Santa Sabina College

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Santa Sabina College
Santa Sabina College crest. Source: (Santa Sabina College website)
Latin: Veritas
Strathfield, New South Wales
Australia Australia
Coordinates 33°52′39″S 151°5′42″E / 33.87750°S 151.09500°E / -33.87750; 151.09500Coordinates: 33°52′39″S 151°5′42″E / 33.87750°S 151.09500°E / -33.87750; 151.09500
Type Independent Private, Day school
Denomination Roman Catholic (Dominicans)
Established 1894
Chairperson Mary Neely
Principal Dr Herrett
Staff ~127[1]
Grades K-12
Gender Co-educational (K-4)
Girls (5-12)
Enrolment ~1,400 (K–12)[2] (2007)
Colour(s) Green, Rust and Cream
Slogan Truth

Santa Sabina College, (known as Santa or SSC) is a Roman Catholic, Dominican, day school for girls K-12 and boys K-4, located in Strathfield, an inner-western suburb of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Established in 1894, Santa Sabina has a non-selective enrollment policy and currently caters to approximately 1,400 students, with co-education from Kindergarten to Year 4, and girls only from Years 5 to 12.[2]

The College is a school of the Archdiocese of Sydney,[3] and is affiliated with the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA),[4] the Junior School Heads Association of Australia (JSHAA).[5] Santa Sabina is also an affiliate member of the Association of Heads of Independent Girls' Schools (AHIGS).[6]

Santa Sabina is recognised as an employer of choice for women by the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency.[7]


Eight Dominican sisters arrived from Ireland in 1867, to establish schools for Catholic children in New South Wales. Subsequently, 6.5 acres (26,000 m2) of land and a house in Strathfield were purchased from a wine-grower, Harold Lindeman. Santa Sabina College was established on this site in January 1894, with seven day students. The first three boarders were enrolled in April of that same year.[8]

1894 building

Although the College saw its first student matriculate in 1906, it was not officially recognised as a secondary school until 1912, with the passing of the New South Wales Bursary Act. Organised sport was first introduced in 1918, with Tennis the most popular sport at the time.[8]

In 1936, Santa's most prominent building, Holyrood, was purchased from William Adams of the Tattersall's Hotel. The carved sandstone facade came from the City Bank building in Moore Street (now Martin Place). This building was used as the College boarding house until boarding ceased in 1975. The building now houses the College music department.[8] The Del Monte property, located across the road from the College, was leased in 1949, with the first primary school students taking up residence later that year. In 1950, the owner of the property, Mary Bailey, died, leaving the property to the Sisters. Del Monte was subsequently renamed Santa Maria del Monte. Santa Maria del Monte was expanded in 1968, with the purchase of Lauriston,[8] which had been the home of the Presbyterian Ladies' College, Sydney during the Second World War.[9] This purchase provided the school with a sports ground and additional classrooms.[8]

In 1991 the campus was used as the backdrop for the Australian TV series Brides of Christ.[10]

1996 saw the establishment of the Out of School Hours Centre (OOSH), and in 1997, a property at Tallong was purchased for outdoor education. In 1998, Mary Bailey House was opened as an Early Childhood Centre, and in 2002 classes for Years 6 and 7 commenced at the Middle School campus, Martin De Porres.[8]

Santa Sabina is recognised as an employer of choice for women by the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency.[7]


Lauriston, Santa Maria Del Monte
Santa Sabina College
Santa Sabina College 4.JPG
Period Details[6]
1894 Mother M. Bertrand Walsh
1895 – 1900 Mother M. Pius Collins
1901 – 1906 Mother M. Bertrand Walsh
1907 – 1913 Mother M. Pius Collins
1914 – 1922 Mother M. Teresa Casey
1923 – 1924 Mother M. Philippa Byrne
1925 – 1929 Mother M. Gonsalvo Byrne
1930 Mother M. Benignus Baker
1931 – 1935 Mother M. Concepta O'Donohue
1936 – 1941 Mother M. Philippa Byrne
1954 – 1960 Mother M. St John Hewitt
1961 – 1964 Mother M. St Luke McKervey
1965 – 1967 Sr Diana Woods (Sr M. Julie)
1968 – 1970 Sr Anne Banfield (Sr M. Joseph)
1973 Sr Diana Woods (Sr M. Julie)
1971 – 1972 Sr Mary Britt (Sr M. Reginald)
1974 – 1979 Sr Delma Richardson (Sr M. Leo)
1980 – 1986 Sr Rosemary Lewins
1987 – 2007 Sr Judith Lawson
2008 – 2012 Ms Kate Clancy
2012 – current Dr Maree Herett



The College comprises five campuses: four situated along The Boulevarde in Strathfield, and an outdoor education campus at Tallong in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales. The four city campuses are Mary Bailey House Early Education Centre (Pre-school), Santa Maria del Monte (Primary school), Martin de Porres (Middle school) and Santa Sabina (Senior school). Santa Maria del Monte also takes boy students from Kindergarten to Year 4,[11] with most boys then continuing on to St. Patrick's College to complete their schooling.

The Strathfield campus includes a 33 m outdoor swimming pool, six tennis courts, three ovals and a chapel. In 2002, a Middle School was established for students in Years 6 and 7. In 2005 the Aquinas Learning Centre was opened, featuring a library, lecture theatre and student services facility.


