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History

HISTORY OF CATHOLIC SECONDARY EDUCATION IN BENDIGO 

Catholic Secondary Education in Bendigo began with the arrival of the Sisters of Mercy in 1876. High School education for boys and girls was offered by the Sisters at St. Aloysius’ School until 1893, when the Marist Brothers arrived to continue education for boys.
 
In the years that followed Religious and Lay teachers at St Mary’s College and Marist Brothers’ College continued to offer a Catholic education to many young people from Bendigo and its environs.
 
In 1954 the Vincentian Fathers opened St. Vincent's College as a boarding school for boys at Junortoun. This made a significant contribution to Catholic education. In 1972 St Vincent's opened to day boys, due to declining boarding numbers. By 1977 further decline in numbers led the Vincentian Fathers to decide to leave Bendigo and concentrate on other ministries. The College was closed, and the site became an extension of Marist Brothers’ College.
 
On September 23, 1982, it was announced by Bishop Daly, the Provincial Superior of the Marist Brothers and the Congregational Superior of the Sisters of Mercy that the existing Colleges in Bendigo, Marist Brothers’ College and St. Mary’s College, would amalgamate from January 1, 1983, and would be known as Catholic College Bendigo. They anticipated that the transition to total amalgamation would be gradual and the merging of the administrative, educational and financial operations of the Colleges would be expected to take several years.
 
In March 1985, the Governors decided that the College would move toward the development of a College on two locations by 1988 and that all classes would be co-educational in 1986.
 
1988 saw the implementation of this decision, as the year commenced with students at Years 7,8,9 at Junortoun (now known as La Valla), and students at Years 10,11,12 at Barkly Street (now known as Coolock). 
 
On Thursday 1 November 2012 it was announced that from 1 January 2013 Catholic College Bendigo would be solely governed by the Sisters of Mercy. With the Marist Brothers focusing on the new Marist College Bendigo in Maiden Gully, Bishop Leslie Tomlinson agreed to hand Governance of Catholic College Bendigo to the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea.

Accordingly, since 1 January 2013, Catholic College Bendigo has rested under the sole governance of the Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea, a Ministry of Mercy Education Limited - ABN 69 154 531 870.

PRINCIPALS OF CATHOLIC COLLEGE BENDIGO 

Sister Mary Duffy (1983 – 1989)
Sr Sylvia Williams (1990-1997)
Brother Paul Kane (1998 – 2003)
Sister Sylvia Williams (1990 – 1997)
Mr Darren McGregor (2004 - 2013) 
Mr Michael Chalkley (2014 - 2014)
Mr Brian Turner (2014 - current)

BUILDING NAMES 

The Coolock buildings are named to so as to reflect our religious heritage.
 
MERCY
Sisters of Mercy arrived in Bendigo in 1876.
The Mercy Centre was the Convent for about 115 years.
In the early 1990s it was renovated and became the administration centre of Catholic College Bendigo.
KELLY
Brother Basil Kelly was the first principal of Marist Brothers’ College, Bendigo.
He migrated from Ireland to New Zealand as a young man, before entering the Marist Brothers in Sydney.
CHAMPAGNAT
St Marcellin Champagnat was the founder of the Marist Brothers, who have been involved in secondary education in Bendigo since 1893.
URSULA FRAYNE
Ursual Frayne was the leader of the first Sisters of Mercy to arrive in Australia (Perth) in 1846.
Sister Ursula was twenty-nine years old.
She also led the first group to Victoria in 1857.
She had lived and worked with Catherine McAuley in Dublin.
COOLOCK
Before Catherine McAuley officially commenced her work as a Sister of Mercy she lived with a Mr and Mrs Callaghan in their home - “Coolock”.So impressed were they with her work for the poor and uneducated that they made Catherine the heiress to their property.
BACKHAUS
Father Henry Backhaus came to Bendigo in 1852 and is credited with the honour of being the founder of the Catholic Church in what is now the Diocese of Sandhurst. He is also considered to be one of the founding fathers of the City of Bendigo.
MARIAN CENTRE
 This name reflects the devotion of the Marist Brothers to Mary the mother of Jesus, and the centrality of Mary in Catholic devotions. 
 
At La Valla the building names used are as follows:

 

ST VINCENT BUILDING

The original building (three wings around the central quad) is named St. Vincent.

St. Vincent (1581-1660) was a French priest and the founder of the Vincentians.

He is regarded as the patron of charitable societies.

The Vincentians opened the College (now CCB La Valla) in 1955.

