Donvale Christian College

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Donvale Christian College (DCC), is an independent, private, Christian, day coeducational school, located in Donvale, an eastern suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Founded in 1974 as an idea of a Christian Parent Committee, Donvale Christian College became one of the leading parent-controlled schools in Victoria. The Christian school currently caters for over 1,360 (as of the end of 2019) students from Prep to Year 12. Donvale Christian College features co-educational, Christian for students in Prep to Year 12.

Donvale Christian College is affiliated with EISM (Eastern Independent Schools Melbourne), SSV (School Sport Victoria Association), CEN (Christian Education National, Victorian Branch).

Template:Infobox school

School History[1]

Members of a Reformed Church in Eastern Melbourne had a desire to open a Christian school, for their children to receive a Christian education.

The dream was to open a Saturday School, where the children would be taught in subjects such as: 'Bible Study', 'Church History' and 'Singing'.

A committee for the logistics of opening this new school was appointed by the session of the Reformed Church of Box Hill in 1963. Most of the committee influenced by their Christian-Dutch roots.

Many of the members of the committee were inspired by the Christian-based, parent-controlled education in The Netherlands. Many of the committee members believed that the responsibility of educating children was on the parents, and that there was a lack of parent-controlled, Christian education in Australia.[2]

Originally intended to be a Primary School, advertising was placed along roads which stated: "A PRIMARY SCHOOL WILL BE ERECTED HERE WHERE GOD-CENTRED EDUCATION WILL BE PROVIDED".

The aim was to create an affordable, non-denominational school, with the first fees of students (who were not part of families of the members of the committee) being set at $360.

At 2:30pm on the 25th of January 1975, Sir James Darling and the past Association President, Johannes de Graaf, unveiled the plaque, opening Donvale Christian School.

From 1975, the enrolment of students at the college has gone from 90 students (1975) to 1,360 (2019). This is a growth of 1,270 students.

School Departments

Donvale Christian College is divided into two educational zones.

  • The Primary (Junior) School for girls from Prep to Grade 6.
  • The Secondary (Senior) School, which incorporates Years 7 to 12.
    • The Secondary School is divided into a further two zones:
      • The Junior Secondary School, which incorporates Years 7 to 9.
      • The Senior Secondary School, which incorporates Years 10 to 12.


Primary School

The Junior School curriculum is designed to cater for the different needs of students. Curriculum areas are inter-related, emphasising Literacy, Mathematics and Biblical Studies as key subjects. Subjects studied at this stage include (but are not limited to) Literature, Mathematics, Science, Music, Art, Drama, Religious Education and Physical education. Chinese is introduced at a lower Primary level.[3]

Secondary School

An elective program is offered to Years 8, 9 and 10, allowing for a wide subject choice, enabling students to study subjects intensively or follow a new field of learning. The Victorian Certificate of Education is offered as the sole certificate for school-leavers in Year 11 and 12 (However, many students in Year 10 decide to complete a U1/2 (Year11) subject).

In 2017 90% of the students were offered places in the major Melbourne tertiary institutions in a wide range of courses, with 83% receiving their first or second choice.[4]

Furthermore, the school offers a wide range of extracurricular activities including involvement in music concerts, musicals, sports and community activities and leadership.



The primary school offers many performing arts pathways. Every second year, the primary school performs a musical. The most recent musical being Shrek and Peter Pan. On the even years, primary school students can display their talents through the Creative Arts Festival. This involves electives being selected (e.g. drama group, crochet, photography, dance, etc.), where the students display the areas of talent they possess.[5]

The secondary school offers, again, a wider range of performing arts options. Similarly to the primary school, the secondary school performs a musical every second year. In 2018 Donvale Christian College performed Mary Poppins, receiving two Lyrebird Youth Awards.[6] Every odd year, the secondary school performs a play. In 2019, the play performed was A Midsummer Night's Dream, by William Shakespeare, being nominated for fifteen Lyrebird Youth Awards.[7]

Due to COVID-19 impacts, the performance of Crazy For You, set to be performed in May 2020, was cancelled.

Every Year, the secondary school, as a house event, participate in the Creative Arts Week (house concerts). This gives the students opportunities to express their talent through acting, prop building, backdrop painting, dance, multimedia, etc.


Music is a growing faculty at Donvale Christian College.

The primary music program entails weekly music classes, where students are taught the basics of music education, and their God-given gifts are realised.

In both primary and secondary school, private music tutors are available for students, in lessons to learn an instrument.[8]

In secondary school, the music program excels in a number of ways. One annual event for students in jazz bands or singing groups is the Generations in Jazz festival, held annually at Mount Gambier, in South Australia. Many students anticipate this event with joy and excitement. In 2019, music students from Donvale Christian College placed third in the division open small.[9]

There are many bands that do not participate in the Generations in Jazz, but compete in other competitions. The Annual Music Concert, often held in August, allows students to display their musical talents on stage, in front of an audience.[10]


Many sporting options are also available to the students at the college.

