About

Headmaster’s Welcome

Welcome to the Oxley College Website.

Although the school began only thirty years ago, it feels like it has been a part of the Southern Highlands landscape for much longer than that- perhaps founded in 1883, not 1983. This is partly due to the graceful main building, Elvo, and the grounds. It is also, however, something deeper than that. I think it is because it seems necessary, indeed inevitable, that a community such as ours should have a school such as Oxley.

The Southern Highlands is a community that has high expectations and wants its children to be able eventually to bestride their world, be it Madrid or Mittagong, Beijing or Bundanoon. Oxley has similar high expectations of its students and will let them see that, with rigour and hard work, almost anything is possible. We aspire to give the students the advantages of a ‘big city’ school, without parents having to send their children away to the boarding houses of Sydney or Melbourne.

At the same time most people in our community have made the conscious choice to raise our children in a local setting- one with four thousand people, not four million. People want a school that reflects that. Our beautiful grounds and relatively small size mean that every student is known and cared for. I know most students in the School by name (and know their birthdays) and many of the teachers have deep and long-lasting connections with each child. At the same time we are large enough to offer a strong variety of subjects, sports, activities, bands and social groups.

Many people in the Highlands want a school that is co-educational and non-denominational. This reflects their own world views about gender and the role of tolerant, ecumenical spirituality in a school setting. We respect the unique contributions of men and women and know the importance of them working together. We also respect the profound, personal nature of each individual’s journey with regard to the ‘big questions’ of life. This respect is deep in Oxley’s soil.

So I think this is why it feels that Oxley has been here for much longer than thirty years: we should have been here in the Southern Highlands since 1883. We are proud to reflect and bring out the best in this community. We are proud to educate the sons and daughters of those who choose to live here. We are proud to be the type of school we are.

On a more personal note, we look forward to meeting the most precious things in your life. We look forward to caring for them and look forward to exposing them to all of the amazing things that this world has to offer. We look forward to being a part of the miracle of their journey from childhood to adulthood. We have encyclopaedias in our library (figuratively), band aids in our sick bay, basketballs in the gym and violins in the music centre. We welcome you to Oxley College.

Michael Parker
Headmaster