Community of Believers - Westbourne Grammar 1867 - 2017
Opened in 1867 to meet the growing educational needs of Melbourne’s west, the School’s early decades were quite challenging; with financial concerns, a temporary closure and the lack of permanent, purpose-built facilities being ongoing issues.
What would prove to be a turning point in the School’s history occurred in 1911 with the appointment of Mabel Molland. A young teacher of enormous ability, she would become principal in 1914 and, for the next fifty years, would be instrumental in keeping the School going.
From 1915 to 1955, classes were held in the Holy Trinity Church hall in Williamstown and then, from 1956, at Monomeith, a Victorian mansion on The Strand. By the mid-1970s, plans were underway to grow the school and build at Truganina. In 1978, Mabel Molland’s grand vision for a purpose-built school with extensive grounds and well-resourced educational facilities was realised when the first Year 7 students began their secondary education at Westbourne Grammar—the name chosen for the new campus.
Under the leadership of principals John Pascoe (1976-1989), Geoffrey Ryan (1990-2010) and currently Meg Hansen the reputation of the school as the leading learning community in the region has been significantly enhanced. Pastoral care programs are well established. There is a dedicated Year 9 program, an early learning centre, a House system, a chaplain and a very wide range of opportunities to participate in music, drama, sport, outdoor education and service activities.
From the beginning, Westbourne has been characterised by its enduring community spirit and a determination to survive and prosper, even when confronted with what might have seemed insurmountable obstacles. Indeed, what has sustained and enriched the School has been the willingness of so many groups and individuals to work together to achieve common goals and aspirations.