1960s – 2020
Modern education in modern facilities
“Since the dawn of consciousness, Man has recorded his experiences, his successes and failures, by drawings and symbols which evolved into the written word. Today we have available the best thoughts of all ages to enrich our lives. School enables us to absorb this knowledge while we are young, and to begin to reap its benefits as we grow.” - Lauristonian editorial, 1960
During the 1950s and 1960s, under the leadership of another Lauriston-educated alumna Miss Gladys Davies (1927), the School undertook an ambitious building program to provide students with modern, purpose-built facilities on the Huntingtower Road site. In 1969 a gymnasium was built – a first for a girls’ school.
By the end of the 1970s, the School’s enrolments grew to over 1,000, and its academic programs were enhanced with social and environmental studies, a program for gifted children, and a much greater focus on arts, music and physical activities.
The campus was further expanded with the purchase of nearby heritage buildings Blairholme and Montrose in the mid-1970s to house Junior School. The Kay Irving wing and Irvine courtyard were opened, and the Irving Hall, the Mountain Room and the St Leon Library were established. In 1989 a swimming pool was built – another first for a girls’ school.
The introduction of the International Baccalaureate in 1991 provided students with a challenging, globally recognised alternative pathway to the VCE. It was enthusiastically embraced by the students with almost 40% of students undertaking the program.
In 1993, Lauriston launched an Australian-first girls’ program for its Year 9 students with its Howqua campus in the Victorian High Country. For more than 30 years, this innovative program has given Year 9 students the opportunity to participate in a full year of pastoral, academic and outdoor programs designed to help each girl achieve her personal best and prepare them with the resilience, independence, and confidence for their senior years and beyond.
In the first two decades of the 21st Century, further building programs were undertaken with the Science and Resource Centre and the Lilian Bayly 7/8 Centre opened. In 2019 the School launched an ambitious 10-year Masterplan to help grow the breadth of educational and experiential learning programs and provide world-class facilities for sport, health, music and the arts.
The first phase of the Masterplan – creating a new Sports, Health and Wellbeing Precinct and unifying the Junior School by building a Years 5/6 Centre and building new learning spaces for Prep students – commenced in 2020, with completion in late 2022. Work has now begun on the final step of this phase which will involve establishing an Early Learning Centre at Blairholme.
The School archivist has expertly curated an archival display showcased in the front cabinets upon entering the Ullmer Sports & Wellbeing Centre. This exhibit features a collection of sports uniforms ranging from the early to mid-20th century, historical and modern photographs, as well as historical panels and gleaming trophies that offer a captivating glimpse into the school’s sporting past – to learn more, we encourage the community to watch the following video.