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College History


Our rich history

Founded in 2012 in Mernda, Gilson College Mernda is part of Adventist Schools Victoria, a system of schools that has been delivering quality education in Victoria for over 100 years.

History of our college

Gilson College Mernda is a co-educational educational institution operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church as part of its worldwide system of Christian Schools. It is open to any student who wishes to study and learn within a Christian environment. The college currently has over 300 students enrolled and offers broad curricular and co-curricular programs from Prep-Year 12.

The College is registered with the VRQA and is a member of Adventist Schools Australia. Seventh-Day Adventist Schools (Victoria) Ltd is responsible for appointing permanent staff and supervising teaching standards. The School Council is responsible for managing the college, student enrolment and providing suitable facilities in which the College can operate efficiently and safely. Responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the college rests with the Principal and Staff.

1900s | The land surrounding Gilson College – Mernda was in the early 1900s the location of many dairy farms that supplied milk to Melbourne. The area once had crops of oats: a Chinese market garden: sheep, beef and poultry farms, together with vineyards and orchards. Some of these have now been replaced with alpacas and emus.

1900s > |The township of Mernda in the early 1900s consisted of a school, a Methodist church, a bakery/store, a railway station, a mechanics institute as well as the Bridge Inn Hotel. Since World War II, the Whittlesea area has enjoyed steady growth, adding new suburbs throughout the latter part of the 20th century. In the 21st century, Mernda has now been acknowledged as one of the fastest-growing areas in Victoria.

2012 | The purchase of the Mernda property by Adventist Schools Victoria took place in 2012 and classes began seven weeks later in 2013.

2013-2016 | Acquisition of the former Acacia College site in Mernda. Beginning with a primary-only cohort of 52 students and extending each year through to Year 12.

The introduction of a canteen to the Mernda campus. Connection of College to Melbourne’s waste treatment system.

2017 | Completion of the ground floor of the middle school building containing a new library, offices, science lab, two art rooms and two classrooms.

Major drainage works are placed underground. Grafton Road works.

2018 > | The Mernda campus has had a number of minor developments including a canteen, and recently a new middle / senior school complex with a library has been opened.

2019 | In the seventh Year at Gilson College Mernda campus, we continue to grow in numbers with 226 students in the Primary (161) and Secondary (65). Added Year 12 with VCE Units 3&4

2022 | Students numbers reach 260+. The Year 12 cohort of was small with a total of 5 students, allowing for excellent
attention and care from subject teachers.

Present | As we look forward to 2023 and beyond, we are excited about the upcoming opportunities for growth as we strive for excellence in all areas through continued careful planning and management.

This year we have continued with projects to improve the learning opportunities for our students with the completion of the roof on the primary outdoor learning space, and the expansion of the nature play space on campus. In 2023, we have planned for some significant maintenance work to refresh our current buildings, improve the grounds and develop the road entrance to our college.