Our history

For 120 years, Moreton Bay College has been offering an outstanding student experience.

Early years 

Moreton Bay College was founded in 1901 by Miss Alice J Alison Greene and her sisters Miss Anne and Miss Helah, in the heart of Wynnum town, on Bay Terrace. 

The school was originally called Moreton Bay Girls’ High School and provided, in addition to classrooms and other rooms, boarding facilities for 30 boarders. The first roll contained six boarders and 20 day scholars. In 1944, the Greene family handed the school over to the Methodist Church. The Methodist Church gave the school to the Presbyterian and Methodist Schools’ Association (PMSA) to administer, and they appointed Miss Ellen Christensen in 1946 to the Headship. 

Miss Christensen was the Headmistress from 1946-49 but family illness led to her absence, during which time Miss Popple was Acting Principal. Eventually Mrs Millicent Drewe was appointed and was Headmistress from 1950-1964. In 1957, the name was changed to Moreton Bay College, to avoid confusion with the State High School system and to be more in keeping with the College names of the other PMSA schools. In 1965, after a period as Acting Head, Mrs Viola Owen-Winchester was appointed Principal. 

The rural recession hit hard at what was essentially a boarding school with a small day component. In 1975, with the roll down to 125, the PMSA decided to close the College. Eventually, the Uniting Church assumed responsibility for the College and set up a new Board with a strong local content, under the Chairmanship of Mr John Mason. Under Letters Patent, issued in August 1979, Moreton Bay College was reconstituted. In that year the roll stood at 116.

A College reborn

At the beginning of 1980, following the retirement of Mrs Owen-Winchester, Mr Ken Waller was appointed Headmaster, the first male principal in the College’s history. The boarding house was closed at the end of 1980.

At the end of 1981, the College acquired 20 hectares of hillside land on Wondall Road and the Board began planning the relocation of the College to the new site. It was decided to do this in two stages, with the Primary School to move first. During 1983, the Primary buildings were erected and were occupied on the first day of school in 1984. Towards the end of 1985, the Secondary School was built. The Secondary pupils began the 1986 school year on the new site.

At the close of 1998, Mr Ken Waller retired after nineteen years of leading the College with distinction. In his time the College flourished, with significant growth and expansion occurring in the late 1980s and into the 1990s.

Mr Paul Teys was appointed Principal from the start of the school year in 1999. During that year the Leita Boswell Hall, a Primary School sports and general performance hall, was opened and dedicated in honour of Mrs Leita Boswell (Beattie), Head of Primary from 1981-1997. The following year, a Prep facility was built adjacent to the Hargreaves Road entrance to the College. 

100 years old

The College celebrated its Centenary in 2001, with an enrolment in its 100th year of 1,170 girls from Prep to Year 12. During this time, several changes in curriculum emerged, including TAFE and school-based traineeships, expanding the curricular offerings.

In April 2003, the College opened its own Chapel for the first time in 102 years. The Chapel was formerly the Upper Brookfield Uniting Church. MBC Childcare, a long day care centre providing full care for boys and girls from 15 months, as well as outside school hours care and vacation care, was also opened in 2003. In addition, the establishment of Moreton Bay Boys’ College in collaboration with the Presbyterian and Methodist Schools Association (PMSA), added a valuable educational option for families with sons. At the beginning of 2004, the College Roll was at record levels: 1220 across the P-12 campus. In August of 2004, construction began on the Music Centre and Concert Hall, an outstanding acquisition for the College. This wonderful facility was officially opened in February 2006, and significantly enhanced the College’s already outstanding Music Programme.

In March 2005, Mr Teys completed his tenure at the College. Mr McLay (Deputy Principal) acted as Principal for the remainder of the year, during which time the Board of Governors appointed Ms Jennifer Haynes as Principal from the commencement of 2006.

The graduates of 2006 and 2007 achieved outstanding results, which saw MBC described as ‘the most successful of the state’s all-girls schools”. In 2008, the results of the graduating class saw MBC earn the title of “Queensland’s No 1 Academic Achiever for 2008” by The Courier-Mail.

Through inclusive consultation, a renewed Strategic Plan 2009 - 2013 was released in 2008. This enabled the College to embark on its next facilities Master Plan.

After establishing Moreton Bay Boys’ College in 2003, in partnership with the Presbyterian Methodist Schools Association, Moreton Bay College became its sole constitutional member in 2008 when a formal Memorandum of Understanding, committing to a close working relationship between the two Colleges, was established. This was strengthened in July 2011 when, following the resignation of the founding MBBC Principal, Dr Roderick Crouch, to take up a post overseas, the two Colleges were amalgamated. Retaining their separate identities, single sex focus, governance and financial management, a common Board membership and the appointment of Ms Jennifer Haynes approved as Principal of both schools. 

Recent history

2013 saw continued successes across multiple sports and consistent academic achievement. The first phase of the Facilities Master Plan also saw building work commence with expansion of the Prep Centre to three classrooms and ground broken on the new Science Facility.

In 2014, the two Colleges released “The Moreton Bay Colleges Strategic Plan 2014 - 2018”, and after eight years as Principal, Ms Jennifer Haynes retired following a lengthy and varied 42-year career as an educator. Under her leadership, enrolments at both Colleges thrived, reaching their highest levels. Success on the sporting fields, on the stage and other co-curricular arenas were also strongly fostered through her desire for every student to find what it is that inspires them and for them to excel at all they undertake. 

Mrs Janet Stewart commenced as Principal of Moreton Bay College in 2017 and remains in this role today. Educated at Dumbarton Academy, Glasgow University and Jordanhill College of Education, Janet commenced at MBC in 1997 where she has taught English, and held the positions of Head of Wesley House, Deputy Head of Secondary Students, prior to her appointment as Principal. 

Mr Richard Henry assumed the role of CEO and Executive Principal of Moreton Bay College and Moreton Bay Boys’ College in 2021, starting a new chapter in the history of the combined colleges. Richard previously held the position of Regional Director – East Asia GEMS Education and Head of School GEMS World Academy (Singapore) where he was responsible for 2500 students at four campuses across three countries. His previous experience is extensive and includes Director of Global Services, Head of Development and Head of School Services at The International Baccalaureate in the USA and the Netherlands and Head of School, Secondary School Principal, Head of Department (Science) at the Global Jaya International School – Jakarta. 

Moreton Bay College continues to be one of this country’s finest independent girls’ schools and pre-eminent in the education of young women in Brisbane, and its partnership with MBBC will see it become even more prominent in the Queensland education sector.