Deutsche Schule Melbourne 10 years on

Last year the Deutsche Schule Melbourne in Fitzroy North celebrated its 10 year anniversary. Some 14 years earlier, and encouraged by a visit by Klaus Steinmetz, then Principal of the German International School Sydney, a group of committed families had decided at one of their playgroup get-togethers to start the first bilingual German-English school in Melbourne. As the group were to find out, starting a non-profit school from scratch with no budget would take four years of very hard work.

As two of the original 10 founding board members, Steffen Welsch, and his wife Joanne Sweeney, were instrumental in creating the school. Steffen’s role was to find the site and assess its suitability, create a budget and masterplan, and organise the design and fitout of the school for its new purpose. Joanne managed the registration of this new school facility with the VRQA (Victorian Registration & Qualifications Authority).

Steffen and Jo’s children, Maya and Max, were in the first cohort of children that started in the school on its first year of operation in 2008. There were 15 enrolments in one extended composite class. Today, enrolments top over 100 students.

Read the 2007 The Age article featuring interviews with Steffen and Joanne.
Find out more about the German International School design.