one of the carefully selected teachers who prepared, and then taught in, Glen Waverley’s exciting new 1978 coeducational Preparatory School.... Read more

200Opening of The Beryl Cox Health Centre
The Beryl Cox Health Centre was officially opened on Wednesday, 31 October, 2001 – All Hallows Eve.... Read more

2003  Jenny Wajsenberg, Principal of Glen Waverley Campus, 1997-2003
My first memory of Jenny, just after she arrived at Glen Waverley, was her rather brusque “I can give you only four minutes” as I trailed her into her office, having made an appointment to discuss something or other with her.... Read more

2003  Honouring Sarah Davidson
“I think it was about five this morning that I opened my Testament on those words, ‘There are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, even that ye should be partakers of the divine nature’.”..... Read more

2010  Tribute to Mick Parker
It is an understatement to describe Mick as a ‘modest hero’, but, certainly, he was.  Never one for a public show, he just did his ‘thing’, quietly and passionately...... Read more


1981  Coed can work
If shortcomings attributed to coeducational schools (Accent, 4/3) are real, it is repair of the schools' operations that is needed, not the abandonment of the coeducational goal.  A good coeducational school will have consciously and effectively counteracted sexist prejudice and redressed discrimination. (That's it!  Item in  'Access Age', 'The Age' newspaper, 5/3/81.)

1998  Twenty Years of Coeducation at Wesley
Pitted together by ‘The Age’ last October, Wesley’s David Loader and MLC’s Rosa Storelli jointly declared the primacy of school quality over gender in a refreshing response to renewed debate regarding coeducation.  A pertinent touch of sibling school congruence!.... Read more

History and Philosophy

1977  A History of the School
"The new institution is to be conducted, not on sectarian, but on general and catholic religious principles.  In subservience to this, it is designed to afford the youth of our colony a first class classical and commercial education, as well as instruction in the higher branches of literature".... Read more

1982  What it means to be a Christian School
Within minutes of commencing the inaugural address of Wesley College in January, 1866, College President James Waugh directed the overflow Wesleyan congregation to "recognize the goodness of that Great Being whom in this undertaking we desire to serve and glorify".... Read more

1987  The Values, Philosophy and Ideology of the Culture of Wesley College
In his 1985 paper entitled A Conceptual Framework for the Development and Maintenance of a Co-ordinated School Culture, Dr Ross Millikan writes.... Read more

1989  The Glen Waverley Story
A sequence of events starting thirty years previously will complete a full cycle when the last finishing touch is made to Wesley's new boarding facility at Glen Waverley late in 1994..... Read more [includes an image]

1990  A History of the School
Wesley College Melbourne is situated on three metropolitan campuses - Prahran, Glen Waverley and Elsternwick - and two permanent camps, one in mountain bushland and the other by the coast.  Now coeducational, it was a school for boys until December, 1977.... Read more

1995  Select thoughts following Glen Waverley CMT Wesley Review Meeting with Graeme Samuel and Peter Clarke
I claimed at the meeting that Wesley College's essential mission (the 'sap' of the Wesley 'tree') is, in a nutshell, to nurture the goodness of all its students through education.... Read more

1996  Thirty Years Strong
Glen Waverley Campus is thirty years strong, 
Vive la Compagnie!
So in purple and gold we will sing you this song.
Vive la Compagnie! .... Read more

1997  Wesley College Song Book
The Wesley Song Book is an important conserver of the culture of the College.  It stands as a 104 year old codification of the sentiments and values of the school.... Read more

1999  10-Year+ Staff Questionnaire (Glen Waverley) 
[Responses to research questionnaire used by historian Andrew Lemon].... Read more

2000  Wesley's Heritage
Wesley College is founded in a person, John Wesley.  Wesley proclaimed, in his brother Charles’ words, God’s “undistinguishing regard” for all people.  Believing with St Peter that humanity “might be partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4), Wesley strove tirelessly to transform eighteenth century British society.  His was a radical, social and personal gospel that brought, amongst myriad other initiatives, an extensive network of common schools for the previously unschooled..... Read more

