For the Whole of Their Life.
St Philip's Christian College Port Stephens History
Our Port Stephens campus was birthed in 1995 through the vision of the founding campus in Waratah and its principal, Mr Graeme Irwin. This vision was based upon the belief that the Tomaree Peninsula had a need for an independent school that would develop the whole child - intellectually, socially, physically and spiritually; a school that would maintain high academic and behavioural standards and at the same time effectively proclaim the liberating truth of the Christian Gospel.
Classes commenced on 1st February, 1995 with 41 students from Kindergarten to year 6 and two teachers. The College was originally located on the grounds of the COC church. Embraced by the local community, the campus has grown rapidly and in 1998 moved into secondary education with the establishment of a year 7 cohort.
In 2001 our first group of School Certificate students graduated and in 2004 our first HSC students were awarded their certificates with outstanding results across a wide range of subject areas.
During this time student numbers have grown to approximately 700 students. This rapid growth has required the continued purchase of land and the construction of school facilities. Currently these facilities include dynamic learning environments, outdoor education facilities, and specialist facilities for Art, Science, Technology, Design and Technology and Food Technology. It is anticipated that the master plan for this development will have been achieved by 2009.
The College is a member of the NSW Association of Independent Schools and numerous links have been forged with other independent schools locally and further afield. The College is also a member of the Australian Association of Christian Schools and the Association of Christian Schools International.
TRIBUTE TO CHRIS WALKLING - FOUNDING PRINCIPAL 1995-2012
Mr Chris Walkling was the Founding Principal of the School. He was appointed in 1995 and the school started under his leadership with 41 students.
He faithfully fulfilled his call to pioneer the first Independent Christian School on the Tomaree peninsula. Chris was a man of strong faith who was determined to build a school of excellence as he walked humbly before God and amongst the families attracted to the vision. He valued children and young people highly and they always felt encouraged and supported in their dealings with him.
Chris strongly believed that all of his staff are “educators of young people”, regardless of the position they have in the school. He had an open door policy for staff and families. He was a godly leader for his staff and a living example of God’s grace.
On 11th July 2012 Chris went home to be with the Lord. The legacy he has left in the life of the school community and the wider community will be recognised and appreciated for many years to come.
THE CHRIS WALKLING THEATRE RENAMING CEREMONY
On 9th October 2013, Graeme Iwin Executive Principal of St Philip's Christian College, led the ceremony at Port Stephens Campus to rename the college theatre: The Chris Walkling Theatre.
We invite you to read Graeme's address and the prayer offered at the ceremony in memory of our Founding Principal.