Published on: 18 April 2024

Our Outdoor Education property, Kooringal, which means place by the water, was first leased by the School in 1971. Following this, land was cleared, buildings established and the official opening was in April 1974. Throughout the 70s, staff, parents and boys worked hard to fence off and prepare the site. Over the following years huts purchased from the RAAF base at Pearce were erected, spring water was connected to the site and the property was linked up to the electricity grid. In 1980, Kooringal Cottage was erected to provide accommodation for parents and staff.

In the early 80s, there was a major revision of the School’s outdoor education program with Headmaster Hill wishing to make Kooringal “the most important single experience in a boy’s time at Christ Church” and one that “could bind the School together in a most valuable way”. What followed was a comprehensive program for boys from Years 5 to 9, and activities and clubs for boys in Years 10 to 12.

In March 1983, a fire destroyed the main mess hall and dormitories at Kooringal. Thanks to the Parents’ Association and insurance, a month after the fire, Headmaster Hill announced that the School would rebuild Kooringal. In the November of 1983, the new building at Kooringal was opened.

Jeremy Madin, Headmaster between 1988 and 2000, also had an interest in outdoor education and this was reflected in the expansion of offerings at Kooringal and the introduction of a compulsory ten-day expedition in the south west for all year 10 students – Venture was born! Venture is now in its 34th year and without exception the most talked about experience at old boy reunions.

Kooringal has survived its challenges and managed to thrive. The range of activities and amenities available have greatly expanded over the years and despite these various refinements, Kooringal remains true to its simple, rustic origins.

In 2021 we celebrated 50 years of Kooringal, and excursions are still seen as a rite of passage and the Kooringal experience continues to hold its place as a uniquely defining element of our students’ education.

The fires of 2024 have taken their toll on the landscape, however as the School has in the past, a lot of care and effort will go into the rehabilitation of the property which will ensure students well into the future will benefit from the Kooringal experience.