Emmanuel Anglican College opened in 1998 with a student population of 16. It was located at Gunundi, an Anglican Conference Centre at East Ballina. It moved to its present location in West Ballina in 2000 and has continued to grow, with a current enrolment of over 650 students ranging from Pre-school to Year 12.
Emmanuel Anglican College is highly regarded as a centre for academic and pastoral excellence in the Northern Rivers. This is reinforced by the outstanding results achieved in external competitions, tests and examinations each year. These results are a reflection of the personalised care and culture of learning that are part of the fabric of EAC. Students feel valued, are engaged in their learning and enjoy their days at school. The size of the College community enables teachers to build genuine relationships with each student and to get to know them as learners. Each student is valued for their unique personality and gifts and the broad nature of our curricular and extra-curricular program allows students to explore areas of interest in new and exciting ways. It is in this context that they are given the best opportunities to grow, develop and achieve. The emphasis of all that happens at EAC is on the student; their wellbeing and their learning. It is only natural that when this is at the heart of what we do, student achievement will follow.
As an Anglican College, our Christian ethos underpins all that we do and is evident in the prayer and worship life of the College, our Religious and Values Education program, our strong pastoral care practices and opportunities to serve the wider community. We pride ourselves on our excellent staff who are approachable, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and dedicated. Our teachers are highly qualified and innovative in their classroom practices. Teachers design lessons that are interesting, challenging and enjoyable for our students and our College’s goal is for every student to enjoy their learning and to experience success in all that they do.
Learning takes place in an outstanding physical environment with open, modern and fresh learning facilities. A wide variety of co-curricular activities are offered and the College has exceptional facilities to support these activities.
An outstanding feature of our College is our student body. Our students take real pride in their College and embrace the learning opportunities afforded them. As our students progress from Pre-school to graduation, we encourage them to be confident, articulate, resilient, independent and life-long learners. We support them as they take on various responsibilities within the College and recognise that each student is unique, with varying gifts and talents that need to be nurtured and developed.
As education is a partnership between the College and the family, we encourage parent involvement in College activities. EAC’s parent body is a great strength of the College and parents are very welcoming of new families in to our College community. The College’s parent organisation is known as the ‘Friends of EAC’ and this association works tirelessly to support the goals of the College.
Emmanuel Anglican College Foundation History
On 13 December 1995, the Rector of the Parish of St Mary’s Ballina, Rev Geoff Smith, called together a group of interested people to discuss the possibility of establishing an Anglican School to service the families of the Ballina, Byron and Lismore region. The minutes from the meeting propose ‘the establishment of a double stream school of approximately 700 pupils, Kindergarten to Year 12’. With this vision in mind, this team of committed and faithful people, led by Rev Geoff Smith, set about the process to seek support of the Diocese, the relevant government authorities and the people of the region to bring their vision to life.
Support for the establishment of a school grew quickly. It was decided that the school would commence operation at the Anglican Church retreat centre known as Gunundi, which was located on the East Ballina Headland. Once the school was up and running, a permanent site would be purchased and the school relocated to this site. It was determined that the school would be known as Emmanuel Anglican College and in September of 1997, Mr Robert Baker was appointed the inaugural principal.
The College Council formally met for the first time on 10 November 1997. Present at that meeting were Richard Bacon, Eric Farlow, Keith Purcival, Rev Geoff Smith, Lyn Smith, Lindsay Walker and Robert Baker. Members listed as apologies for the meeting were Mr Howard Brockington, Alex Arrighi, Margaret Kennedy and Andrew Weir.
The minutes of the meeting highlight discussion relating to the search for a permanent site, purchase of a demountable building for the Gunundi site, registration of the College with the Board of Studies and selection of College colours for the uniform.
The College then advertised for a suitably qualified, experienced and dedicated teacher to educate the first students of the College. There were over 80 applications for the position with Mrs Joan Pickup being selected to undertake this most important role.
The College was officially opened on 8 March 1998. There were 16 students on that day. In September of 1998 the enrolment had grown to 24. Once the College was opened at the Gunundi site, the search was then undertaken to find a permanent site for the College.
Lindsay Walker then took a lead role in the process of identifying and investigating proposed sites for the new school. A number of sites were explored and initially College Council had planned to purchase a 5.5 hectare site on Burns Bay Rd in West Ballina. When the owners of the land withdrew from the negotiations, attention turned to the current 6 hectare site on Horizon Drive at West Ballina. The site was purchased in late 1998 and Daryl Brown was appointed as architect to design a suitable master plan for the Horizon Drive site. By July, 1999 the successful tender had been appointed to begin construction of Stage 1 of the master plan. The College was officially opened on its current site on 5 March, 2000 by which time the College enrolment had swelled to 176!