Presentation College, Windsor
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|Type||Independent, Day school|
|Motto||Latin: Omnia Cum Deo
(Everything for God)
|Denomination||Roman Catholic (Presentation Sisters)|
|Colour(s)||Navy Blue and Green|
Presentation College, Windsor is a private independent Irish Catholic, secondary, day school for girls, located in Windsor, an inner suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The school was founded in 1873.
Presentation Convent Windsor was established upon the arrival of seven Presentation Sisters from Ireland in 1873. Prior to their arrival, from 1839, the Church and State Government debated the need for education to be provided by local church schools.
The government of the day wanted changes to the education legislation. It was said that the system of denominational schools was too great a burden on the economy of a young country and left many areas with no access to education. In 1872 this all changed with the election of local member James Wilberforce Stephen. It was in his acceptance speech that he made his famous declaration that the proposed Education Bill, of which he had charge, would rend Catholics asunder. The Bill was passed – providing for free, secular and compulsory education – and financial grants given to denominational schools were discontinued. This made the continuation of Catholic schools staffed by lay people financially impossible.
Father Corbett, Parish Priest at St Mary’s East St Kilda, acted quickly and sent a letter to the Presentation Convent in Ireland … it opened in dramatic fashion. ‘Dear Reverend Mother. From the ends of the earth I write to you for help …’
Responding to the request in September 1873, Mother Mary Paul Mulquin together with six sisters from Limerick boarded the steamer, the Great Britain, at Liverpool. They arrived at Sandridge, Port Melbourne 21 December 1873.
Presentation Convent Windsor became a reality on Christmas Day 1873. The school first opened in January 1874 with 33 enrolments. Ten years later, by 1883, the enrolment of pupils at Windsor Convent was 367, with 11 sisters and three lay teachers forming the staff.
The four Houses were formed in 1940 by the Principal at the time Mother Bertrand Rahilly, who was very interested in sport and wanted to encourage students to become more active. Within their House girls compete in the Music Festival, Athletics and Swimming as well as participating in other sports.
Mother Bertrand introduced the names of the Houses and allocated the colours:
- Nagle (yellow): After Nano Nagle, founder of the Presentation Sisters
- Kostka (red): After Stanislaus Kostka, renowned Jesuit who died young and came to symbolise youth
- Xavier (blue): After St Francis Xavier, Jesuit missionary and patron Saint of Australia
- Loyola (green): After St Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits
- Katherine Bourke, judge
- Anna Burke, politician
- Sheila Florance, actress
- Clare Oliver, health activist
- "Presentation College website". Retrieved 26 May 2009.