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MLC School, Burwood NSW

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MLC School
MLC School is an independent, non-selective, Uniting Church day school for girls from Pre-Kindergarten to Year 12. MLC School has provided generations of girls with an exceptional education and extensive opportunities for personal growth since 1886.
Rowley Street
Sydney West
02 9747 1266

 An International Baccalaureate World School

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Upcoming Events

Tue Aug 10 @10:30AM - [56 Days to go]
Thu Nov 04 @10:30AM - [142 Days to go]

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Virtual Tour

Fly Through Our Campus

MLC School has been hard at work creating a virtual fly-through experience for many prospective families that are unable to visit the campus during the pandemic.

Ms Lisa Moloney
  • Early Learning
  • Primary School
  • Secondary School
  • Primary through Secondary
  • Kindergarten
  • Primary Campus
  • Secondary Campus
  • Junior School
  • Senior School
  • Uniting Church
Pre-Kindergarten to Year 12
Uniting Church
  • Academic Achievement
  • Co-curricular Activities
  • Community
  • Creative Arts
  • Culture / Tradition
  • Discipline
  • Educational Support
  • Employment Pathways
  • Faith / Religion
  • Information Technology
  • Music
  • Numeracy / Literacy
  • Pastoral Care / Guidance
  • Performing Arts
  • Personal Values
  • Resources / Facilites
  • Science/Technology
  • Social & Emotional Learning
  • Sport
  • Welfare
  • French
  • Indonesian
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Mandarin (Chinese)
  • Athletics (Track & Field)
  • Australian Rules Football
  • Alpine Sports
  • Badminton
  • Chess
  • Cross Country Running
  • Debating
  • Diving
  • Gymnastics
  • Hockey (field)
  • Netball
  • Rowing
  • Rugby Union
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Touch Football
  • Volleyball

MLC School is an independent, nonselective Uniting Church school for girls from Pre-Kindergarten to Year 12 in Sydney’s inner-west region. From Pre-Kindergarten through to their time as Senior School students, MLC School girls dare to be more.

Led by a highly professional staff under the guidance of principal Ms Lisa Moloney, girls are challenged and encouraged to question traditional perceptions and roles of women and are instilled with the skills and confidence to take their place in an everchanging society.

The MLC School girl is empowered with skills and capabilities that enable her to be adaptive, compassionate and courageous. She embraces new challenges and opportunities; and strives for excellence. She is cared for and well supported so that she can confidently focus on her own individual, personal and academic growth. A wide selection of subject choices, as well as an extensive co-curricular program, aims to empower girls to be self-reliant and play an active role in their futures.

Learning in the Junior School

MLC Junior School is a hub of collaborative learning where girls can push the boundaries of their education from the very first days of their school life. The Junior School program evolves as each girl develops, starting with playbased learning in Pre-Kindergarten and then moving on to a tailored approach that focuses on each girl’s ability and challenges her to play an active role in her learning. The Junior School staff monitor every girl’s educational growth and maintain an open communication channel with parents as part of a partnership to support each student.

Senior Centre

The Senior Centre, opened in 2019, takes classroom practice to a new level and is reflective of modern workplaces. The aim is to equip girls with the skills to be successful in a collaborative team environment and to be comfortable in open-plan, flexible spaces designed for impromptu group work sessions.

Co-curricular Program

From the friendly competition in sport, the creative participation of music, dance and drama to the quick thinking of a vigorous debate, MLC School’s rich and extensive co-curricular program encourages girls to try something different, make new friends and find unexpected passions, strengths and talents in a safe, supportive environment.

HSC and IB in the Senior School

MLC School quickly recognised the value in offering girls a choice between the Higher School Certificate (HSC) or the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme for their final years of study and so became an IB World School in 1999.

Detailed and personalised career advice is provided to every girl and her parents to support the conversations around the choice that will best suit her interests and learning style. Each student takes responsibility for her own path in the final years, and this is a crucial stage in her journey towards becoming an independent, fearless and empowered young woman.

