Secondary College - Melbourne - 405 Tooronga Road, Hawthorn East

Our Wonderful Secondary College in Melbourne has a Mainstream Academic Focus

Alia College offers a cheerful school experience in a nurturing and creative environment. Alia is a secondary college, Melbourne-based, co-ed, inclusive, independent, non-religious, tolerant and academic in focus.

The school produces confidence in students and brilliant VCE results.

"Since beginning at the college less than four months ago our son has regained his thirst for knowledge." Former parent

7:15pm Wednesday, 1st November 2017 at 405 Tooronga Road, Hawthorn East, VIC 3123
Melway Reference 59 F4 (Corner of Cato St)
Enter via Cato Street

Please ensure you RSVP: 03 9822 9622 or


Call us to book a brief visit at 8:50am on almost any day.
Click on the [Trial Days] tab at the left.

RSVP 03 9822 9622 or


Join us from 6PM on Thursday 2nd November at Alia College for viewing of Art and Media works, followed by Drama and Music performances.

There is no cost to attend, and you do not need to RSVP.
Please bring a plate of food to share.

Click here to view our flyer

People who read these web pages commonly say that the pages are too good to be true; so you have to visit to see for yourself.

There is so much spin in general communication these days that everyone automatically expects it everywhere.

So we allow unprecedented access to have a look at the college and to talk with the students each day.

You will have an especially good opportunity to chat with students on an information night - see the moving notice above.

Try to have a good read through this web site before you come. That may give you some questions to ask.

Bookmark this page into your web-browser.

START OF YEAR 2017 - First School Day for Students - - - - - - - - 9:00am Friday 27 January 2017

TERM I ENDS for Students - - - - - - - - - - - - Friday 31 March 2017

TERM II STARTS for STUDENTS - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 9:00am Wednesday 19 April 2017

TERM II ENDS for Students - - - - - - - - - - - Friday 23 June 2017

TERM III STARTS for STUDENTS - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 9:00am Tuesday 18 July 2017

TERM III ENDS for Students - - - - - - - - - - Friday 22 September 2017

TERM IV STARTS for STUDENTS - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 9:00am Tuesday 10 October 2017

END OF YEAR - Last School Day for Students - - - Thursday 7 December 2017

Other calendar details are available on the [School Calendar] tab at the left

Secondary college: Maths Class

Academic Focus

"I must admit I never quite realised the level of accelerated learning, the teaching style and the encouragement of student inquiry that was the basis of Alia College" Former parent

Students can expect academic challenge [at their own level] in a variety of forms, including traditional instruction, projects, open-ended explorations, experimental learning and direct testing.

Our excellent results come from the quality of education here. There is no entrance examination. Students are not expected to be high achievers in order to enrol here. Of course scholarship entry is available to excellent students. And of course conditions apply.

Our approach strongly supports students who wish to be proactive in their own education and encourages students who have been discouraged.

Acceleration and extension of courses at Alia are not actually recommended by the school. When they happen they have always been student driven and are a result of the fact that being small we can readily accommodate students' differing styles and commitments.

Finally, we hire teachers who show love for their subjects and who are able to present their discipline without the support of a formal rigid punishment system. Where teachers enjoy their subjects, enthusiasm is contagious.

Peace and Harmony

Alia has established a remarkable degree of cheerful productivity in an atmosphere of open communication. Visitors tell us that the unstrained spontaneous reactions of students are refreshing and immediately obvious upon visiting the school.

This is quite unusual for a secondary school.

Harmony does not mean the sort of placid sameness where never is heard a discouraging word. True harmony and peace exist where the constant disagreements and irritations of life - can occur; - can be aired without having to have them swept under the carpet; - can be considered over a significant period of time without a rush for an instant coerced resolution, and then; - can be unwound in a civilised manner.

Social and Humanitarian Focus
in our Secondary College

Secondary college: Alia

Alia College accepts students of secondary school level from Years 7-12. We have sometimes given consideration to capable Year 5 or Year 6 primary students who wish to study with the year seven students.

We promote tolerance of the ideas of others, and respectful argument out of a willingness to learn from each other. We encourage awareness of cultural, social and personal values.

Our school is independent of any particular religious or philosophical affiliation. Teachers and students are free to express and celebrate their personal beliefs as part of the community.

Alia Secondary College:
Development of Self Expression and Leadership

Secondary college

Creativity and self-expression often disappear during the secondary college years. Our approach fosters students' individual choices, humour, expression and responsibility in their learning.

When students do not feel harshly judged or overly controlled they can express independent thoughts without fear.

Students have a voice at Alia. Secondary college students are usually required to be passive learners. At Alia students are regularly able to vote, to speak and even to run meetings. Time is specifically set aside for unstructured discussion where a wide range of topics may be raised. At such meetings students have a forum to voice approval or disapproval of almost anything that they choose including aspects of the operation of the secondary college as a whole. As a result the school is very responsive to the feelings and commitments of even the smallest stakeholders.

