About The McDonald College


The McDonald College is an independent, non-denominational, co-educational K – 12 school in North Strathfield, NSW.

In addition to academic studies through to the HSC, we offer a range of programs in performing arts and elite sports, including acting, classical ballet, contemporary dance, commercial dance, music, musical theatre, technical production, elite tennis, and rhythmic gymnastics.

Students love The McDonald College because here they find their people, people who appreciate their individuality and value their diverse interests.

Parents love The McDonald College because we place equal emphasis on academic rigour and the pursuit of their child’s passion.

Performance opportunities

At The McDonald College, performance is integral to the learning process. We offer numerous opportunities throughout the year.

For Performing Arts students, these opportunities include an annual full-length classical ballet performance and an annual full-length musical – as well as a myriad of plays, concerts, and recitals.

These events allow students to showcase their skills and gain valuable ensemble and performance experience. Our productions are directed and choreographed by our staff and are designed to challenge and inspire our students while entertaining our audiences.

This year’s full-length classical ballet: Swan Lake

Charlize Portes-Green and Charlie Carberry – two of the principal dancers for The McDonald College’s Swan Lake

The classical ballet stream at The McDonald College is deep in rehearsals for its annual full-length classical ballet performance, which this year is Swan Lake.

Directed by Ms Jane Kesby, the Head of Ballet at The McDonald College and former Soloist with the Deutsche Oper Berlin and Zurich Ballet – the production is shaping up to be nothing short of spectacular.

Ms Kesby said, “Swan Lake is considered one of the most demanding productions to perform due to its technical difficulty, artistic portrayal, and the need for the corps de ballet to move in complete unison. Our cast has been training for weeks, and I have no doubt they will move the audience with their artistry, technique, precision, and sophisticated approach to this much-loved tale.”

If you are unfamiliar with Swan Lake, the story starts with a young nobleman, Prince Siegfried hunting one evening when he comes across a flock of swans. As he takes aim with his crossbow, one of them turns into a beautiful woman, Odette.

Odette explains that she has been cursed by an evil sorcerer, Von Rothbart. She tells the Prince that the only way to break the spell is for someone to pledge their eternal love and loyalty to her. Enchanted, the Prince promises his devotion.

Later, at a ball where Prince Siegfried must choose a bride for himself – Von Rothbart disguises his daughter Odile to look exactly like Odette. The Prince falls for Rothbart’s trickery and mistakenly asks Odile for her hand in marriage. In doing so, he seals Odette’s fate, condemning her to remain a swan forever.

When he realises what he has done, he is overwhelmed by grief and rushes back to the lake to seek Odette’s forgiveness. Wanting nothing more than to be together forever, they leap into the lake and drown. Their deaths break Rothbart’s spell, defeating all his powers and liberating the mystical lake’s swan maidens.

We spoke to Charlie Carberry, who plays Prince Siegfried (the role is shared with Henry Burgess and Aidan Brady). When asked how he prepares for such a role, he replied, “I’ve been practising night and day. The goal is to develop muscle memory for the movements, so I can then focus on the characterisation and emotions.”

Charlize Portes-Green plays Odette (she shares this role with Sarah Wheatley and Olivia Wilkinson). She says, “The ending of Act 4 is my favourite scene. When Odette rises from the Lake, surrounded by her swan maidens to meet with the Prince. Tchaikovsky’s music is so emotive.”

Both Charlize and Charlie spend time watching professional performances for inspiration for their own interpretations of their roles, in particular the Royal Ballet’s 2022 production.

Our alumni

Alumnus Lachlan Monaghan, Principal Dancer with Birmingham Royal Ballet. Photo by Johan Persson

Our dance alumni performing internationally include Lachlan Monaghan, Principal Dancer with Birmingham Royal Ballet; Harrison Lee is First Artist at The Royal Ballet in London and Jordan Micallef is with The Sarasota Ballet in Florida.

More locally, we have Amanda McGuigan, Rohan Furnell, and Hugo Dumapit at the Australian Ballet. Alexander Idaszak is with Queensland Ballet. Emily Flannery and Glory Tuohy-Daniell are with Bangarra Dance Theatre. We also have Kymberleigh Krzysztofiak (Cowley) in West Australian Ballet. Dimitri Kleioris and Simon Plant were both with Sydney Dance Company.

We also count among our alumni Emma Watkins (the former Yellow Wiggle), Bojana Novakovic (Love Me), Meg Mac (singer / songwriter), Ayesha Madon (Heartbreak High), and Tim Draxl (In Our Blood). Felicity Ward is a comedian, actor, and writer. Dimity Clancey is a news presenter on A Current Affair, and Mariam Saab presents ABC News. While Hollie McKay covers humanitarian and diplomatic crises from the frontlines of global war zones.

Tennis player Micheal Zhang, who achieved an ATAR of 99.95, is now studying mathematics and economics at Harvard on scholarship. All keeping good company with our graduates who are working as doctors, lawyers, teachers, and business leaders. 

Find out more

Throughout the year, The McDonald College holds a series of Open Mornings, Open Days, and Auditions*. Principal’s Tours are available by appointment.

*Auditions are only required Year 5 – 12.

Upcoming events

Open Day: 28 Jul
Auditions: 18 Aug
Open Morning: 12 Oct

Get in touch with our Registrar

02 9752 0507



Truly the only school of its kind in Australia. The McDonald College is an independent, non-denominational, co-educational K – 12 […]

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