‣ Disclaimer
This article contains information that is for general information only and should not be used for the basis of making any decisions regarding education or anything else. It is solely the writer’s opinion of the writer’s experience of one open day at the school and the writer’s interactions with the people present on that day. The writer’s article is purely subjective. Facts and information may or may not be complete, accurate, reliable or valid reflection of the school in question.

I encourage you to personally tour the school and meet the educators and students, form your own opinion and leave a comment here.

Best of luck with your search for the perfect school!

Tour Details

Principal Julia Shea gave a presentation to the entire group in the auditorium

Guests were then split up into groups depending on what part of the school they were interested in ( Junior, Year 7/8, senior etc )

Small groups of 3-6 or so guests were taken around by one student each group

Refreshments were served with the chance to speak with teachers and staff after the tour

Vibe at MLC

MLC is situated on the corner of Barkers and Glenferrie Rd in Kew, quite close to several other well known Melbourne schools like Carey and Ruyton. It’s a busy area near intersections of major roads and the Glenferrie Rd shopping strip. The campus itself is leafy and green, immaculately clean and kept lawns and obviously well looked after buildings. 

The buildings are made of a combination of old buildings like the heritage listed brutalist style library and small chapel near Barkers Rd and newer, more modern buildings.

The campus houses the entire student population from primary to senior school as well as a boarding school, so a total of over 2000 students.

On arrival at the front gates a lovely young student greeted me and walked me to the auditorium while being chatty and overall lovely. It was a great start to the tour and I noticed how confident and conversational she was with a total stranger.  

One of the major points that was emphasized on the tour was the breadth of opportunity that is available at MLC. Because it is a big school they can offer a huge variety of opportunities and experiences including outdoor education, sports, arts, clubs, IB etc. 

The other major point is the fact that it is a girls only school. Julia the Principal speaks passionately about educating girls in a girls only environment because she thinks that girls allow themselves to take risks when there are no boys around and are more willing to try new things ( more about this in the Principal’s Presentation ). 

While there seem to be a myriad of opportunities in every area, I get the feeling that MLC is quite a sports oriented school. There are many sports to try and sports were mentioned quite a lot in the presentations and by our student tour guide. 

While walked around I did noticed the girls seemed happy and playful with each other while playing sport and even in the classrooms. It was quite vibrant and didn’t seem like an overly quiet or formal environment. Although the leadership team there on the day was all female except for the Vice Principal, there seemed to be quite a lot of male teachers at the school. 

MLC principal’s presentation

Julia Shea the Principal gave a passionate presentation, focusing on why it’s important for girls to be educated in a single sex environment. 

Overall the points that stood out were:

  • Society generally works in the favour of boys. There is an ongoing gender pay gap and low percentage of women in leadership roles like CEOs and in parliament. Women are routinely disrespected in the workplace.
  • Co-ed schools may reflect society, but society doesn’t treat women equally so why would you want your girls to be educated in a school that reflects society. 
  • Girls schools outperform academically
  • Girls in girls school are less risk averse and are more likely to try new things and put their hand up. They are more likely to do STEM subjects and progress through to a STEM or engineering career. 
  • Mostly importantly girls from girls schools have better self esteem and self efficacy

She said the single sex environment combined with the huge breadth of offerings at MLC allowed the girls to try many things and to find their tribe. 

Julia said learning is connected to wellbeing and that girls need to feel good to learn.  There is a strong focus on physical activity. She said there is a lot of evidence that physical activity helps mental health which is why there is huge array of team sports as well as fitness activities on offer. 

She also spoke about community, connection and relationships formed at the school “ What teachers teach is themselves.”

There were a couple of slick videos about Marshmead and Banksia and two students who stood up to present to the auditorium of parents. The students were impressive in not what they said, but in that they had the maturity and confidence to present to an auditorium of parents. 

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Enrolment / Waitlisting at MLC

Major intake years are Prep, Year 5 and year 7. The school will “start talking” to families 3 years prior to these intake years. In other smaller intake years they start calling families on the wait list the year before entry. 

Although waitlists don’t seem to be as long as eg Carey or Caufield Grammar, it is still recommended that names are placed on the waitlist asap. Offers are made based on length of time on waitlist and also connection to the school with siblings and mothers who are alumni. 

Sport at MLC

Sport and physical activity is a major focus at MLC. As the Principal believes that physical movement is connected with mental health, sport is highly encouraged and PE is compulsory until year 11. 

MLC is part of the GSV group – a group of private girls schools that compete against each other. There is no compulsory Saturday sport and training and competitions happen during and after school on weekdays. 

Our tour guide say that girls try a lot of sport, having to choose a different sport each term in some years. Sports mentioned were rowing, netball, tennis, swimming, yoga, Pilates, spin classes all offered on site. We were taken through sporting facilities including a training gym, netball courts, indoor pool, ergo room. 

Rowing especially seemed to be highly valued at the school with a ergo room for training. 

Apparently there will be further investment improvement of their sports precinct in the near future. 

Performing arts / music at MLC

As our guide didn’t seem overly music oriented, we didn’t get a lot of detail into performing arts or music. There seem to be many ensembles, orchestras and other groups that students can join.

