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The Lyalls: “They are genuinely interested in our child“

Its academic reputation, range of extracurricular activities, and fantastic facilities are all big drawcards. But for Karen and Craig Lyall, ACG Strathallan offers something even more valuable – a nurturing and inclusive environment where all students are supported to thrive.


Daughter Jemma (Year 7) is now just a few months into her ACG studies, and although she didn’t know many people when she started, she has quickly forged a solid network of caring school buddies.

“She said to me, I’ve got so many friends now – no one is mean, everybody is nice,” said Karen, who attributes the welcoming and friendly school culture to both its leadership and the families who attend.

“You look in the car park and you see a Toyota Starlet parked next to a Porsche Carrera – everybody comes from different backgrounds, but they all share the same values and principles. We all want the same things for our kids.

“Communication here is brilliant. They follow up if there’s a problem, they deal with things straight away. For me that’s really important.”

While Karen admits sacrifices have been made in order to send Jemma to a private school, she said it’s been worth every penny, and the couple are looking forward to their son Sam (9) also starting in Year 7.

“We looked at other private schools, but we liked Strathallan because it’s close to where we live and it’s non-denominational, so more time can be spent studying other subjects. We also liked the simplicity of the fees. Here there’s just the application fee and your yearly fee unlike at some other schools, where fees are a lot more complicated.

“At ACG Strathallan they’re genuinely interested in your child. Principal Danny O’Connor is always outside school at the end of the day, chatting to the parents and saying goodbye to the students. He’s not some bigwig behind a desk – the kids find him very approachable which is brilliant.”

That openness and accessibility extends throughout the school.

“All the teachers and the Dean are very approachable too. At her old school Jemma felt she couldn’t go to some of her teachers, but it’s completely different here.”

For the Lyall family, the decision to move to ACG Strathallan has been a winning one.

“It’s absolutely brilliant. Jemma just loves it here and we’re so pleased.”