College history

Helena College has a long history as an independent school in Western Australia.

The origins stretch back to the late nineteenth century with the arrival in Western Australia of Mrs Jessy Jones from England. A teacher and school administrator Mrs Jones, with her two daughters, was involved in operating a number of different schools around the Perth region.

By 1941, the original Jessy Jones had passed away and her daughter, Miss Jessy Jones was running the Helena School in Cottesloe when all schools were advised to move inland because of the threat of Japanese invasion. Thus it was Miss Jessy Jones, along with Miss Mary Jones, her niece, and Miss Jane Ashbury moved Helena School to where the Junior School stands today, in Ryecroft Road Darlington. Miss Jones died in 1944 leaving Miss Mary Jones and Miss Jane Ashbury to run the school as an Anglican boarding school until 1972.

In 1972, Miss Jones and Miss Ashbury retired but continued to live in the old schoolhouse. Helena School continued to operate on land adjoining the schoolhouse that had been purchased by one of the school’s teachers, Sally Herzfeld and her husband Tom. In 1973 the newly formed Helena School Council bought the site from the Herzfelds and the school became a non-denominational day school. Mrs Herzfeld was appointed the first headmistress of the three-teacher school.

By the 1980s there was a strong push for a Helena high school, from families who valued the educational philosophy and approach at the Helena School. With strong parental support and encouragement, a secondary campus was established on the 8.3 hectare site in Bilgoman Road, Glen Forrest.

The school opened in 1988 with its first class of 27 Year 8 students and Mrs Sally Herzfeld as the coordinator.  In 1990 Helena School, with its primary and secondary campuses, officially became Helena College Junior School and Helena College Senior School.  Mr John Allen-Williams was appointed as Foundation Principal of the Senior School. After 20 years of dedicated service to the College, Mr Allen-Williams retired in 2010 and Mr Ian Lyons was appointed Senior School Principal in Term Four of that year.

In 2015 the two campuses were renamed as Helena College Darlington Campus and Glen Forrest Campus with Mr Ian Lyons being appointed Foundation Principal (K-12) and Mr Greg Miller continuing in his role as Head of Junior School (K-5). In 2020, the College began another new era with Mr Peter Coombs taking on the role of College Principal (K-12) from Term Three.

For a more details on our history, you can visit the Darlington History Group website. 


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