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Our History

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Before settlers arrived at Port Phillip, Aboriginal people looking north along the bay after the steep climb of Oliver’s Hill, Frankston, would have viewed the long ribbon of sandy beach shaped vaguely like a boomerang.
They knew the area as Karrum or as some early settlers interpreted it, Garem Gam, meaning boomerang. They also knew the swampy marshland behind the sand dunes as a rich hunting ground teeming with wildlife.
Kangaroo and emu were to be found among the growth along the sand dunes, while hundreds of aquatic birds and other birdlife populated the area on or near the swamp. In addition, there were large quantities of black eels squirming in the swamp’s muddy waters.


People of the Bunurong tribe lived in mia mias on the banks of the Kananook where pure fresh water could be obtained about two kilometres from its entrance to the bay. 

Chelsea Heights is situated on an ancient coastal sand dune, formerly surrounded by the Carrum Swamp. In the 1850’s parts of the area were leased for grazing and one settler gave his address as the Islands of Wannark Laddin, a name which persisted at least until 1866 when it was printed on a hydrographic map of Port Phillip Bay. The so-called islands were the dunes raised above the lower swamp lands.

In 1890 a primary school was opened in the area, then called Carrum North, because children had otherwise to wade through swamp to reach Mordialloc. 

In 1912 the area was subdivided and named Chelsea Heights.

Even with the improved draining of the Carrum Swamp,

Chelsea Heights was somewhat separated from Chelsea,

and a drain from Mordialloc Creek to Patterson River, that is,

running parallel to the coast, separates the two areas.

In 1964 the school’s name was changed from Carrum North to

Chelsea Heights which roughly corresponds with the time

when the subdivisions were attracting residential development.

kindergarten, infant welfare centre and shops were opened.

Chelsea Heights Kindergarten was declared open on our current site at 29 Third Avenue in 1967. The original plaque is displayed in the foyer.


In 2017 children and educators celebrated our 50th Anniversary with families past and present, our volunteer parent run Committee and the local community. Former students and Staff were invited to attend, and it was exciting to meet and talk with one of the original educators and share some memories with one of the first pupils. It was a wonderful opportunity to acknowledge the long and rich history of the kindergarten and its importance to the community of Chelsea Heights. 

 

 

 

 

 

Later in the same year came the daunting task of temporarily relocating our Kinder to premises in Catherine Ave. Chelsea to enable major renovations to our building in Third Avenue including the addition of a second playroom. Thanks to the mammoth efforts of volunteers, together with staff who worked throughout their holidays, a successful transition was achieved.

In July 2018 we reversed the process, repacked the shipping container, made numerous car and trailer trips, worked again through holidays, and returned to our fabulous new learning space. It’s beautiful!!


The end of 2018 saw the retirement of 2 of our four educators; Judy after 6 years and Teresa after 19!! Teresa lives locally and her 3 daughters attended Chelsea Heights Kindergarten prior to her working here.

In 2020 we were also enthusiastic about launching a brand-new Extended Care Program to cater for our working families. 3 more educators were employed, bringing our team to 7.


The year began well as everyone eagerly embraced their roles and began to establish strong and collaborative relationships with children, families, and colleagues. As the Covid-19 pandemic unfolded, educators responded with a positive and professional approach. Together with the Kinder community, a new Philosophy statement was developed to reflect more clearly who we are, what we deliver and what we value.

In May 2022 we acknowledged an amazing teacher Sharon Cummins retirement after a magnificent 22 years at Chelsea Heights Kindergarten. In 2014 Sharon, Nicole Adams (The President), Tim Richardson and the community fought to keep our Kinder where it is still to this day as they wanted to move us. Sharon won and all the families since have benefited from her dedication and belief in our Kinder. Unfortunately, in May 2022 Sharon passed away. Sharon was the heart and soul of our Kinder and will be missed dearly. We are lucky to have a special memorial chair and plaque in our playground so we can honour her for years to come. She would be so proud to see we have grown the Kinder to full enrolments and have an amazing, supportive team of 13 Educators.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We look forward to a healthier and bright future with the continuation of our volunteer parent run committee, our story, and our passion to provide our children and future generations the best start to their educational journey. 

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