About the Thistlelonians:

The Thistlelonians was formed in 1994 to encompass the ex-students and staff of McKinnon High School/McKinnon Secondary College.

Our goal is to celebrate and facilitate communication and involvement amongst the past and present college community.

Office Bearers
Contact Details
President: Geoff Woolnough ('71)
Vice-President: Andrew Newton
(Former Assistant Principal)
Secretary: Jenny Cooke ('65)
Treasurer: Ian Jackson ('66)
Phone: (03) 8520 9092
Facebook: Check out our Facebook page

Melanie Lynch
Thistlelonians Administrator

The 2017 Grand Reunion encompasses the classes of 1962, 1972, 1977, 1987, 1997, 2007, 2012

Date: Saturday 28th October, 2017
Time: 6.30pm - School Tour
7.30pm - Reunion Begins
8.00pm - Class Photos
Where: McKinnon Secondary College Assembly Hall
291a McKinnon Road, McKinnon, VIC 3204
Dress: Smart Casual

Drinks at bar prices and finger food will be served. Gluten free option will be available.

Book tickets online at:
Online tickets $25 each

Tickets will also be available at the door on the night for $30.00 each (cash or credit)
Partners / friends are welcome

Phone: (03) 8520 9092

Please note - if you are from the class of 1967 - you will be receiving an invitation via post or email to attend your special 50th Anniversary Afternoon Tea to be held on Sunday 20th August 2pm - 4pm at the college.

2016 Grand Reunion (Classes of 1961, 1966, 1971, 1976, 1986, 1996, 2006 and 2011)

2016 50th Anniversary Afternoon Tea (Class of 1966)

Changes to the Thistlelonians

MAJOR RESTRUCTURE - In conjunction with the College Principal, Mrs Pitsa Binnion, the Committee has undertaken a massive review of our operations involving our administration and our core activities, namely memberships, reunions and communication with nearly 16,000 ex-students and staff who have a proud connection with McKinnon High/McKinnon Secondary College. The main objective of our review has been to further integrate Thistlelonians into the modern College community with a robust, efficient and long-term organization. Our former administrator, Jo Wade, who had been with us for 3 years, left McKinnon in April and the College asked Melanie Lynch to join us. Mel has been very active in this short time and by combining our ideas I will outline how we see the future. The major financial cost we incur is the use of traditional “snail mail” as our primary means of communication with our alumni which is slow, expensive and about to become even more so. By using the College IT Department, we are looking to take advantage of modern social media as our main method of liaison.

MEMBERSHIP - Our practice of posting out annual membership renewal notices has become financially and administratively onerous and we have set out the following new membership structure: - Life Members: currently 4 - Ray Hartland, Andrew Newton, Pam Dickfos and Jenny Cooke. - Lifetime Members: currently approx. 115, who have paid the $200 Lifetime Members fee, and all who choose to do so in the future. Free admission will be granted to these members’ reunions organized by Thistlelonians - Associate Members: possibly up to the 16,000 on our database. Anyone who has previously paid the annual $20 membership fee, or who will indicate in future their desire to be an Associate Member will have no fee payable. No annual renewal will be required and this will make for a smoother and financially viable administration. Voting rights at AGM will be applied to “Life Members” and “Lifetime Members” only.

THISTLELONIAN MAGAZINE - The last printed edition has been circulated and next year we will produce a digital version which will be sent electronically. The saving in printing costs will allow us to channel further funds into Thistlelonian and College projects. We do acknowledge that not everyone has access to a computer and we will accommodate anyone who advises us of their situation.

REUNIONS - With an ever increasing number of year levels eligible for reunions as the school grows older, and the modern use of social media and interaction, especially amongst the younger levels, we have decided that as from 2016, the period between reunions will be increased to 10 years, (instead of the current 5 years), for those who have left McKinnon in the past 39 years and retain the 5-year period for those who left in the past 40 years and longer. While this will mean fewer year levels at each reunion, through our improved communications we would expect to see larger numbers from each year level. From member feedback, we also believe larger numbers will attend from each level when reunions are held less frequently. Reunions are our major fundraiser and we hope to enhance everyone’s experience at their special reunion.

COMMUNICATIONS - Through the input of the College IT Department, we have redesigned our Thistleonians’ website and we will be making use of email and Facebook social media as our primary source of conveying news and information to members. Some normal mail communications will still occur and for those who don’t have electronic access, we will still keep you informed. Facebook can be accessed by electronic means and does not require a personal account. Our Administrator, Melanie Lynch can be contacted by phone or email.

SUMMARY - With our ever-increasing integration with the College and our need to move with the times, we trust that these changes will be embraced by all and that the changes that have been instigated will result in the long-term future of Thistlelonians as an organization that embraces the McKinnon alumni where we will be catering for ex-students and staff ranging from teens to those approaching eighty and who are proud to call McKinnon -”THEIR SCHOOL”.

Donate to Thistlelonians Scholarship Award

The Thistlelonians scholarship award is presented to year 9 students who have demonstrated general excellence and contributions to the college.

If you would like to donate to the scholarship fund: Please click the amount you wish to donate:

Update your details:

Enter your details in the following form: