The foundation principal of CHES is Stewart Milner.

Introducing the CHES Principal

The foundation principal of CHES is Stewart Milner.

Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Business at Swinburne University and then a Graduate Diploma in Education at the University of Melbourne, Stewart began his teaching career in Sunbury in 1999. His subjects included Japanese, accounting, business management, humanities, and English as an Additional Language (EAL). Early in his career, Stewart moved into leadership roles within the Department of Education and Training, focusing on strategic planning, leadership coaching, languages education, centres of excellence, and literacy and numeracy initiatives in some of Melbourne’s most disadvantaged communities.

In 2011, Stewart was appointed to the position of Assistant Principal for the launch of the newest selective-entry school, Suzanne Cory High School in Werribee. Over the next five years, he was responsible for leading the development of the school-wide curriculum, teaching and learning framework, and professional learning programs, and for overseeing workforce planning, facilities management and maintenance. In 2012, Stewart completed a Master of School Leadership at Monash University.

In 2016, Stewart was appointed as Principal of Coburg High School. Coburg High School has since expanded from 340 students to 1,200 students with steady improvements in NAPLAN and VCE outcomes and a strong reputation for educational innovation.

In 2021, Stewart was seconded to the position of Senior Education Improvement Leader (SEIL) overseeing 25 government schools in the Banyule Nillumbik network in the north-western region of Victoria.

As the Foundation Principal for the Centre for Higher Education Studies (CHES), Stewart is passionate about working with high-ability students to:

• cultivate their potential and talents
• accelerate their learning
• support them to pursue their passions
• challenge them to strive for excellence and make valuable leadership contributions
• strengthen their wellbeing to overcome adversity and realise their full potential.



Principal’s Message

Welcome to the next stage in your educational journey. This is your chance to challenge yourself and to get a head start on university while you are still in school.

CHES is a ground-breaking new centre of excellence that has been established to cultivate the potential of high-ability and high-achieving senior secondary school students. It is a direct response to the Victorian Government’s intention that all students, regardless of their starting point, are supported to realise their full potential. As our name suggests, we are expanding access to Higher Education Studies (HES) for high-achieving government school students.

Our website details the HES that are being offered through CHES and our university partners, and our two select VCE subjects (VCE Extended Investigation and VCE Algorithmics).

I encourage you to read through the key information about eligibility, enrolment applications, selection processes, and each of the subjects on offer.
HES are first year university subjects and are designed to extend high-achieving students. At CHES, we offer HES to government school students across Victoria, including students in metropolitan, rural, regional, and remote areas, students with disadvantaged backgrounds, and students who may be first in their family to undertake university studies. Through an innovative ‘hy-flex’ approach to teaching and learning, students can remain enrolled at their chosen government secondary school and undertake one HES through CHES, as part of their VCE program.

To accommodate as many eligible students as possible, these programs are available through a hybrid and flexible approach, with opportunities to study online, on-site at CHES, and to visit and explore universities.

At CHES, we are proudly partnering with a range of Victorian universities to broaden the range of HES available to senior secondary students. We are a bridge between schools and universities, between teachers and university staff, between students and university faculties, and between high-ability students across Victoria.

Students who undertake a HES subject with us have access to our CHES Student Enrichment Series, which includes workshops, masterclasses and lectures from a range of universities and mentoring opportunities with university students and academics.

Our programs enable students to accelerate and to deepen their learning. Students enrolled in one of our subjects have the opportunity to learn from university experts who are specialists in their field, to expand their knowledge and skills and challenge themselves, to build networks with other high-achieving students, to experience university life while still at school, to be considered for university credits and gain ATAR points, and to continue building an impressive CV for their future.

At CHES we are forward thinking. We encourage you to look to the future with us and make the first step in your journey to university through CHES.

I encourage you to read the information on our website and in the handbooks, and to contact us with any questions or queries.

If you or your family would like to learn more about HES at CHES, we encourage you to attend one of our online information evenings in Term 3. We are also here to help and provide advice via our school email:

We welcome your application to enrol in a HES or a VCE subject with us.


Stewart Milner

Foundation Principal CHES
We reach, connect, understand, and think ahead.

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