Mercedes College (Adelaide)

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Mercedes College

Coordinates34°58′34″S 138°37′45″E / 34.97611°S 138.62917°E / -34.97611; 138.62917Coordinates: 34°58′34″S 138°37′45″E / 34.97611°S 138.62917°E / -34.97611; 138.62917
TypeIndependent co-educational primary and high day school
MottoFrench: Loyal en Tout
(Loyal in All)
Religious affiliation(s)Sisters of Mercy
DenominationRoman Catholic
Established1954; 65 years ago (1954)
ChairmanLouise Mathwin
PrincipalPaul Wadsworth (acting)
ChaplainDeacon Andrew Kirkbride
Key people
  • Paul Wadsworth
    (Deputy Principal)
  • Bill Deegan
    (Head of Senior School)
  • Jarrad McCabe
    (Head of Middle School)
  • Julie Hann
    (Head of Junior School)
Enrolmentc. 1,200
Colour(s)Green, gold and navy blue             
SloganUnlocking Life Potential

Mercedes College (abbreviated as Mercedes) is an independent Roman Catholic co-educational primary and High day school located in the Adelaide inner-south suburb of Springfield, South Australia, Australia.

Established by the Sisters of Mercy in 1954 as a boarding school for girls, it is now a co-educational day school. Mercedes is an International Baccalaureate (IB) school, and offers the PYP, MYP, and IB Diploma programmes as well as the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE).


Strathspey, c. 1910.

It was established by the Sisters of Mercy in 1954. The purchase of the 8.1 hectares (20 acres) site at Springfield brought to fruition the dream of finding a healthier environment for the girls' boarding school until that time part of Saint Aloysius College in Angas Street, Adelaide. With the eighty boarders on opening day were sixty day scholars, mostly girls but with a group of boys in the infant section.

After twenty-one years the boarding school was phased out when rising costs and a decline in the rural economy made it financially beyond the means of the very families it was created to serve. In 1976 the school became co-educational with the first intake of boys in the Year 8 and numbers have grown. The Mercedes property was originally part of the Springfield Estate. It was sold to Sir John Duncan, (father of Sir Walter, Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives for many years) who planned the house in 1891 and built it in 1899. The family home was named Strathspey after his childhood home in Scotland.

The Duncans eventually bequeathed the property to the Presbyterian Church and it became St Andrew's Residential College attached the University of Adelaide. In 1939 the property was sold to Mr and Mrs F. W. Cornell and it once again became a private residence. During their time St Andrew's became something of an artistic oasis. Mrs Cornell was very involved in the formation of the SA Symphony Orchestra and in encouraging touring celebrities to give concerts in Adelaide and many of these people were her house guests while in Adelaide.

Archbishop Reynolds, first Archbishop of Adelaide, was in Dublin in 1879 asking for sisters of his diocese when a group of sisters returned from Buenos Aires, forced by revolution to leave their home for twenty-four years. Some were the original Irish sisters but many were South American girls who left behind their families and homes. Accepting the Archbishop's invitation the twenty-four sisters arrived in Adelaide on the 3 May 1880.

In 1953 the property was bought by the Sisters of Mercy. Mercedes, the Spanish word for mercy, was chosen by the sisters to commemorate the circumstances of the Mercy foundation in Adelaide. The heroism and endurance of the Spanish-speaking pioneers are commemorated in the name Mercedes.[citation needed]

About Mercedes[edit]

Student life[edit]

Many of the students who study at Mercedes College live in the eastern suburbs of Adelaide and Adelaide Hills, because of the easy access by public transport. Mercedes College uses the Adelaide Metro bus service to transport nearby students.

House system[edit]

As with most Australian schools, Mercedes College utilises a house system. At first there were two houses (McAuley and Fitzpatrick), but as enrolment numbers increased, two more houses were added. There are currently four houses, each named after memorable Mercy Sisters.

  • McAuley – Green (Sister Catherine McAuley)
  • Fitzpatrick – Blue (Sister Evangelista Fitzpatrick)
  • Dalton – Red (Sister Mary Xavier Dalton)
  • Barry – Yellow (Sister Dolores Barry)


The sports available for students in Years 3 to 7 are: Tennis, athletics, cross country, hockey, volleyball, softball, cricket, basketball, netball and Australian rules football.

The sports available for students in Years 8 to 12 are: Tennis, athletics, cross country, hockey, softball, table-tennis, basketball, swimming, netball, soccer, Australian Rules football, cricket, badminton, water-polo and volleyball.

Most sports are conducted on Friday nights and Saturday mornings, although some are mid-week.

In 2005, Saint Ignatius' College and Mercedes College had their inaugural 'Intercollegiate Sports Carnival' (primarily known as just 'Intercol'). Each year the senior students of both colleges participate in eight sports for seventeen shields in the winter season. The school that wins the majority of the shields is the overall winner of the Carnival and of the Troy Broadbridge Shield.

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]