About Alia

Origins of the School
Alia College Principal Bob Morgan with the Honourable Josh Frydenberg MP, at the ceremony to mark the purchase of the Kawarau Historical Mansion by Alia College in 2016.

Alia College is the dream child of Bob Morgan, an educator with over 40 years of teaching experience.
For a number of years he has also given addresses at conferences of Mathematics and Science teachers on teaching methods, discipline and school atmosphere.
Bob had a growing frustration with problems in the traditional schools in which he had always taught; and as his own children came to secondary school age he began to think about making a difference.
He met up with like-minded educators and began gathering teachers and students around a vision of the school that is here today.
The school is built around values of tolerance, creativity, self-expression, respect and responsibility. The problem of course is that every school can say that, and people are so used to hearing spin that nothing can be believed until it is observed.
Bob found that giving students a real voice in school matters that affected them had a remarkable effect on their stress levels and their academic performance. However, he also found serious resistance to this approach among most teachers.
Even most parents feel that allowing greater freedom of expression to students simply disadvantages the quieter and more sensitive students. However, we found that if the cultural settings are developed carefully from the start, then students naturally develop into co-operative and caring school members. Once students see that the other students are already happy, cheerful and co-operative they are able to relax their natural level of defensiveness and engage in study with interest and much greater productivity.

To discover more about our approach to learning, click here.

To explore the academic offerings at Alia, click here.

Further Reading
Where does the name Alia come from?

We had a great deal of trouble trying to get a name that everyone was happy with. We wanted a name that indicated that we had a different approach to schooling and that suggested that we engaged in a calmer and more academic atmosphere.

A parent suggested “alia” because we teach Latin language. It comes from the Latin phrase “inter alia,” meaning among other (things).
So “alia” means other.

We have also been advised that:

  • there are many schools called Queen Alia College which are not associated with our school. They relate to Queen Alia, a much praised member of the Jordanian Royal family, who died in a helicopter crash in 1977. Her name is remembered in a number of institutions such as schools, hospitals, charitable funds and the airport at Amman, Jordan.
  • Alia refers to an elevation in Hebrew. Consequently it can mean a gift that is raised up. So apparently those approaching the altar may be asked if they have an alia to present. Similarly it can refer to an honour.
  • Alia also means home it seems in some Himalayan dialect. Apparently Him-alaya means home of the snow.
  • A search of the internet came up with “Princess of the Academics”?!?! We figured that we can happily cope with that one.

Our 2016 summary of information relating to the school can be read here.

If you have any corrections or additions, please let us know.