Origins, 1793

The first schools in Australia were Christian schools. Rev Richard Johnson, the first chaplain to the colony of New South Wales, established an Anglican school in 1793. Free “charity schools” run by other denominations gradually came into existence in the following decades.

1872

In 1872, Victoria became the first Australian state to pass an Education Act providing for free, secular (in the sense of non-sectarian) public education; other states followed suit in the following two decades. These government run public schools grew to dominate the educational landscape with non-government schooling largely limited to poorly funded Catholic parish schools and higher fee denominational schools.

20th Century

By the turn of the century affordable fee, church schools, staffed by Christians and teaching from a biblical perspective were an established part of the education landscape. For the previous two decades they represented the fastest growing sector of schools. These schools were diverse. Geographically they were spread across Australia, mainly in outer metropolitan areas but also in regional, remote and very remote locations. The schools were community based, serving the local community where they were located, usually low-middle socio-economic groups but also some indigenous communities in more remote areas. Operating with a variety of governance structures some were the ministry of a local church, others having involvement from a number of churches, some parent groups and some with denominational links. While some focussed on serving church families others sought to serve the wider community, but all were committed to communicating the Gospel as an essential part of educating the whole child.

1960-1975

The current wave of affordable, low fee Christian schools have their origins in the 1960s and 1970s. The earliest of these commenced where groups of Christian parents came together to start Christian schools. In the mid-1970s local Protestant churches increasingly looked to start schools staffed by Christians and sought to teach a Bible-based curriculum.

1976

The first Christian Community School, a predecessor organisation to Christian Schools Australia, commenced in 1976 and many other Christian schools followed in the later 1970s and early 1980s.

1980-2000

During the 1980s and 1990s, Christian schools represented the fastest growing sector of schools. Operating with a variety of governance structures, all were committed to communicating the gospel as an essential part of educating the whole child.

21st Century

Christian Schools Australia Limited (CSA) arose out of conversations at that time to bring together a number of groups of schools around a common purpose.

2002

CSA commenced operations with a team of 7 pioneering staff dedicated and committed to the cause of Christian education in Australia. CSA provides a wide range of support to schools, and the wider community, through the advancement of Christian education in Australia and internationally.

2022

In 2022, Christian Schools Australia celebrates its 20th Anniversary. The last 20 years has seen CSA grow to a team of 20 people who are still dedicated and committed to the cause of Christian education in Australia. In addition to this, the last 20 years has also seen the growth of CSA membership from 132 schools, teaching over 40,000 students in 2002 to 148 schools, operating on 183 sites, educating some 72,000 students all across the country. Under God, the vision and blessing of Christian education in Australia continues to grow to fruition, and provide excellent opportunities and access to young people all across the country.