College History

In 1983 the then Labor Government identified a patch of land in the burgeoning outer Melbourne suburb of Langwarrin and earmarked it for the construction of a Secondary School. In their wisdom, they introduced a new concept in Secondary Education with the establishment of six new schools around the perimeter of Melbourne calling them Post Primary Schools. These schools were for the first time designed to bring together the older style concept of High School and Technical School Education under the one banner providing the best of both systems in the one location. So it came to pass that in 1984 under the guidance of founding Principal Mr Frank Gray, Langwarrin Post Primary School was born. 

The school boasted a total of 17 teachers, a registrar, one office staff, a cleaner and 10 portable classrooms. As history would see it, it was an experiment that found the six Post Primary Schools fighting a lone battle to win the hearts and minds of their students and parents. After two years of fighting the good fight, and trying to convince everyone from the school communities that being in a Post Primary School did not mean you were still at Primary School, the Government relented and changed the name of these schools to Secondary Colleges. The concept of one school for all however was not abandoned and soon the old high schools and tech schools disappeared and every school became a ‘secondary college’. So in 1987, Langwarrin Secondary College was born. 

This was an exciting time for education in Victoria and these schools were at the forefront of many curriculum innovations. Our school grew quickly and each year presented new challenges culminating in 1989 as the first Year 12 group enrolled in the last year of HSC and STC year 12 courses. We were trialling the new VCE program at Year 11 at this stage and so were well prepared for its introduction in Year 12 in 1990. 

As you can see, the constituency of the Langwarrin Post Primary School and Langwarrin Secondary College have been constantly undergoing change and at the heart of every change has always been a quest for a better outcome for our students. A student-centred curriculum with the opportunities for all our students as the number one priority. 

More recently, the College underwent another significant change. Along with a widespread review of curriculum, welfare provision, staffing and major building projects, we were fortunate enough to gain permission to change the name of our college once again. Dame Elisabeth Murdoch is a woman of renown, admired across Australia and the world. She holds a very special place in the hearts of people from Langwarrin as this has been her home since 1929. We were honoured to be able to name our College after her with respect and reverence. So in 2004, Elisabeth Murdoch College was born and our new uniform was symbolic of this change. 

In this, over the Secondary College’s 25 plus years of operation, it can truly boast a marvellous history with the success documented on all levels of curriculum, sport, the performing arts, hospitality and, of course, our wonderful Farm. A mixture of outstanding commitment to the social welfare and personal growth of our students. Over that time, we have seen our College grow from a small group of portables sitting alone in a muddy field to a sophisticated, modern set of buildings reflecting the scope and variety of education we are able to provide. 

In 2009, we celebrated our 25th anniversary and we are preparing for a successful future over the next 25 years. We do know that Elisabeth Murdoch College will continue to strive to provide the best possible education for its community remaining true to its original premise; a student centred curriculum providing opportunities for all to be the best they can be.