St Monica’s College, Epping was founded in 1964.
A group of Form 1 female students commenced their secondary education attached to St Peter’s Primary School under the direction of Sr Matthias Crowe and assumed the temporary name of ‘St Peter’s High School’.
Growing enrolments in the surrounding parishes, as well as increased numbers of children continuing on to secondary education had necessitated a Catholic secondary school in Melbourne’s far northern suburbs. Thus, the regional Parish Priests and Sisters of the Good Samaritan commenced planning for a regional college.
The College at Epping was planned and building commenced in 1966. The name, St Monica’s, was bestowed on the College by Archbishop Simonds in 1966. The Forms 1 and II classes, already operational in Epping and Reservoir, came together under one name and on one site, when the buildings were officially blessed and opened by Bishop Moran on 5 February, 1967. The school developed its own uniform, motto and educational traditions.
The College became co-educational in 1978, and a second, junior secondary campus (on 7.3 hectares) was opened in the same year. The Sisters of the Good Samaritan were responsible for the College and provided the Principal until December, 1990.
The College expanded further when an Annexe was constructed in Wedge Street, thereby providing Modern Languages, Sport and Food Technology facilities and a second Annexe operated at Vernon Court, Epping until December, 2000. In June, 2004 a further Annexe was established and is named Monica’s Cottage.
In 2004 the Wedge Street Annexe ceased to exist once incorporated fully into Davisson Street Campus on the purchase of a section of Wedge Street from the Victorian Government.
In 1999, the College acquired a country property in Strath Creek. It was named Ostia by the College Board.
St Monica’s is currently the regional College for the Parishes of St Peter’s, Epping; St Luke’s, Lalor; St Clare’s, West Thomastown; St Stephen’s, East Reservoir; Holy Name, East Preston; St Francis of Assisi, Mill Park and St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, Epping North. St Joseph the Worker, North Reservoir and St Gabriel’s, Reservoir are also Priority Parishes for the College.
On the 27 August 1996, His Grace Archbishop, George Pell, officially blest and opened the new Sports and Assembly Hall erected on the Dalton Road Campus. In 1998 Year 9 students were moved into new buildings on the Dalton Road Campus. These were opened by His Excellency the Governor of Victoria, Sir James Gobbo A.C. on 4 August 1998. In 1999 a shared information technology centre, ‘The Beehive’, was constructed along with new facilities for the arts and sciences. In 2001 Augustine House was declared open together with Our Lady’s Chapel and an Arts/Technology wing on Dalton Road Campus.
By mid 2002, a modern Food Technology Centre was constructed on Dalton Road Campus.
Throughout 2003, much activity took place which eventuated in the construction of extensive sporting fields on Dalton Road Campus and a new classroom wing on Davisson Street Campus.
On 17 March, 2004 the new Year 10 wing and Science Laboratory were opened by Madeline Campbell, first College Captain. On that same day Sr Julian McKenna sgs opened the Our Lady of the Cherry Blossom Peace Garden.
In 2004, the College proudly celebrated a significant milestone, the fortieth anniversary of its foundation.
The Dalton Road Campus library was officially named the ‘Pamela Coyne Library’ in 2005 in recognition of the long and distinguished service of former staff member and Polding Medal Recipient, Pamela Coyne. 2005 also saw the opening and blessing of Samaritan Square on the Davisson Street Campus and the creation of an Australian landscape on the former Wedge Street.
In 2007 the John Bede Polding Rose Garden was created and opened by Sr Dorothy McKay sgs. This garden acknowledged the sesquicentenary of the Good Samaritan order and each Sister who worked at the College has a rose dedicated to her.
Throughout 2007 and 2008 a Year 9 building, a Science and Technology building, the Learning and Activities Complex and a piazza-style walkway were constructed on Dalton Road Campus. These facilities were blest by Archbishop Denis Hart and opened by the Director of Catholic Education, Mr Stephen Elder, on Sunday, 24 August 2008.
In November 2008, work commenced on the construction of a Technology building on Davisson Street Campus and in early 2009 the Industry and Trades Complex was officially opened.
In 2009 the College commenced the creation of Wetlands down by the Darebin Creek on Dalton Road Campus.
In that year the College was adversely affected in the 7 February ‘Black Saturday’ bushfires and by the outbreak of the H1N1 (swine) flu epidemic.
Progress was rapid in 2010 as the College utilized Government monies to construct a track and field centre, the LOTE Centre (incorporating the Theatre of All Nations), and to purchase individual netbook computers for all students at the College. The new buildings were constructed on Dalton Road Campus.
The Lorraine Pratt Sports Fields were blest by Bishop Timothy Costelloe SDB on Friday, 27 August, 2010 and he officially opened the Track and Field Centre on that day.
The Wetlands project was completed in 2011 whilst solar panels were installed on each campus and at Ostia.
The College opened the VCAL Hub on Davisson Street Campus on Friday 16 September, 2011. This purpose-built facility was declared open by the Mayor of Whittlesea, Cr Rex Griffin.
In 2012 the College activated its long-awaited Information Technology Strategic Plan and accordingly was accepted as a CISCO Exemplar School, one of only six in Victoria. This maintained the College’s reputation as a leading school in ICT and as a School of Educational Enterprise.
In 2013 the College opened a Music Performance Centre on the Dalton Road Campus and throughout the year works were undertaken to re-create the Pamela Coyne Library. The Library was rededicated on 9 May, 2014.
The third College Sculpture was unveiled in 2013 on the Dalton Road Campus, Futurum Australis was added to Monica Admirabilis (DRC) and Laudate Dominum (DSC).
The Golden Jubilee (1964 – 2014) of the College was marked by year-long celebrations throughout 2014. The College community embraced fifty years of Monican education with the acclaim “Thanks be to God”. The Apostolic Nuncio in Australia H.E. Archbishop Paul Gallagher, celebrated the annual St Monica’s Day Mass.
In 2014 the College and Takada Junior and Senior High School in Japan celebrated twenty years of sister schools and homestay relationship.
St Joseph’s Workshop, a Trade Skills Centre, was constructed and opened in 2015 on the Davisson Street Campus. An ANZAC Memorial Sculpture, funded by the Federal Government, was situated on the senior campus. Enhancements were made to the Davisson Street Campus Media facilities and the Fred Chamberlin Art Gallery.
Project Forward, a major redevelopment and expansion program for the College, was launched on 13 April, 2015 under the patronage of St Monica.