Principal from 1949 - 1973
Roberta McKie was Principal of Kilvington for twenty-five years, over a quarter of the School’s lifetime. Her contribution to the reputation of Kilvington as a caring school, academically strong and based on Christian values, was significant and still stands today.
Before her appointment as Principal, Mrs McKie was a missionary in India, returning to Australia due to the medical needs of her young son.
In 1949, Kilvington had a total of 220 pupils and was situated on the corner of Walsh Street and Katandra Road. Mrs McKie faced the formidable challenge of developing the Senior School to a standard that would enable official registration. This meant considerable curriculum and infrastructure developments, including a library and science laboratory. At this time, most girls left Kilvington to complete their final years of education at a registered school that would be recognised by universities. Encouraging students to stay on while the School developed an official capacity was a considerable challenge, but one that Mrs McKie met with fortitude and courage.
Land was purchased on the current site, which was previously Ormond Plant Farm. Extensive building was completed, along with a library and science laboratory. Kilvington Baptist Girls’ Grammar was opened in 1955, the same year Mrs McKie realised her dream when the School was granted full Secondary registration.
Students and staff alike respected Mrs McKie. She was a devout Christian, sensitive to others’ needs but also decisive and firm. She took a keen interest in the careers the girls would follow. On one occasion, an academically talented girl with a gift for science and mathematics announced she was going to work in a ‘Poodle Parlour’, to which Mrs McKie replied, ‘You’re not, you know. You are going to university to do a science degree!’ This the girl subsequently did.