In primary school, Physical Education (PE) is offered as a compulsory subject for students to participate in. In Years 5 and 6, students are able to participate in interschool sport, competing against other schools in the region. This is organised through SSV (School Sport Victoria Association). Along with the co-curriculum sporting activities, the students are taught the importance of good sportsmanship and teamwork in a competitive environment.[11]

In secondary school, the students, from Year 7, compete in interschool sport, electing summer and winter sports to compete in. This is organised through EISM (Eastern Independent Schools Melbourne). Furthermore, if students are successful in the co-curriculum sports, they are able to compete for the school in interschool events, such as cross-country, swimming and athletics.

Physical Education (PE) is made compulsory for students in Year 7 and 8, with the subject becoming an elective in Years 9 and 10, and a VCE subject in Years 11 and 12.[12]

House System

Both the Primary and Secondary School consist of the same house system. Each student is placed in a house group, where they participate in annual events. These events can be small to large.

The primary school students participate in big annual events such as athletics carnivals, cross-country events and Creative Arts festivals.

When a student enters secondary school, they are offered a wider range of house activities to be involved in. These involve the house swimming carnival, the house athletics carnival, Creative Arts Week and cross-country. Other smaller house events are organised, such as house debating, house theatre sports, etc.

The houses at Donvale Christian College are named after famous Australian Explorers. They are:

House System at Donvale Christian College
House Name and Colour Namesake
Template:Font color James Cook
Template:Font color Matthew Flinders
Template:Font color Hamilton Hume
Template:Font color Charles Sturt

School Leadership

The School consists of a Primary School (Prep - Year 6) and a Secondary School (Year 7 - Year 12). The leaders of the college are as follows:[13]

  • Executive Principal: Mr. Timothy Argall
  • Head of Secondary School: Mr. Steve Venour
    • Head of Senior Secondary School: Mr. Michael Halliday
    • Head of Junior Secondary School: Mrs. Lisa Sacristani
  • Head of Primary School: Mrs. Tanya Vaughan

Past Principles of Donvale Christian College include:

  • Mr. Stewart Miller (1975-1982)
  • Mrs. Ruth Nicholds (1982-1985)
  • Mr. Ray Meers (1986-1990)
  • Mrs. Yvonne Bradley (1991-2008)
  • Mr. Ross Grace (2009-2016)
  • Mr. Timothy Argall (2016–Present)

Year 9 Program

The Year 9 Program at Donvale Christian College allows students to immerse themselves in education which is focused on service, stewardship and nature.[14]

A compulsory, one week hiking camp for the students to attend ("Wilderness Experience") is held in Term One, in the Bogong High Plains, Victoria. Here, the students learn outdoor living techniques such as cooking over a trangea, tent anatomy and weather, flora and fauna protection measures.

The program offers the students the subject OAT (Outdoor Educational Training), which allows students to learn about the techniques of outdoor living and adventure. It involves three camps over three terms. They are:

Each term is set out in a new focus. They are:

  • Term One: Marvel and Mystery
  • Term Two: Fallen Humanity
  • Term Three: Experiences in Renewal
  • Term Four: Future Shift

See also


  1. Tulloh, Elizabeth (2015). 40th Year Celebration. Donvale: Donvale Christian College. pp. 1–22. 
  2. McCulloch, Beulah (December 2016). "A bold investment of faith" (in EN). Nurture: the voice of the National Union of Associations for Christian Parent-controlled Schools 50 (4): 16.;dn=483374984605821;res=IELHSS. 
  3. College, Donvale Christian (2020-08-08). "Primary (Prep to Year 6)" (in en). 
  4. College, Donvale Christian (2020-08-08). "Upper Secondary (Year 10 to VCE)" (in en). 
  5. College, Donvale Christian (2020-08-08). "Performing Arts" (in en). 
  6. "2018 Lyrebird Youth Winners – Lyrebird Awards" (in en-AU). 
  7. "2019 Lyrebird Youth Nominations – Lyrebird Awards" (in en-AU). 
  8. College, Donvale Christian (2020-08-08). "Music" (in en). 
  9. "The Awards - Generations in Jazz". 
  10. College, Donvale Christian (2020-08-08). "Music" (in en). 
  11. College, Donvale Christian (2020-08-08). "Sport" (in en). 
  12. College, Donvale Christian (2020-08-08). "Sport" (in en). 
  13. College, Donvale Christian (2020-08-08). "Our Leadership and Governance" (in en). 
  14. College, Donvale Christian (2020-08-08). "Year 9 Experience" (in en).