Mark Oliphant College is South Australia’s first purpose-built facility combining, preschool, early, primary and secondary education on one site.
In 2006 the communities of Smithfield Plains Kindergarten, Junior Primary, Primary and Smithfield Plains High Schools voted to close and become part of a new school to be built at Munno Para West.
All naming suggestions were submitted to an Advisory Committee and four names were shortlisted as suggested names for the new school.
The name “Mark Oliphant College”, was selected in conjunction with the student and parent community , and the wider community reflecting an intended science focus of the College.
Mark Oliphant College Birth-Year 12, (B-12) was officially launched on 16th December 2009.
The college opened under its new name in January 2010, at that stage across our old Smithfield Plains sites – the Peachey and Beaumont campuses.
Learning commenced at the Munno Para site at the start of Term 2, 2011.
Due to demand, a new building was built and completed in June 2013. Two portable buildings have since placed within the grounds in 2020 and 2021 and a new building is under construction with expected completion by 2022.
Mark Oliphant College was one of the first schools built under the new Public, Private Partnerships model.
The school is divided into, Early, Primary, Middle and Senior schools.
The buildings are arranged in a circle around our village green and connected by covered walkways.
The school logo is a reflection of this design.
The school’s namesake, the late Sir Mark Oliphant is a product of the public school education system having attended primary schools in Goodwood and Mylor, high school at Unley High School and Adelaide High School, and tertiary education at the University of Adelaide.
Sir Marcus Laurence Elwin “Mark” Oliphant, AC, KBE, FRS, FAA, FTSE (8 October 1901 – 14 July 2000), was an Australian nuclear physicist, humanitarian and one of Australia’s most famous scientists.
Later in life, Sir Mark was appointed the 27th Governor of South Australia (1 December 1971 – 30 November 1976).
This Pieter Zaadstra painting was commissioned by Guy Matthews and reproduced here with the artist’s permission.
A quote from the artist;
“Sir Mark opened the new facilities and my art exhibition. A lovely kind man and fully engaging. He was most complimentary of the portrait art, which remains on display at Mount Gambier. “