The backdrop of the College crest is a black and white shield of the Dominican Order of Preachers. At the base of the shield is the book of Gospels, containing the central motivation of the Order's existence. The rosary beads, held to be Dominican in origin since the 17th century are shown, as is a crown - signifying the joy of eternity. The dog represents the traditional story of a dream which St Dominic's mother had before his birth. She dreamt of a dog with a torch in its mouth, lighting up the world with the truth of the Gospel. The star signifies the compass points that the Gospel is to be brought to all corners of the earth. The lily and palm symbolise a life lived with purity of intention and self-sacrifice that others might live.

Co-curricular activities[edit]

Brunyarra, Santa Maria Del Monte


The College debating activities include: The Archdale Competition for Years 7 to 12, against twenty similar type independent girls' schools; the AHIGS Festival of Speech; the Catholic Schools' Debating competition; Schools' Speaking competition; the Catholic Schools' Speaking competition; the Junior Legacy Speaking competition; Senior Plain English Speaking competition; and the Rostrum Voice of Youth Competition.[12]

Middle and Secondary School students participate in social debates with schools such as St Gregory's College, Campbelltown, Saint Ignatius' College, Riverview, and St Vincent's College, whilst the Primary and Middle School debate MLC School and PLC Sydney.[12]

Debating and Public Speaking is also offered through inter-house competitions.[12]


Santa Sabina is seen as the sister school to St Patrick's College. As such the two schools combine drama classes to stage shows, and musicals.[13]


The sporting program at Santa Sabina includes: School sporting clubs, Saturday and midweek competitions, gala days, and representative opportunities up to national level. Each year the College takes about 2500 sports registrations for approximately 85 sports competitions and activities across 22 sports.[14]

Sports offered by the school include: Aerobics, Aquathon, Athletics, Basketball, Cricket, Cross Country, Dance, Diving, Equestrian, Golf, Gymnastics, Hockey, Indoor Soccer, Netball, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Touch Football, OzTag, Volleyball and Waterpolo.[14]

House system[edit]

As with most Australia schools, Santa Sabina utilises a house system. In 1997, the College's original four houses (Murangaroo, Lakkari, Timbarra and Kuramin) were replaced by six houses. These six houses have been given the following Indigenous names: Gunagulla (Sky - blue), Kurrawa (Water - aqua), Mundawora (Flora - purple), Teangi (Earth - orange), Weelya (Fauna - green) and Yetinga (Fire - red). In the Primary school, Santa Maria Del Monte, they have Fire (red), Earth (orange), Flora (purple), Fauna (green), Sky (blue), and Water (aqua) . The houses compete in swimming, athletics, Homerooms/KITE (kids in trusting environments) and public speaking.

Notable alumnae[edit]

  • Sr Judith Lawson - Dominican sister, educator and former Principal of Santa Sabina
Entertainment, media and the arts
  • Cathy Foley, Chief of the CSIRO's materials and engineering division
  • Monica Attard, Australian Broadcasting Corporation|ABC Senior Broadcaster & Media Watch host
  • Carmen Duncan, actress
  • Paula Duncan, actress
  • Amelia Farrugia, opera singer
  • Kerry Doyle, Miss Australia 1975
  • Julia Morris, actress/comedienne
  • Susie Park, musician/violinist
  • Rahni Sadler, Seven Network news reporter and United States foreign correspondent
  • Yvonne Strahovski, actress
  • Simone Thurtell, Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Grandstand announcer
  • Justine Schofield, MasterChef Australia 2009 Finalist
  • Terry Biviano, shoe designer
Politics, public service and the law
  • Cynthia Mitchell, Paralympian (Skiing)[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Annual Report 2006" (PDF). About Us. Santa Sabina College. 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-11. 
  2. ^ a b "Overview". About Us. Santa Sabina College. 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-11. 
  3. ^ "Directory of Schools for the Archdiocese of Sydney. Head Nun Kate is a charming lady with quite the personality which resonantes with her work in the community.". Our Parishes. Archdiocese of Sydney. Retrieved 2007-12-11. 
  4. ^ "AHISA Schools". New South Wales. Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia. November 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-07-13. Retrieved 2007-06-19. 
  5. ^ "JSHAA New South Wales Directory of Members". New South Wales Branch. Junior School Heads' Association of Australia. 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-11. 
  6. ^ a b "Heads of New South Wales Independent Girls' Schools". About AHIGS. Association of Heads of Independent Girls Schools. Retrieved 2007-12-11. 
  7. ^ a b "Santa Sabina College" (PDF). Organisational Profile. Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency. Retrieved 2007-12-11. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f "Our History". About Us. Santa Sabina College. 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-11. 
  9. ^ McFarlane, John (1988). "War And Disruption 1942-1945". The Golden Hope: Presbyterian Ladies' College, Sydney 1888-1988. Croydon, NSW: P.L.C Council, Presbyterian Ladies' College, Sydney. pp. 89–98. ISBN 0-9597340-1-5. 
  10. ^ Brides of Christ
  11. ^ Santa Maria del Monte
  12. ^ a b c "Debating". Co-Curricular. Santa Sabina College. Retrieved 2007-12-11. 
  13. ^ College Musicals
  14. ^ a b "Sport Overview". Sport. Santa Sabina College. Retrieved 2007-12-11. 
  15. ^ "Cynthia Mitchell". Stories. Violet Foundation Supporting Meningococcal. 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-17. 

External links[edit]