MLC School girls consistently achieve strong results in both the HSC and IB. In most years, around 40 per cent of girls choose to study the IB.

Visit the campus, meet the girls and professional teaching staff and experience the benefits of joining the MLC School community.


MLC School offers a range of scholarships, including The Principal's Scholarship, scholarships for new students, continuing students, all rounders, music students and daughters of Old Girls. Some of our scholarships are means tested.

For all scholarships at Year 7 level and above, candidates must sit an entrance examination held at the School. Shortlisted candidates are later invited to a Scholarships Activity Day to take part in a variety of activities with other shortlisted candidates and attend an interview. The entrance examination is held early in Term 1 with the Scholarship Activity Day held later in the term. Scholarship offers are made to successful candidates by the end of Term 1. More information about MLC School scholarships can be found here.

Scholarship applications for entry into 2022 entry are now CLOSED. Information about applications for entry into 2023 will be available mid 2021. Please continue to check this page. For more information please email enrol@mlcsyd.nsw.edu.au

For more information please email enrol@mlcsyd.nsw.edu.au

Choosing MLC School

2021 Tour Dates

Thursday 20 May 2021  Junior and Senior School Virtual Tour, 10.30am

Please Visit MLC School to book a tour

Principal, Ms Lisa Moloney is an exceptionally experienced educator, with a wealth of knowledge spanning over a 30-year-long career, which began with her role as a Geography and Science teacher. Lisa Moloney joins the MLC School family, bringing with her a passion for educating young women and inspiring them to be agents of change in their lives and in the lives of others.

Ms Moloney aims to empower young women to challenge perceptions of what women can do by emboldening students to be multi-dimensional women, equipped for an ever-evolving society. According to Ms Moloney, “Students are encouraged to challenge traditional perceptions and roles of women, and play an active, self-reliant role in their future, to show themselves and the world what young women can do, and the responsibility they have in shaping the world.”

MLC School students are offered a wide range of subjects and exciting opportunities in co-curricular and leadership activities, including sports, overseas exchange and service learning. These aim to prepare young women for a life of learning by empowering them to pursue excellence, demonstrate integrity, celebrate diversity, embrace world citizenship and live with humility.

“Young women are encouraged to dare to be more, and MLC School aims to provide them with the tools and confidence to do so,” said Ms Moloney.

The MLC School education sets students up with lifelong networks and a variety of choices in their career paths. Alumnae become part of the MLC School family, sharing a remarkable set of values and personal qualities, which are the hallmark of the school.

“We believe that the relationships formed between young women at MLC School have a profound impact on their lives after school, and help shape them into women who dare to face any challenge they are presented with. The willingness and excitement of Old Girls to revisit the MLC School campus speaks volumes about how important their time at MLC School is to them.”

“We warmly invite prospective parents to visit our campus, meet our students and academic staff, and experience the benefits of joining the MLC School community. I look forward to meeting our future parents on one of our tour days,” said Ms Moloney.

If you are interested in employment opportunities at our school please visit the following page:



Celebrating 135 Years of Exceptional Girls' Education 1886 – 2021

At a time when the majority of people held rigid and limiting ideas about the nature of women and their capacity to engage in social and public life, MLC School was starting a revolution in girls’ education.

From the early days of the Wesleyan Church in Australia, the higher education of women and girls was considered an important objective.

MLC School (Wesleyan Ladies’ College as it was then known), opened on the 27 January 1886. The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) advertisement announcing the imminent opening, included that the School would: ‘make provision for those who wish to prepare for University honours’.

This radical statement was only five years after women had, for the first time, gained admission to The University of Sydney.

In December 1886, with an enrolment of 54, MLC School held its first Speech Day in the Burwood School of Arts. Delivering his first Principal’s Report, Rev Prescott said he believed: “that between the mind of a boy and a girl there is no great difference… for mental discipline much the same course of study is the best.”

MLC School was fortunate in its early years to have exceptionally progressive leadership. Under Rev Prescott and Headmistress Minnie Wearne it was not long before an ever-growing number of MLC School girls distinguished themselves both at school and university, and the School quickly gained a reputation for scholastic excellence.

