A brief period of solitude in a darkened vestry, on a sunny Sunday morning after the final Mass of the day, the Parish Priest prayed and was proud that his congregation was growing in number, changing in cultural composition, Mums and Dads seated in wooden pews with their sons and daughters spick and span in Sunday best……

The priest prayed about the future for those youngsters and knew Catholic secondary education was crucial. A College for girls in Epping was his dream, and now in this school’s sixtieth anniversary year, we embrace the 2024 College Theme, ‘From A Dream to Diamonds’, with the sub theme ‘Sixty wonderful years of Monican Education’.

60 Years Young

Sixty wonderful and wondrous years, 1964 to 2024, a pastor’s dream brought forth sixty shining diamonds, year by year, as St Monica’s College, Epping established itself, transformed itself in 1978, and celebrates this anniversary with delight and pride. Diamonds studded throughout our story; diamonds in the students; diamonds in the staff; diamonds in the Sisters; a diamond in our Saint.

‘From a Dream to Diamonds’ will draw and entice us back into our grand and worthy history, through successes, struggles, seasons of growth, and decades of glory. It will focus on each annual step and stage along the journey, each annual chapter a unique precious diamond of inestimable quality and value. 2024 will be the culmination of purposeful prayer and perseverance.

The Monican community has metaphorically sparkled over the past sixty years – scholarly students, active adolescents, loving parents, even grandparents who proudly watch their grandchild graduate. This will intensify in 2024 and make us happy and joyful. Events of all shades and shapes have gleamed with the aura of a diamond – that time when the Sisters waded along muddy, unmade Dalton Road in gumboots; when students wore slippers to keep the carpet clean; when a wetlands emerged; when Ostia opened in 1999 and closed the twentieth century; when the first three tiered building was constructed and named in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus; our Founders Cottage of 1871 so much alive in 2024. A jumble of gorgeous diamonds have tumbled out from one dream for Monicans over sixty years.

Like diamonds in the sky, the College developed and nurtured a culture of depth and beauty. A vigorous adherence to social justice, a continuous commitment to environmental sustainability, devout daily prayer, a College Pin worn with pride, and a uniform of blue and gold. On Monican soil, our mottos and sayings, symbols, art, landscapes, gardens, ovals and paddocks have grown like diamonds from the dream of one man, created with pleasure and devotion by thousands who have travelled the Monican journey. A cluster of stories have enchanted and enriched us – personal triumphs, serious encounters, exciting adventures, some bereavements, courage, compassion and caring ‘monicafied’, and ready to be shared in this sixtieth wonderful year of Monican education.

The girls of 1964 until 1977 were the diamonds originally dreamt about and we shall celebrate them. Pioneer boys of 1978 were sometimes rough diamonds whom we shall recall and give thanks. Every student since is a diamond of immense value and worth, a precious gift from God. Diamonds in front of classes teaching skills and knowledge. We shall praise them. Diamonds in offices, laboratories, libraries and gymnasia. We shall honor them. Diamonds in the gardens, behind a broom, in a track suit or in a dust coat. We shall show our gratitude and respect to them as the first dream continues to expand and encompass our community of 2024 through a very special staff over generations.

Diamonds in wimples, black habits with rosary beads attached, the Sisters of the Good Samaritan of the Order of Saint Benedict were the diamonds who established and made possible that priest’s dream. Sisters now remembered on our Honor Boards and through the Polding roses, on nameplates in a library, an archives centre, avenue, conference room, esplanade, Board Room, and through an academic prize. These Sisters served in diverse ways, mighty and humble, faithful and loyal. Pure as diamonds shining, stories to behold.

Saint Monica, loving patron of our school, who knew the importance of achieving a dream. Fourth century diamond still sparkling bright for Monicans, a brave and stirring woman, intrepid traveller, holy and saintly as she persevered, prayed and turned a dream into reality like thousands of Monicans have done throughout their sixty wonderful years.

“From a Dream to Diamonds’, ‘Sixty Wonderful Years of Monican Education’, will be time for Monicans of today to give thanks, enjoy fun parties, surprises, events and celebrations. Love of God, fidelity to the Church, commitment to Melbourne’s northern suburbs have been, are and will remain at the heart of Monican education.

Every year shining as a diamond; each Monican more precious: a dream fulfilled; sixty years young. Thanks be to God.

Brian E. Hanley OAM, B.A., Dip. Ed. Grad. Dip. Ed. Admin., M.Ed., MACE, FACEL
College Principal

The College has planned several events to celebrate our 60th Anniversary. Click on the links for more details.







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