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A new era in education for two of Melbourne's most historic schools

A SCHOOL FOR ALL

After almost 150 years of educating young Victorian women and men at Christian Brothers College St Kilda and Presentation College Windsor, 2021 marks a new beginning.

From January 2021, the school will be known as St Mary’s College, located at East St Kilda. It will become the inner city’s only secondary Catholic co-educational school. The reimagined school will be situated on the existing combined grounds of PCW Windsor and CBC East St Kilda.

The Foundation Principal of St Mary’s College, Mr. Terry Blizzard said the decision to establish a co-educational school came after wide consultation and consideration for both CBC St Kilda and its sister school PCW, which announced its end-of-2020 closure last year.

“We are excited about a new era for these two historic institutions. Both schools have played a major role in educating young Victorian men and women who have made a significant and positive impact on our society for almost 150 years.

“Whilst the name of the school has changed, the commitment to our faith, values, strong communities and quality learning programs will remain priorities as young women and men share their educational journeys together.

“We will continue to educate students in the tradition of Edmund Rice and the Presentation Sisters, offering a liberating education, based on Gospel spirituality, within an inclusive community committed to social justice. We will also ensure past students of both CBC and PCW continue to be engaged in our school as we honour our rich traditions and proud history,” he said.

Combining the facilities on the campuses on both sides of Dandenong Rd in St Kilda East and Windsor will provide new learning opportunities, access to more facilities and prepare students to take their place in the world as young people of hope, justice, compassion and liberation.

Mr Blizzard added the transition to the re-imagined co-educational school would be aided by an already strong relationship between the two schools, who have for many years, worked closely together both inside and outside the classroom.

“We are fortunate to have a mix of modern, state-of-the-art learning spaces, heritage listed buildings, strong connections to local community facilities, and a bold master plan for major capital development in the future,” he said.

Dr Wayne Tinsey, the Executive Director of Edmund Rice Education Australia, said: “The establishment of St Mary’s College is a dream, come to fruition. So many families will benefit from the educational possibilities which are underpinned by the traditions of the Presentation Sisters and the Christian Brothers. We are so grateful to all who have collaborated and worked so hard to make this dream come true.”

Ms Filina Virgato, Principal of Presentation College Windsor said, “I am so pleased to see that both the traditions of Nano Nagle and Edmund Rice will underpin the foundations of the new school moving forward. Both held strong beliefs about the power of learning; and in today’s context, the possibilities a good education affords our young people in contributing, and making a positive difference to the world in the future.”

Former Presentation College Windsor Principal Sister Nola Vanderfeen said that they are proud of the legacy of PCW and the core values they have inspired in their students since the establishment of the College in 1873. “An educational experience isn’t only about the lessons learnt in the classrooms. It is about the lasting relationships you may form and most importantly the values of compassion, hope, inclusion and justice that permeate all relationships,” she said.

The school’s governance structure remains unchanged, with Edmund Rice Education Australia (EREA) its governing body. St Mary's College becomes part of a network of 54 schools that offer a Liberating Education, based on a Gospel Spirituality, within an Inclusive Community committed to Justice and Solidarity. These schools are diverse, including primary and secondary, coeducational, boys, regional/rural, boarding, early learning centres and flexible education.

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