2001  Church and School Go Separate Ways
The Uniting Church stunned the educational establishment today when it announced that it had sold most of Melbourne's 135 year-old Wesley College..... Read more [includes an image]

2002  There's An Open Road
Thanks Jenny.  Thank you to Doug and to Greg for all of those words.  I appreciated every single one of them and wasn't it good to hear Greg deflate a bit of ego there?.... Read more  

2003  1865 Name-Change at Wesley
David Dunn at GW has asked me to write a short piece re John Wesley and Wesley College.  A significant fact for David is the name-change from 'Wesleyan Methodist Grammar School' to 'Wesley College Melbourne' in late 1865.... Read more

2003  John Wesley : Doing All The Good He Could  
Until just three months before it opened in January 1866, the school we now know as ‘Wesley College’ was to be named ‘Wesleyan Methodist Grammar School’, words that were to adorn the pediment of the new, cement-rendered building with its two grey towers on the road to St Kilda.....Read more [includes images]

2003  L. A. Adamson - For The Class Of 2004
One hundred and one years ago, this man, Mr L. A. Adamson - photographed here in 1902 - became Principal or, using the title of the time, 'Headmaster' of Wesley.....Read more [includes images and an audio clip]

2013  Thomas Rix and the Establishment of Wesley College Melbourne
Thomas Rix was a highly-regarded Wesleyan Methodist layman who was officially and actively involved in his Church’s extensive educational work, including the establishment of Wesley College Melbourne, in the mid-nineteenth century, especially between 1855 and 1862.....Read more [contains many links to primary sources and the sequel to Rix's story]

2015  Happy, Cheerful Home
150 years ago today, in 1865, Wesley College didn’t exist.  But, it was beginning to......Read more

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City Curriculum Project

1996  City Curriculum Pilot Project Concept Statement
Based in CBD premises and under the guidance of the Head of the Year 9 City Curriculum Pilot Project and Year 9 Homeroom Teachers, Year 9 students, largely self regulated, will use the resources found in the City of Melbourne.... Read more

1997  All in Good Time
"...only through the creation of a critical present is the future going to be more important than the past."  Poignantly significant, it was almost exactly ten years ago that today's College President Daryl Jackson spoke these intriguing words.... Read more

1997  Year Nine City Curriculum Pilot Project
Forming one segment of a planned revitalisation of Middle School curriculum, this  project, dubbed ‘the CCP’, came to fruition in 1997 following preliminary work commenced in 1996.... Read more

1998  City Curriculum: Imperatives
The CCP must remain true to its genesis as a recommendation of the 1996 ‘Glen Waverley Middle Years Project Team’.... Read more

1998  Why Have a City Curriculum?
Because it nurtures occurrences like this:   It was some time between 10.30 and 11.00 am, Thursday, 3rd September - the second day of 9O's CCP.  In the Homeroom, Brett, Ashley and Tom were gently discussing  the Legislative Assembly's 'Question Time'.... Read more

2000  Farewell to the CCP
The City Curriculum Project is proving to be a champion thoroughbred.  And what a lucky trainer I have been!.... Read more

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1974  Impressions after a First Year
The overriding 'impression' that I receive from this first year as Housemaster of Adamson is the problem one faces in a community life like ours in, as John Kennedy and Mr Prest both mentioned in their recent addresses, dovetailing the worth of the individual and his rights into the worth of the community and its rights.... Read more

1980  Miss Bobbitt leaves Wesley
Miss Lucy Bobbitt, resident Assistant Matron since July, 1969, commands unique perspectives of the Wesley College Boarding House..... Read more

1987  Eulogy for Ken Raper
Ken would forgive me, I know, if I start with a football story.... Read more

2009  Impressions after Thirty-five Years
It’s good to be back in the Dining Hall again.  For most of us, it is probably only the first or second time that we have eaten here together as boarders, exclusively, since we left the House.... Read more

2017  Tribute to Steve McKenna
“It’s just about the music.”  These 2006 words of Steve McKenna’s well may have been his mantra.  When boarding at Wesley in the mid-70s he was inseparable from his guitar....... Read more  [Links to two audio interviews for further information are provided as footnotes.]

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