A Brief History of St Monica’s College Development
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 Sister Matthias Crowe sgs 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 a regional college for girls.
The College at Epping was planned and building commenced in 1966. The name, St Monica’s, was bestowed on the College by Archbishop Justin 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 the Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne, Bishop Lawrence Patrick 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 November by Senator Fred Chaney and blest by Archbishop Frank Little with the words “the true foundations of this school are not concrete and rocks, but Jesus Christ.” The Sisters of the Good Samaritan were responsible for the College and provided the Principal until December, 1990. The College’s first lay Principal, Mr Brian E. Hanley was appointed in 1990 and commenced in 1991.
The College expanded further when an Annexe was constructed in Wedge Street, thereby providing Modern Languages, Sport and Food Technology facilities. A second Annexe operated at Vernon Court, Epping until December, 2000. In 2004 the Wedge Street Annexe was incorporated fully into Davisson Street Campus on the purchase of a section of Wedge Street from the Victorian Government. In June, 2004 another Annexe was established and is named Monica’s Cottage attached to the Dalton Road Campus (DRC).
A major refurbishment and extension of the Davisson Street Campus (DSC) buildings and the conversion of the Good Samaritan Convent (including the Samaritan Chapel) was undertaken and the facilities were blest by Father Tom Doyle, Director of Catholic Education, and opened by Peter Cleeland MP on 21 August 1994.
An Information technology wing was created on DSC involving several learning areas and it was blest by Father Anthony Feeney and opened by Board Chairperson Kerry Cercone on 24 August 1995.
In 1999, the College acquired a country property at Strath Creek. It was named Ostia by the College Board and was blest by Father Bob Wood and opened by John Haberman on 19 March 2000.
St Monica’s is currently the regional College for the Parishes of St Peter’s, Epping/ St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, North Epping; St Luke’s, Lalor; St Clare’s, Thomastown West; St Stephen’s, East Reservoir/St Gabriel’s, Reservoir; Holy Name, East Preston; St Francis of Assisi, Mill Park. St Joseph the Worker, North Reservoir is also a Priority Parish 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 DRC. In 1998 the College restructured DRC to be a Years 7-9 Campus when Year 9 students were moved into new buildings. An Administration and Classroom building and Library extension at DRC were blest by Father Tom Doyle and opened by His Excellency the Governor of Victoria, Sir James Gobbo A.C. on 4 August 1998.
In 1999 a shared information technology centre on DSC, ‘The Beehive’, was constructed along with refurbishment of facilities for the performing, visual arts and sciences. These were opened by Senator Tsebin Tchen on 7 May 2000.
Augustine House (incorporating the Helen Lombard sgs Archives Centre) was declared open by Sister Dorothea Tallon sgs together with Our Lady’s Chapel and an Arts/Technology wing on DRC which were opened by Senator Kay Patterson and Board Chairperson Philip Trestrail and blest by on 30 May 2001. Our Lady’s Chapel was blest by Bishop Dante Sandrelli, Bishop Emeritus of the diocese of Formosa, Argentina on 26 April 2001.