College History

Billanook College was founded by a group of committed local parents who wanted to establish a co-educational Primary and Secondary school in the emerging outer east of Melbourne.

Through their unstinting voluntary efforts, Billanook College commenced in 1980 with 10 teachers, two administration Staff and 150 students in the Parish Hall of St. Andrew’s Church in Lilydale.

The founding families were prepared to mortgage their homes to purchase the land on which the College is situated and worked tirelessly in the lead up to the College opening in February 1980. Billanook was the name the local Wurundjeri people called the site and the School’s motto Growing and Caring was chosen to reflect the values and attitudes of the founding families and the local community.

Billanook College- Oral History Project

In 2010 Billanook College celebrated its 30th Anniversary. As part of the commemorative projects and events during the year, an Oral History project was undertaken by a group of students under the direction of the English Faculty. The objective of the project was to document the invaluable stories and accounts of those who were instrumental in the establishment of Billanook College - our living history.

Dr Peter Haris, Billanook's Founding Principal (1980 - 1996)




Mr Alan Ross, Former College Principal (1997 - 2009) 




Mr Roger Oates, Billanook's current Principal




Mr Rodger & Mrs Gwen Elliot, Founding Family




Mr Stephen & Mrs Lorna White, Founding Family




Mrs Helen Hoyle, Founding Deputy Principal




Mrs Carolyn Stone, Founding Mother of Billanook College




Mr Clive Evenden, Formation Committee Member




Mr Lionel Parrott, Founding Parent and Chair of Billanook College Board




Mrs Dorothy Hansen, Founding Parent




Mr Mike Pavey, Founding Parent and Chair of Billanook College Board




Mrs Audrey Ellis, Former Billanook College Primary School teacher




Mr Neville Skewes, Founding Bursar of Billanook College




Mr Steve Clarke, Founding Student, DUX and former staff member of Billanook College




Mrs Beverly Hickin, Founding Parent




Mrs Judy McPherson, Former Head of Walling House




Mrs June Tyrell, Founding staff member




Mrs Sandra Berthelsen, Former staff member




Mrs Val Edwards, Founding staff member




Rev. Peter Barnes, Founding staff member