In November 1892, Rev Charles Stead—a Methodist Church Minister for 50 year and the President of the Methodist Conference in 1893--—delivered the main address during the Schofield Hall opening celebrations. The SMH reported on the events of that day, including Rev Stead’s speech where he stated that the ambition of the Wesleyan Ladies’ College was that its graduates would: ‘possess a store of knowledge and breadth of view, and a reliance upon their own acquaintance with things … which would fit them for any position in the world’.

At the end of his speech, Rev Stead said that women were entitled to take their place: ‘as the co-equals of men, in every avenue of human activity’.

For the late 1800s, these ideals – the core of MLC School’s foundation – were revolutionary. For 135 years, MLC School has continued to challenge preconceptions of women’s roles by preparing girls to be ‘fit for any position in the world’.


Rather than following education trends, MLC School has created them. From the time of its inception, there was a clear intention to provide a superior level of education for its female students.

For 135 years, MLC School has aimed at excellence in every field with a philosophy to provide, as Rev Prescott stated, “a balanced offering”. Rev Prescott’s aim that music, creative arts and sports have an important place in the curriculum alongside academic pursuits, continues to this day.


Developing the ‘whole person’ with a ‘mens sana’ (healthy mind) as well as a ‘corpus sanum’ (healthy body), as Rev Prescott stated in 1886 in his first Speech Day report, has always been at MLC School’s core. It reflects a commitment to building leadership skills and developing within our girls a strong sense of fair play and resilience.

In the second year of the School’s existence a gymnastics teacher was appointed and in 1890 a fully equipped gymnasium was built.

Our Sports Field also holds an important place in the history of girls’ sport in Australia: on 3 November 1906, MLC School held Australia’s first Athletics Carnival for girls on our Sports Field. Old Girl, Marguerite Cooper (Henry,1913) reminisced that “we were considered very ‘modern’ because we had a Sports Day and ran races like our brothers.”


Right from the beginning, when MLC School was conspicuously successful in academic examinations, Rev Prescott was careful not to praise scholarship at the expense of other aspects of education. Prescott, in particular, highly regarded the results of music exams and they always took precedence in his annual Speech Day reports.

Until 1887, when Rev Prescott spearheaded the establishment of the Trinity College (London) Examinations in musical theory in Australia, Music was not an examinable subject in Australian schools. Prescott wanted his students to have the opportunity to compete against others and achieve tangible recognition for their achievements. The first MLC School results in the Trinity College exams are noted in Examination Results in the Speech Day of 1887.

The first MLC School String Ensemble formed in 1904 and the group enjoyed immediate popularity. To meet the growing demand for music, a wooden building was erected in 1905 to house three music rooms. By 1930, the School magazine ‘Excelsior’ published a School music column which featured competition results and reported on musical functions, and by 1939 all the girls were learning music in one form or another.

The enormous growth in popularity of music instruction throughout the 1930s and 1940s meant that the School experienced difficulties catering for the increased demand, however this was overcome with the donation of music scholarships from the School’s community.

The importance of Music at MLC School was such that School’s Council chose to build the Centenary Music Centre to celebrate the School’s 100th year. This monument to the great musical successes of the School has provided many opportunities for musical talent to flourish. 


Rev Prescott firmly believed in the importance of educating young children. To that end, in 1889, he persuaded the School Council to establish a coeducational kindergarten, placing MLC School in the forefront of educational practice. The importance of this innovation cannot be understated; the Kindergarten Movement, based on ideas developed in Germany by Friedrich Froebel, was in its early days in Australia and was struggling to gain support.

The success of our kindergarten was evident within the first year, leading the School Council to approve the building in 1890 of a ‘one-storey wooden structure with a wide verandah’ to house the new Kindergarten. It stood at the corner of Rowley and Grantham Street in the corner of the existing School grounds. (It was demolished in the mid 1920s to make way for Potts Hall.) This was the first building constructed in Australia specifically for the purpose of providing a Kindergarten.

