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Xavier College

Xavier College

VIC, Melbourne Eastern Suburbs









Xavier College is the only school in Melbourne run by the Society of Jesus - the Jesuits - making it unique amongst other Catholic schools in Victoria. From a wellbeing perspective, it was one of the first schools in 1969 to introduce the vertical house approach to pastoral care which sees students from year levels gather into groups with a teacher before classes begin each day.

The Jesuit approach sees a twin model of leadership emerge. The school is led by Principal Mr William Doherty who works closely with the College Rector, Father Chris Middleton SJ, who oversees faith development and spiritual growth. Together, Xavier’s two leaders encourage its 2,000 students to excel in all aspects of learning be that in academia, in sport, in music or the arts.

According to Fr Chris Middleton, “Our model of education has been refined over 500 years. Historically, the Jesuits were seen as the educators of Europe, and over the centuries have established many colleges and universities across the world. We are constantly refining our approach.”

The College is situated across three campuses: Kostka Hall in Brighton; Burke Hall, Kew; and Senior Campus on Barkers Road, Kew, also home to Xavier’s Boarding facility. Xavier provides a boutique boarding experience for up to 76 boarders: a Year 9 and 10 facility and a dedicated Years 11 and 12 house, both of which are located in the heart of the Senior Campus.

Xavier encourages its students to become ‘Men and Women for others’ by living a life of love and service. By the time Xavier College students graduate

in Year 12, not only will they have a wellrounded academic education, they would have completed a minimum of 150 hours of service for others under the Ignatian Service Program. Many of our students have completed their Year 12 and spend time working in developing countries to help people in need.

Key Strengths

Xavier is ranked as one of the highest performing schools based on the VCE ATAR results and also has a comprehensive cocurricular program which encourages students to further their skills in various areas outside of the academic curriculum.

Xavier has a unique three-tiered model between its three campuses which begins at co-educational 3-year-old kindergarten and Burke Hall and Kostka Hall through to Year 4.

Xavier has a boys Middle Years program from Year 5 to 8 and the boys then continue to the Senior Campus from Years 9 to 12.


The facilities at Xavier College aim both to accommodate and to support the learning programs at the college across three campuses. These facilities are constantly reviewed and updated, as part of an ongoing Master Plan process.

Bricks and mortar decisions reflect a vision which sets as a focus the academic priority in our curricular programs and the enrichment of our students through a wide-ranging list of co-curricular options.

The classroom facilities across three campuses are first class with an emphasis on flexibility and access. Specialist areas are impressive. For example, the drama studio in the crypt below the chapel, the music facilities in the West Wing; the Eldon Hogan Performing Arts Centre which includes a 500-seat auditorium and music rehearsal rooms. This was completed in 2008 and in the same building program the John and Betty Ryan Science Wing saw the creation of eleven state-of-the art science laboratories.

Extensive playing fields provide impressive settings for all facilities. Sport, health and physical education programs are supported by the Xavier Sports Centre comprising a heated indoor pool, a weight training room, two basketball/netball courts, an indoor cricket area and a total of nine outside synthetic tennis courts, all of which are floodlit.

Across its three campus locations, Xavier College facilities reflect both the heritage of its past and a forward-looking commitment to an exciting future.

School History

Xavier College opened in 1878 as a boarding school, far removed from the temptations of the city of Melbourne. The Society of Jesus (Jesuits) was intent on providing a world class education in the fresh country air of Kew. By 1889, the increasing number of boarders required an entire new wing to be constructed to house them.

The College’s junior campuses of Burke Hall and Kostka Hall both opened with boarding facilities. Due to World War II and fears that Melbourne would be invaded from the bay, Kostka Hall became a day student only campus in 1942. Boarding continued at Burke Hall until 1975, when the increasing number of day students meant space was at a premium, and the dormitories were transformed into new classrooms.

In response to social changes, the original science laboratories at the Senior Campus were converted into the Junior Boarding House in 1980 and in 1981 a purpose built Senior Boarding House was opened, providing updated and modern facilities to continue the long tradition of boarding at Xavier to this day.


At Xavier College, cura personalis, or care for the individual, forms the basis of all that we do. What we do is set hearts on fire, empowering young people to venture into the world and have the courage to employ their passion in the service of others.

As vital as this tradition is, we are also at the leading edge of teaching methodology. Xavier is one of the few schools to offer a genuine three-tiered education that emphasises high performance in every field, across three distinct campuses, in both co-educational and boys-only environments.

Early Years Learning is offered at Xavier College for boys and girls from Kindergarten to Year 4 at our Burke Hall Campus in Kew and Kostka Hall Campus in Brighton. It means boys and girls from the same family can share their first seven years of Catholic education together.

