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Sacred Heart College is one of several Catholic Secondary Colleges in Victoria owned and administered by the Sisters of Mercy (Melbourne Congregation). Read our timeline below and learn about our proud history.

1889

1889

Wedge Street

24 August 1889 the Sisters opened the Convent of Mercy Kyneton, a boarding and day school for ‘girls and young ladies’.

The Convent High School had previously been the site of The Collegiate School for young gents since 1865; however, prior to that the building had been the Robbie Burns Hotel which was one of the earliest built in Kyneton.

Indeed, the Sisters opened the Convent High School in what had previously been the bar!

Buildings

1889

1889 - 1892

Sr Gabriel Sherlock

Mother M. Gabriel Sherlock (R.I.P. c.1827-1897)

Principal July 1889 – May 1892

There are no known photos of Mother M. Gabriel Sherlock but it is thought that she may be one of the sisters’ in this photograph, courtesy of SHC Geelong.
As well as being a foundation sister at Kyneton Mother Gabriel M. Sherlock was also a founding sister at Geelong and North Melbourne.

Past Principals

1892

1892 - 1898

Sr Magdalen Gibson

Mother M. Magdalen Gibson
(R.I.P. 1852 – 1919)
Principal May 1892-May 1898, May 1904-1907 AND 1909-1914

Mother M. Magdalen was one of the founding sisters of Kyneton and spent nearly fourteen years as both Principal and Superior. In 1908 she was elected a Provincial Councillor to the Mother General, M. Evangelist Doolan.

Past Principals

1898

1898 - 1904

Sr Genevieve Buckley

Mother M. Genevieve Buckley (R.I.P. 1859 – 1918)

Principal July 1889-May 1904, 1907-1909 AND 1914-1918

In 1898 Mother M. Genevieve was elected Superior of the Kyneton community, during her time as Superior branch houses were opened at Woodend and Trentham. She was also a member of the foundation community at Castlemaine.

Past Principals

1907

1907

Gabriel Sherlock Building

M. GABRIEL SHERLOCK (R.I.P. c.1827-1897)

Sr. M. Gabriel Sherlock was a past Principal of Sacred Heart College Kyneton (SHCK), July 1889 – May 1892.

In 1859, Sr. M. Gabriel came to Australia as part of a group of Sisters led by Mother Xavier Maguire to found a community at Geelong.

Prior to her appointment to Kyneton, Mother M. Gabriel also accompanied five Sisters to a new foundation at North Melbourne

In 1889, Mother M. Gabriel was chosen to lead a group of Sisters to found a community in Kyneton. After nearly three years as Superior at Kyneton and Principal at SHCK, she was recalled to Geelong for another term as Superior.

Years later, when the Kyneton community went on foundation to Castlemaine they named the secondary school St. Gabriel’s in her honour.

Buildings

1908

1908

Gabriel Sherlock Building Addition

Buildings

1933

1933 - 1939

SR Teresa O'Brien

MOTHER M. TERESA O’BRIEN (R.I.P. c.1881-1959)

Principal 1921-1927, 1933-1939 AND 1940-1946

Mother M. Teresa O’Brien was appointed Superior of the Kyneton Community 1921-27, 1933-39, 1940-46 and Superior of the Trentham Community, 1918-21 and 1928-29. Mother M. Teresa was also Head Teacher at St. Mary’s School in Malmsbury.

Past Principals

1926

1926

The Chapel

Blessed and Opened in December 1926 by Archbishop Mannix.

The chapel altar was erected in memory of Dean Hegarty and is built of marble with a carving in full relief of Leonardo Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper”. Two life sized angels mount guard over the Tabernacle whilst in the sanctuary two more angels sculptured by Amerigo Martino Barrenti kneel in prayer holding ruby glass lamps. Many articles in the chapel have been presented in memory of loved ones.

