WJ Gilson, the foundation principal of Lilydale Adventist Academy, first suggested the need for a Seventh-day Adventist boarding school on the eastern seaboard of Australia in the early 1940's. However, it was not until the late 1950's that the project gained momentum.
A suitable 48-acre property was located in the Lilydale area. Originally the property was part of the Mitchell estate and was built by the sister of Dame Nellie Melba. Located on the property was the caretaker's cottage set in lovely green lawns. This cottage remains a feature of the College campus.
The building of Lilydale Adventist Academy's facilities commenced in 1963. The builder, Mr Crabb, and his team worked tirelessly to complete the school facilities in time for the commencement of the school year on February 10, 1964. In operation at the commencement of the 1964 school year were school administration and classroom facilities, and a boy's dormitory. At the same time, four staff homes were constructed on the property by Mr Stoneman and Mr Epps. The girl's dormitory was added and in operation at the commencement of the 1966 school year. Subsequent building projects have included: a cafeteria, student chapel, Art and Technology facility, Science facility, assembly hall, and gymnasium.
Further developments have been the construction of the primary school, then known as Edinburgh Adventist Primary School, in 2000, and the Edinburgh Early Learning Centre was added to the campus in 2006, providing continuity of education for 2-year-olds through to Year 12. Ongoing developments over the past ten years include the refurbishment of the Science Labs, Art and Technology facility, conversion of the girl’s Dormitory to a new Languages Centre and a new Library Resource Centre that has allowed for contemporary educational environments to enhance learning and teaching.
In its 50th year of operation, the Administration offices have been refurbished and updated.