We believe there are enormous benefits in combining a seamless program from Kindergarten to Year 4 as this allows for a continuously connected program of learning for our students.

Our staff members are fully engaged in delivering a range of programs designed to encourage students to be curious, ask questions, make discoveries, collaborate and to think independently. Teachers use a variety of teaching and learning strategies to support students in their learning.

We are committed to a process of structured inquiry that involves students actively engaging in their own learning.

We strive for a balance between the pursuit of understanding, the acquisition of knowledge and essential skills and attitudes.

Xavier College is authorised to deliver the International Baccalaureate’s Primary Years Programme. There is a strong alignment between this program and the philosophy and characteristics of a Jesuit education. Both focus on the growth of the whole child (intellectually, spiritually, aesthetically, socially, emotionally and physically) in the classroom and the wider world.

We have developed a comprehensive curriculum, which emphasises the importance of transdisciplinary learning the need to acquire skills in context, and to explore knowledge that is relevant to the lives of our students.

Our students are given opportunities to learn both within and beyond the boundaries of the traditional subjects of English, Mathematics, Religious Education, Humanities, Science and ICT.

Specialist subjects offered include: Music, Language other than English, Drama, Visual Arts, Health and Physical Education and Library.

Six transdisciplinary themes guide teachers in planning and developing Units of Inquiry in each year level. These focus on local, national and international perspectives and content.


At Xavier College, cura personalis, or care for the individual, forms the basis of all that we do. And what we do is set hearts on fire, empowering young people to venture into the world and have the courage to employ their passion in the service of others.

Xavier College is the only Jesuit Catholic school in Melbourne, offering an inspiring education which not only sets the heart aflame, but also fully engages heart, mind, body and spirit to serve in the wider world.

As vital as this tradition is, we are also at the leading edge of teaching methodology.

Xavier is one of the few schools to offer a genuine three-tiered education that emphasises high performance in every field, across three distinct campuses, in both co-educational and boys-only environments.

The Senior Campus is home to its senior school of Year 9–12 and its boutique Boarding School.

Today Xavier boarding is a niche offering. It can accommodate up to 76 boarders located in two distinct Houses — Year 9 and 10 and a separate Boarding House for Year 11 and 12.

The size and actual location of the houses is significant. The houses are centrally located at the very heart of the campus and we are committed to keeping our numbers low. With a small group of boys, it means we know every boy and every family. It is about the individual. The aim is to ensure the students feel safe, supported, encouraged and challenged.

A balance is maintained between the academic programs and co-curricular opportunities and the availability of modern facilities supports the programs aimed at the healthy development of adolescent boys living away from their homes.

While their time is organised, there is sufficient freedom to ensure that boarders also have that unstructured time which will enable them to plan, to make decisions and above all to learn how to use their time efficiently. Alongside established study routines, specific programs help boarders with time management and decision making.

Boarding at Xavier is built upon a strong three-way partnership between the College, the students and their parents. Parents are actively encouraged to be involved through a range of both formal and informal avenues of communication and participation, including a Boarding Parents’ Association which runs many activities throughout the year.

As a Jesuit school, training students for leadership is always a priority. Our goal within the very special pastoral relationships in the boarding house and within specific opportunities for leadership training is to encourage students to live a life where they will learn, where they will lead and where they will serve.

To book a personalised tour of the Senior Campus and Boarding House, please contact Head of Admissions, Di Odgers on 9854 5307 or email

Key facts

School uniform

School Uniform

The uniform is compulsory and enforced

Number of students

Total enrolment: 1967
Up to Year 6: 500
In high school: 1467
In Year 12: 237

Gender in depth

Other requirements

Boarding school

Offer IB

Accepts international students

Offers VCAL

Offers VET

Our Curriculum

Subjects overview

Subjects overivew

Math classes: streamed
English classes: mixed

Senior secondary subjects overview

Senior Secondary Subjects overivew

39 VCE level 3/4 studies
399 VCE students
LOTE taught to Unit 4 level:
French, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Latin,

Senior secondary programs overview

Senior Secondary programs overivew

7 VET program(s) available
42 VET students

How our students performed in Year 12

VCE Results

Scores of 40+ 15%

Median Score 33

Satisfactory completions of VCE 100%

Satisfactory completions of VET 92%


Bachelor enrolled 81%

TAFE/VET enrolled 5%

Apprentice/Trainee 4%

Employed 2%

Activities and Support staff



11 music options
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27 sporting activities
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Support staff

Support Staff

8 support staff
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Support Staff

3 extracurricular
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School Details

Principal: Mr William Doherty

135 Barkers Rd Kew VIC 3101
Studley Park Rd Kew VIC 3101
47 South Rd Brighton VIC 3186

Tel: (03) 9854 5307

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