HOWARD OVAL

Father Michael Howard was a Vincentian priest and the first President of St. Vincent’s College.He was the President from 1955 to 1960 and again from 1964 until his death in 1967.

FINN OVAL

Father Thomas Finn is a Vincentian priest and the last President of St. Vincent’s College. He was the President from 1974 to 1977.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TIMELINE OF CATHOLIC EDUCATION IN BENDIGO

1876

Sisters of Mercy arrived in Bendigo. “St. Aloysius’ Select School” for primary and secondary boys and girls opened in Wright Street with 111 pupils.

1893

Marist Brothers came to Bendigo and took over St. Kilian’s Boys’ School with 170 pupils in the old St Kilian’s Hall.

1897

New building (present Hall and the adjoining rooms) blessed and opened in Barkly Place. Name changed to St Mary’s College.

1901

New primary school opened at Marist Brothers’ College.

1917 

Senior secondary boys from St Mary’s College went to Marist Brothers’ College.

1918

New Secondary School built at Marist Brothers’ College.

1930 (approx.)

First Lay Teacher (Doreen McMillan) at St Mary’s College.

1945

Technical School built at Marist Brothers’ College.

1954

St Mary’s College new building on corner of View & Barkly Streets opened.

1955

St Vincent’s College opened for boy boarders.

1956

Purchase of Abbott property (St. Catherine’s)

1959

New primary school at Marist Brothers’ College. Purchase of Denderah from George Lansell renamed Coolock.

1966

Science Rooms and Library (converted to Science) built above existing building at St Mary’s College. Senior Secondary Science built at Marist Brothers’ College.

1970

Home Economics Block set up at St Mary’s College.

1971

Library built at Marist Brothers’ College.

1972

Due to declining boarding enrolments, St Vincent’s College opened to day boys.

Junior School (Primary) phased out at St Mary’s College.

1974

New Library opened, St Mary’s College.

1975

Opening of canteen and classroom block on corner of Wright Street and Barkly Street.

1975

Forms I and II (girls) transferred from St Kilian’s, taught in Boarders’ dormitory area.

Coolock used for Matriculation girls and some boys from Marist Brothers’ College and also available to adults.

1977

St. Vincent's College closed, as did the boarding component of St. Mary’s College.

Forms II, III and IV blocks refurbished at Marist Brothers’ College.

1978

Two location operation for Marist Brothers’ College - Senior School (Years 10-12) at McCrae St., and Junior School (Years 7-9) at Junortoun (St. Vincent’s College building).

1981

Shared courses at St Mary’s College for some boys from Marist Brothers’ College.

1982

Marist Brothers’ College Manual Arts Wing built at Junortoun and new toilet block at Barkly Street

1983

Amalgamation of St Mary’s College and Marist Brothers’ College, renamed Catholic College Bendigo.

1983-4

Boys in Years 10-12 remained at McCrae Street.

1985

Year 12 located at Barkly Street.

1986

Catholic College Bendigo is a co-educational three Campus College.

1986-87

Year 9 boys and girls at McCrae Street.

Last house in Barkly Street purchased (car park and lawn)

1988

Two site school: Junortoun (Years 7 - 9), Barkly Street (Years 10 - 12) 

1990

New VCE block - corner Wright and Valentine Streets opened.

1991

Convent vacated for School Administration area at Coolock.

1993

New Woodwork and Ceramics buildings completed.

Coolock Library extended.

Coolock House refurbished.

Home Economics moved to refurbished area in vacated Administration area at Coolock.

1993

Demolition of Home Economics room built in 1970 at Coolock.

1994

Development of Marist Gardens.

1995

Refurbishments at Barkly Street: Mercy Centre & InformationTechnology.

At Junortoun: Administration & Ceramics

1998

Refurbishment of Junortoun quadrangle

1999

Refurbishment of Science Labs at Barkly Street

2001

Junortoun renamed La Valla and Barkly Street renamed Coolock.

New Science Facilities at La Valla.

2004

Two new portables including team teaching room at La Valla.

Disabled lift installed on Mercy Building at Coolock.

Purchase of Wright Street, subsequent redevelopment.

2005

Refurbishment of Coolock Arts Floor.

2006

Refurbishment of Mercy Chapel. 

Founders Day celebrated as whole school.

2007

Technology Building opened at La Valla.

La Valla driveway sealed.

2008

Opening of the Marian Centre at Coolock.

2011

Agriculture, Horticulture and Laboratory Skills Centre, hosted on behalf of the Bendigo Schools Trade Training Centre Consortium opens at La Valla

2012

Opening of the English Learning Centre at Coolock.