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There is a musical every second year. I don’t believe this was a whole school production, but split up into junior and senior productions. They don’t have a brother school they combine with to do productions. 

We saw a chart of all the musical groups that girls could be involved in, but again didn’t get much detail about music at the school. There don’t seem to be overseas orchestra trips some of the other private schools have.  


MLC offers a suitably broad range of pathways for a school that prides itself in breadth. 

In year 11 and 12, students can do VCE or IB. VET is also offered with VET subjects able to be taken on campus as the school is also a registered RTO. About 30% of students take IB. Not much else was said about IB other than they offer it. 

MLC Marshmead / MLC Banksia Campuses

In year 9, MLC girls spend a term at the Marshmead campus. This is MLC’s answer to Lauriston’s Howqua campus, Wesley’s Clunes etc.  

Around 75 girls go each term and live away from home in several 4 bedroom houses on MLC’s remote campus Marshmead in East Gippsland. The campus is a working farm and girls learn to cook, look after farm animals, grow produce and live together. The program is run by outdoor education specialists. 

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I was impressed to hear that the girls learn to cook for their house of using the produce from the farm ( and presumably other staples ) as well as clean and do laundry. In this way, the living away from home fosters skills and independence. Our tour guide said that although there are classes, they are focused on the environment and sustainability and related topics rather than the standard school subjects.

Our tour guide said that her term at Marshmead cured her phone addiction for a month or two afterwards. She said her parents were happy as she also learned how to cook for her family.     

Marshmead is optional, but is sounds like most students go. 

Banksia is another campus for outdoor education for years 5-8 – probably short camps. 

French immersion classes at MLC

In years 7 and 8 MLC has two classes of students that do French immersion classes. All classes are taught in French and the students are separated into their own area upstairs from the other year 7 and 8 areas. 

Wellbeing / Mentors at MLC

In the Principal’s presentation, she emphasized that wellbeing underpins learning. Students are assigned a home group each year and mentors spend 30 mins with their home group in the mornings covering wellbeing topics. The scheduling at MLC has recently changed so that each student spends 1:1 time with their mentor every 2 weeks. Presumably to go through any issues and problems they may be having at school. 

Clubs at MLC

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Clubs are formed according to what students are interested in. There are all kinds of clubs at the school from pottery to intersectionality to Spanish to STEM. There are even clubs for parents ( more about parent community below ). 

Clubs are initiated by the students and supported by the teachers. 

Mobile phone policy

In years 7 and 8 girls are only allowed phones in lockers. They can quickly use them to text their parents etc but use is generally not allowed. During the year 9 and 10, students are allowed to use them during recess and lunch times but not during class. In senior years, students are allowed to have their phones on them during the day. 

Religion at MLC

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Although there is a chapel out the front and M in MLC stands for ‘Methodist”, religion wasn’t mentioned at all in the tour. 

Uniforms at MLC

Students were seen wearing a variety of uniforms including summer dresses, blazers, but also hoodies and shorts. Aimee said that there are a variety of uniforms the girls can wear every day according to what is comfortable. Apparently MLC was one of the first girls schools to bring in pants and shorts for their students. 

Student comments

Our tour guide was very self assured and did a great job of answering all of our questions. 

I asked what she liked and didn’t like about the school: ( paraphrased )

“ I like how they allow us to mix with the other classes so we can find more friends. The teachers have also been really good at helping us prepare for sitting exams.”

“ I don’t have much I don’t like. The new timetable is confusing but I’m just getting used to it.”

Parent community / Alumni community at MLC

Community seemed to be an emphasis at MLC. Both the parent community and alumni community were mentioned. I had the chance to have an in depth conversation with the community relations manager Aimee after the tour during the refreshments.

She mentioned that there is a strong push for a parent community and parent involvement at MLC, coming from the Principal. Julia feels strongly that community plays a big factor in education. There are clubs just for parents to socialize and get together which is the first time I’ve heard of this at a school. Aimee said that when a new student starts at the school a current parent at the school is assigned to contact them during the holidays prior to set up play dates and make them feel welcomed into the community. 

The alumni community was also mentioned in the Principal’s presentation. This is again the first time I’ve heard it mentioned at any school tour. Julia said the alumni community is very strong and can be advantageous in the student’s chosen career. She gave an example:  “If your daughter is in law and wants to become a partner at her law firm, we can put her in touch with an alumni who was walked that path through our mentorship program.”

Final words

My overall impression is that MLC seems to be quite a sporty school with a push for physical activity through to senior years. MLC prides themselves in single sex education and an enormous breadth of opportunity at the school to try many sports, arts, music, clubs etc.  I do believe there is value in having the opportunity to try and participate in many things at a young age, not only to find your strengths but also to find new tribes of friends.

What impressed me most was not actually the education, but the thought and effort put into building the community including students, parents and alumni. Ensuring that new students are welcomed by not only the other students but the new families are welcomed by other families in an organized way was impressive. I believe that at school, what contributes to belonging and therefore wellbeing and learning is the fostering of relationships which MLC seems to do well. 

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