Melbourne Rudolf Steiner Seminar: Celebrating 50 Years

Melbourne Rudolf Steiner Seminar

Celebrating 50 Years

The Melbourne Rudolf Steiner Seminar turned 50 in 2020. We recently celebrated with many of the early tutors and staff the many wonderful years of consistent study, training and artistic experience and the beautiful relationships we have made along the way.

How did the Seminar begin and evolve?

Pam and Paul Martin studying in Germany

In 1970 Paul Martin and his wife Pam returned from Germany where they had been studying Steiner education.  A study group– including Robert Martin, Pauline Ward, Helen Cock and others–began to meet in Paul’s home to study and prepare for a new school. This study group developed into a regular teacher training evening as the Melbourne Rudolf Steiner School was built.

A short time later, the early teachers gave talks and led artistic activities in the school’s new classrooms. For many years various practising teachers gave their time freely to share the skills they themselves were evolving.

‘It has been a wonderful journey’

Paul Martin

As the school consolidated, an independent teacher training course was established as the Melbourne Rudolf Steiner Seminar with paid tutors. The Seminar eventually moved to its new home at the Michael Centre for Anthroposophy in a building specially designed by Greg Burgess. The Seminar campus sits at the apex of a hill overlooking the adjoining Melbourne Rudolf Steiner School out of which it has grown. It is a peaceful campus environment fringed by bushland, a bio-dynamic garden and a reedy dam where students can walk or sit in the sun between sessions. The site, a high point in the surrounding area on Woiwurrung country, may have been an old meeting ground of the Wurundjeri people.

The Seminar has been strengthened by the continuous, committed involvement of the founding tutors. Paul Martin, who provided the initial impetus, has taught continuously until the end of 2021. Members of the founding circle such as Robert Martin and Pauline Ward have been tutors until recently, and Helen Cock, still active as a Director, has been the guiding principal throughout. 

Thousands of students have come through the Melbourne Rudolf Steiner Teacher Training Seminar, studying in our part time and full-time courses.

Helen Cock holding the graduates folder at the 50th anniversary celebrations

We have trained many of the teachers working in Steiner schools today– locally, interstate and overseas. Seven State Government “stream schools’’, some running for over 25 years, employ teachers trained at the Seminar. The Seminar has continually mentored and supported new schools emerging throughout Asia.

Honouring the past gave us a moment to pause and reflect. And looking to the future coming towards us is opening our hearts and minds to how to meet the needs of prospective Steiner teachers.  

The Seminar today

The Seminar offers many courses in Steiner teacher training—part-time, full-time, online and face-to-face on campus.  We offer the only accredited full-time Advanced Diploma in Rudolf Steiner Education course in the southern hemisphere.  The course is a pathway into a Bachelor of Education with matched credits at various Australian universities. Local students can apply for VET student loans, a loan that covers around 70% of the course fees. At the time of highest enrolments, the Seminar had upwards of 80 full-time students and many part time students attending several courses, including the Bio-Dynamic Course and the Early Childhood Course.

Rob Martin singing with students

In 2023, we are introducing an online version of the course, so that it will benefit students from all over Australia and the world.  The content is the same as the on-campus version, a full-time two years. There will be three mandatory 10-day intensives at our campus in Warranwood to cover vital aspects of delivering a Steiner education to students, such as Bothmer gym, eurythmy, developing festivals, drama, music, craft, storytelling, and folk dancing. 

Enrolments for 2023 Advanced Diploma of Rudolf Steiner Education, for both online and on campus are now open on our website.

For details of the course, please visit our website  or contact us for any questions at (03) 9876 5199.