Many of the projects and discussions at Alia Secondary College allow students to make a personal statement to identify their interests and shape their own activities.

Students may participate in drama, musical productions and art exhibitions. They may speak at public meetings, participate in school decisions and work on student-run projects. Our students are permitted to take the initiative to plan and run excursions, camps and help with the planning and implementations of classes, projects and school meetings.

Students who rarely speak in class gradually get the feeling that they can safely speak up here. Students who are already effective speakers gradually learn the skills of working with an audience, managing a group, and becoming an effective leader.

NAPLAN Results


Much to our surprise this article appeared on 15 March 2013 in the Herald Sun on Page 14 of the News section.

It shows Alia College among the top five schools in sections of the compulsory government testing program.

The article is really about differences in single sex schools. However any school in Australia would be extraordinarily proud to be listed three times among such prestigious institutions.

The only school with more mentions than Alia is Fintona Girls' School in Balwyn. On that statistic we are equal second best independent school in the state. [This doesn't happen very often so you have to let us celebrate a little!]

Not only that; of the five co-ed school names Alia College is three of them!!! Yay!!

On THAT statistic we are the BEST co-ed independent school in the state!!! Yaaaa-hoooo!!!

Alia is not actually mentioned in the article as it is about the single sex schools.

PLEASE bear in mind that students are not required to be brilliant to get into Alia. We accept students based on factors such as their aptitude for succeeding in our environment, on whether they are a suitable fit with the students already here, on whether their parents can cope with our non standard approach and never on a student's initial academic standard nor on their financial circumstances!

It doesn't show up in this NAPLAN result but our Mathematics and Science results are actually better than our English results. Both of the confirmed doctorates from our first 20 or so graduates have been in the Math/Sci fields.

Because we are a small school statisticians omit us from most lists because with small numbers it only takes a few students to send results very high or very low. Because the newspaper used all results, we were included and so we got a bit of the limelight. Our results have been low sometimes for the same reason; a government functionary very recently rang saying how ironic it was that he was offering us extra money to help students with their English skills because of a low score we got a few years back! The wheels of government can grind slowly. We don't know that we can accept the cash.

The same teachers who oversaw these brilliant outcomes are still teaching at Alia and are available for you. Our staff is very stable. We have only lost one full time teacher over about ten years.

The yellow and orange highlighting is ours, not the newspaper's.

Photo of Josh Friedenberg, Miles, Jess, Laura, Julia Bishop and Bob at Alia College, 6 May 2010


Alia in the news.

Alia was visited by Josh Frydenberg, the Liberal candidate for Kooyong, and Julie Bishop, the deputy leader of the Liberal Party, on Thursday, May 6, 2010.

They came to see the unique approach that Alia takes to developing a positive educational environment. They saw how we run our democratic style meetings and took extensive questions from the students and teachers.

Josh has been visiting all of the schools in this federal electorate, and had previously visited Alia. He was so impressed that he brought Julie to see that education can be operated in a different way with remarkable success.

They seemed impressed by our cheerful approach of open communication, our 'boutique university', and the depth of questions that can come from teenagers.

Despite the fact that many present have their own independent political views, both visitors impressed us with their answers. They also managed to ask some of their own questions and certainly gave us responses that provided some serious food for thought.

Jordan's Winning Self-Portrait


Please allow us to brag a little bit more.


Even better a visitor told us that his painting has pride of place. It is the first image in front of you as you enter the gallery; so they must be particularly impressed with it. We are stoked!

Jordan McKinnon is a VCE student at Alia College. Jordan's self-portrait has been selected in a national competition called Headspace9 for exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra.

This competition required students to submit self-portraits which reflected on and explored visions of self, referencing connections to possessions, places and families in transitional years.

Thirty-five works were selected from year 10, 11 and 12 students all over Australia.

The works chosen express specific moods and emotions and explore events that challenge young people at defining moments of their lives.

Jordan's artistic statement to the NPG indicates that his style has been influenced by artists such as Peter Booth, Vincent van Gogh and George Gittoes, all of whom have influenced his application of paint, use of colour, brushwork and texture. The statement adds, 'The reason I zoomed in on the face is to draw the viewer to the eyes.'

Jordan intends to study fine arts at university next year. The exhibition runs from 12 September to 15 November.

Photo of Mikaela at the board. Taken By Eddie Lim


More from the press.

Alia was featured in the main article of The Age newspaper on Monday, May 18, 2009, page 13, in The Education section.

The article was on the topic of Latin Language being taught in secondary schools.

The Education Age has a great photo of Mikaela at the white board. See here:-

The Age caption for the image was: While the school motto may still be in Latin, these days most schools offer other languages. But still the ancient language refuses to go away. Jane Cafarella and Elisabeth Tarica report.

The text of the article is at this link.


Please allow us to brag about what really matters to people and students.

Click here to see student and parent comments

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405 Tooronga Road, Hawthorn East, Victoria, Australia