Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, The Hon. James Merlino MP returned to Cornish College on Tuesday along with the Member for Mordialloc Mr Timothy Richardson MP, and the Federal Member for Isaacs, The Hon. Mark Dreyfus QC MP, to turn the first sod of earth on the construction site for Cornish College’s new Senior Studies Centre, scheduled to open in mid 2019.

Cornish Principal, Ms Vicki Steer acknowledged the support of The Victorian Government for this important project and thanked Mr Merlino and Mr Richardson for their support. The Victorian Government is providing $2,000,000 from the Capital Funding Program for Non-Government Schools, matching the school’s commitment and making the Centre a $4,000,000 reality.

Mr Merlino noted the internal designs that will enable 21st Century style of learning. The group including builder, architects and Board Chair stood where the Centre will overlook the school’s wetlands on the 100-acre property. Year 10 students Freya and Niall participated in the ceremony and will be among the first students to enjoy the new facilities. Freya is looking forward to the collaborative learning space and Niall is excited about the capability of the new building and the opportunities it will create. They both agreed that that the open nature of the internal layout is great, “Having teachers so accessible, especially during our senior studies will allow us to ask questions and share ideas easily”.


The three MPs then met with Year 10 students to answer questions posed by students about their journeys into politics. Mr Merlino spoke of his passions. “My interest in politics started when I was about your age. I went through a journey that all of you will go through. You’ll think about your own values, what you’re interested in…The thing I love about politics is the ability to make a change, and to make a difference…If you’re passionate about something, give it a go.”

Such sound advice rings true amongst the Cornish community, where the school motto is ‘Make a Difference’. The build of the new Senior Studies Centre will cement the College’s commitment to providing the VCE and and giving every opportunity to senior students to discover their unique pathways post Year 12 in a purpose-built facility.