Although Kindergartens today are ubiquitous, it is not well known that the Kindergarten movement owes a lot to the support it received in the 1890s from MLC School.


Old Girl, Mabel Sutton (1896) graduated from MLC School and went on to complete an Honours degree in Mathematics at the University of Sydney. She returned to the School and became a much-beloved Headmistress for 28 years (1912–1940).

Mabel Sutton was a strong, forthright and determined Headmistress and a renowned and highly respected educator. She strongly believed that girls should have the same educational opportunities as boys and this proved very popular amongst parents.

Mabel Sutton organised the construction of our first Science Laboratory which opened in Term 1, 1924. Around the same time, she added Physics to the MLC School curriculum to accompany Chemistry, Biology, Botany and Geology. This enlightened decision led to MLC School becoming the first school in Australia to have girls sit the Physics exam in the Leaving Certificate (precursor of the HSC/IB). Many Old Girls who enrolled into Medicine and Science degrees reported that even into the 1950s, they were the only girls at University who had Physics offered at their school.

Another MLC School science teacher who also underscores the importance of schooling in determining future careers was MLC School Headmistress, science teacher, and former student, Dr Alice Whitley MBE (1930). Dr Whitley was Dux in 1930, completed a PhD in Chemistry at the London University, and taught Science and Mathematics at MLC School prior to her appointment as Headmistress (1960–1972).

Dr Whitley had a strong personality and spoke plainly and honestly and with common sense. In her 1962 Speech Night report she stated that too much importance was placed on examination results and not enough on the continuing process of learning.

In an interview with CSIRO, MLC School Old Girl and eminent scientist, Dr Elizabeth (Liz) Dennis AC (1960) stated: “I went to MLC School which was very good, and unusually supportive of women. Its philosophy was that you shouldn’t not do anything because you’re a woman, and so it provided courses for us like Physics honours and Chemistry honours, which were unusual then… at MLC School we had a very good chemistry teacher (Dr Whitley) – she had a PhD in chemistry, and was outstanding and gave us a real interest in chemistry.”

Today’s Principal, Lisa Moloney, follows in those early leader’s footsteps as a scholar in science and geology.


MLC School has consistently challenged boundaries to improve the outcomes for our girls. The factors that are key to continuing this tradition are tailoring learning to individual needs and the integration of technology into learning.

At the beginning of the computer age, MLC School was again at the forefront, embracing the challenge and opportunity of change. The School’s involvement with computer technology commenced in 1978 when the School’s first Apple Macintosh computers were purchased. By the following year the students established a Computer Club.

In early 1982, a room in the primary school, Kent House, was equipped with Apple Macintosh desktop computers and a Year 5 computer class was established.

Although computers are ubiquitous now, this innovation was so extraordinary in 1982 that in August that year the current affairs program ‘60 Minutes’ visited MLC School to record a segment on the use of computers in education.

Reporter Ian Leslie said that “When computers find their way into classroom, as they have done at MLC School, there’s a revolution… This computer class is the first of its kind in Australia, and possibly the world.”

The 1983 publication ‘60 Minutes The Book’ included the MLC School ‘Computer Kids’ story. It stated: “The establishment of the computer class at MLC School highlights a whole new concept of learning, and, as far as Australia is concerned, signals the beginning of an educational revolution.”

By the early 1990s, MLC School has invested heavily in hardware and software. The computer technology facilities at MLC School were of such a high standard that external ‘technology in education’ groups, such as The NSW Computer Education Group, used the MLC School computer labs to run workshops for teachers across Sydney.

For 135 years, MLC School has challenged the norms and set new benchmarks for girls’ education, this was an integral part of the School’s founding DNA and is as true today as it was in 1886. The School’s motto, Dare to be More, is not mere lipservice, but a genuine attitude that continues to drive how we approach the teaching girls and young women at the School. In turn, as each girl graduates, she is charged with taking forth that courageous attitude into the rest of her life.

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MLC School, Burwood NSW


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