Chum Creek Rebuild 1952Outdoor education began at Chum Creek. Wesley alumni with skills in architecture, engineering and many trades, as well as  teaching staff and students, especially boarders, rallied to support the outdoor education program at Chum Creek, beginning with the building of the original mess hut in 1952.


Dr Tom Coates OBEDr Tom Coates OBE, the 12th Headmaster of Wesley College, served from 1957 to 1971.


Syndal Campus openingThe Glen Waverley Campus, originally called Syndal Junior School, opened.

Low, horizontal, modern: the Glen Waverley Campus opened in 1966 as Wesley's Syndal Junior School. The former orchard awaits new tree planting.

The First Hundred Years

Wesley College – The First Hundred Years publicationThe third history of the school, Wesley College – The First Hundred Years by OWs Geoffrey Blainey, James Morrissey and SEK Hulme, was published in 1966.

Lion magazine coverThe first 100 years of Wesley was celebrated at the Founders’ Day Dinner.


David Prest AMDavid Prest AM, the 13th Headmaster (the title later changed to Principal), served from 1972 to 1991.

Prest transformed Wesley College in many ways, but his greatest legacy was the introduction of coeducation. He also oversaw an incredible expansion of the College including the incorporation of Cato College as the Elsternwick Campus.


Cadets Wesley College 1975The last group of officers of the Cadet Corps was photographed in 1975.

Established in 1867, the Cadet Corps was disbanded in 1975 following changes in government policy and waning interest.


A coeducation classCoeducation was introduced, starting with students in the Beginners to Year 3 classes. Coeducation had been temporarily introduced in 1917 when South Melbourne College was incorporated into Wesley, with a dozen girls added to the roll, prior to the permanent introduction of coeducation in 1978.

Wesley College Foundation

The Wesley College Foundation was established.

Since its establishment in 1866, Wesley College has relied on the generosity of its donors and benefactors – alumni, parents, past parents and community friends – to enhance its facilities, develop its academic programs, fund the rich diversity of cocurricular and sporting activities, and increase the number of scholarships on offer.


Boarders at Wesley College

The boarding house at Wesley College closed.


Students in the Wesley College Society for the ArtsThe Wesley College Society for the Arts was launched to promote the arts.

Since 1981, thousands of students have benefitted from the activities of the Wesley College Society for the Arts. The society has presented a wide variety of events including artists-in-residence ranging from jazz legend Bob Sedergreen to Professor Charles Castleman (with his Stradivarius), photo journalists, playwrights, painters and sculptors.


Camp MallanaFormal acquisition of Camp Mallana on the Gippsland Lakes provided another outdoor education facility.


Adamson Theatre Company posterThe Adamson Theatre Company at the St Kilda Road Campus, honouring the great tradition of performing arts at Wesley, was officially named. Richard of Bordeaux was one of the Company’s early productions.


Elsternwick Campus launch Wesley CollegeThe Elsternwick Campus of Wesley College was formally established when Cato College, formerly the Elsternwick Campus of Methodist Ladies’ College, merged with Wesley College at the end of 1988.

St Kilda Road Campus fire

Wesley College fire 1989

Fire destroyed much at the St Kilda Road Campus, including irreplaceable archival material.


The first coeducation classThe first coeducation class, the Beginners of 1978, graduated as Year 12s in 1990.


Glen McArthurD Glen McArthur, the 14th Principal of Wesley College, served from 1992 to 1996.

McArthur was a great supporter of arts and the development of Elsternwick.


Special Interest Music Centre, ElsternwickThe Special Interest Music Centre, later renamed the McArthur Music School, opened at Elsternwick.


International Baccalaureate Diploma ProgrammeThe International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme was introduced.

Pictured: teacher Anna Simonsen instructs student Tanya Wilkinson in Mandarin.


David LoaderDavid Loader OAM, the 15th Principal of Wesley College, served from 1997 to 2002.

Loader was the driving force behind the introduction of student computer-based learning and also established the Year 9 residential program at Clunes.


Clunes residential program opensThe residential program for Year 9 students opened at Clunes in 2000.


Helen DrennenDr Helen Drennen AM, the 16th Principal of Wesley College, served from 2003 to 2018.

Drennen, Wesley’s 16th and first female Principal, was appointed in 2003. Her achievements included implementing the International Baccalaureate program across Prep to Year 12, engaging partners in learning through the Yiramalay/Wesley Studio School and the Year 9 program at Clunes, and reintroducing boarding to Wesley in Melbourne through the Learning in Residence program.

Fourth college history publication

A great Australian school: Wesley College examinedThe fourth College history, A Great Australian School: Wesley College examined, by Dr Andrew Lemon was published in 2004.


Sir Gustav NossalThe Wesley College Institute for Innovation in Education was launched by founding patron Sir Gustav Nossal.

Fitzroy Valley

Fitzroy Valley

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Fitzroy Valley community and Wesley College to work together on educational and other projects.


Coates Pavilion Wesley College

The redeveloped Coates Pavilion at the Glen Waverley Campus was opened in 2009.


Yiramalay/Wesley Studio SchoolThe Yiramalay/Wesley Studio School, the result of a partnership between the Fitzroy Valley community and Wesley College, was formally opened on 20 May.

College Sports Centre

The new College Sports Centre at Glen Waverley

The new College Sports Centre at the Glen Waverley Campus was opened.


Moubray Street Precinct redevelopmentThe Moubray Street Precinct Redevelopment, featuring a new Music School, refurbished Menzies Wing and Adamson Hall, was opened by Her Excellency, Dame Quentin Bryce AD, CVO, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia.


The Marquis of Linlithgow flower bedIn 2016 Wesley College celebrated its 150th anniversary with events across the world.

Boarding returns

Learning in Residence at the Glen Waverley campusBoarding returned to Wesley with the opening of Learning in Residence at the Glen Waverley Campus in 2016.


The Wells Centre, the first stage of a state-of-the-art redevelopment and expansion of the Middle School at the Glen Waverley Campus, opened for Years 5 and 6 students. Construction of the Drennen Centre, the second stage of the redevelopment, continued in preparation for opening in 2019. The Drennen Centre includes new facilities for Years 7 to 9 students as well as a campus chapel, library and language centre.


Nick EvansThe appointment of Nicholas Evans (OW1985) as the 17th Principal of Wesley College, to commence in July 2019, was announced in 2018, with Deputy Principal Richard Brenker as Acting Principal in the interim.