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The Tradition of Excellence

McKinnon Secondary College 1954–2014

This book is a 60-year pictorial history that traces McKinnon Secondary College from its humble beginning in 1954 through to the excellence of the present day. Originally named McKinnon High School, it was a typical outer-suburban growth-corridor school of the 1950s. Many growth-corridor schools disappeared as demographic changes reduced student numbers several decades later. McKinnon overcame this problem of the early 1980s and has thrived over the last three decades, with 1,850 students currently attending and an enviable reputation.

McKinnon Secondary College is a unique government community school that is best summed up by the Age (Real Estate Section, 21 August 2010): ‘McKinnon is a small, unassuming suburb with one massive drawcard: the celebrated McKinnon Secondary College.
Its academic and musical achievements make it one of Victoria’s top non-selective state schools, but   enrolment is usually restricted to students living    in the zone … the college factor adds 5 per cent  to 10 per cent to the value of every sale in the area.’


The book focuses on the interplay of tradition with the response to changing times and how the school has retained its focus on academic performance and music. The photographs, both old black and white and more recent colour shots, reveal much about each chronological period. In recent decades the culture of success has expanded into all aspects of school life,         including sport, extracurricular activities and       community service. The school’s tradition of       excellence and leadership are analysed and the     reasons for the culture of success are outlined.



The colourful language of one of the early principals, Mr Van Pepper (1958), is still relevant: “There is a tendency in this Australia of ours to sneer at the outstanding, to reduce all to the dead level of mediocrity. We must have none of this at McKinnon High. Rather, we must encourage our gifted to make full use of their capacities.”

Hardback, 334 pages (210 x 297mm)
• Over 500 photographs and documents

To Purchase:




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