Buildings

1904

1904 - 1907

Sr Magdalen Gibson

Mother M. Magdalen Gibson (R.I.P. 1852 – 1919)

Principal May 1892-May 1898, May 1904-1907 AND 1909-1914

Mother M. Magdalen was one of the founding sisters of Kyneton and spent nearly fourteen years as both Principal and Superior. In 1908 she was elected a Provincial Councillor to the Mother General, M. Evangelist Doolan.

Past Principals

1907

1907 - 1909

Sr Genevieve Buckley

Mother M. Genevieve Buckley (R.I.P. 1859 – 1918)

Principal July 1889-May 1904, 1907-1909 AND 1914-1918

In 1898 Mother M. Genevieve was elected Superior of the Kyneton community, during her time as Superior branch houses were opened at Woodend and Trentham. She was also a member of the foundation community at Castlemaine.

Past Principals

1909

1909 - 1914

Sr Magdalen Gibson

Mother M. Magdalen Gibson

(R.I.P. 1852 – 1919)
Principal May 1892-May 1898, May 1904-1907 AND 1909-1914

Mother M. Magdalen was one of the founding sisters of Kyneton and spent nearly fourteen years as both Principal and Superior. In 1908 she was elected a Provincial Councillor to the Mother General, M. Evangelist Doolan.

Past Principals

1914

1914 - 1918

Sr Genevieve Buckley

Mother M. Genevieve Buckley (R.I.P. 1859 – 1918)

Principal July 1889-May 1904, 1907-1909 AND 1914-1918

In 1898 Mother M. Genevieve was elected Superior of the Kyneton community, during her time as Superior branch houses were opened at Woodend and Trentham. She was also a member of the foundation community at Castlemaine.

Past Principals

1918

1918 - 1921

Sr Mary of Mercy O'Brien

Mother Mary of Mercy O'Brien (R.I.P. 1873 – 1946)

Principal 1918 – 1921

Mother Mary of Mercy was also Superior at Kyneton from 1918-1921 and taught the primary classes. She replaced Mother M. Genevieve Buckley as Provincial Councillor in 1918 and was re-appointed to this position in 1920, 1926, 1927, 1933 and 1939.

Past Principals

1921

1921 - 1927

Sr Teresa O'Brien

Mother M. Teresa O'Brien (R.I.P. c.1881-1959)

Principal 1921-1927, 1933-1939 AND 1940-1946

Mother M. Teresa O’Brien was appointed Superior of the Kyneton Community 1921-27, 1933-39, 1940-46 and Superior of the Trentham Community, 1918-21 and 1928-29. Mother M. Teresa was also Head Teacher at St. Mary’s School in Malmsbury.

Past Principals

1927

1927 - 1933

Sr Brigid Bannan

Mother M. Brigid Bannan (R.I.P. c.1886-1966)

Principal 1927-1933 and 1951-1955

Mother M. Brigid Bannan spent all of her religious life in Kyneton where she taught maths and was in charge of the boarders. She was Superior of the Kyneton Community from 1927-33 and 1951-55. In 1919 she obtained her Bachelor of Arts Degree at the University of Melbourne.

Past Principals

1933

1933 - 1939

Sr Teresa O'Brien

Mother M. Teresa O'Brien (R.I.P. c.1881-1959)

Principal 1921-1927, 1933-1939 AND 1940-1946

Mother M. Teresa O’Brien was appointed Superior of the Kyneton Community 1921-27, 1933-39, 1940-46 and Superior of the Trentham Community, 1918-21 and 1928-29. Mother M. Teresa was also Head Teacher at St. Mary’s School in Malmsbury.

Past Principals

1939

1939 - 1940

Sr Columba Kenny


Mother M. Columba Kenny (R.I.P. c.1879-1959)

Principal 1939 – 1940

Mother M. Columba Kenny was elected Superior of the Kyneton Community in 1939, prior to this appointment she had been Superior of Castlemaine, 1927-33 and Heidelberg, 1933-39.

Past Principals

1940

1940 - 1946

Sr Teresa O'Brien


Mother M. Teresa O'Brien (R.I.P. c.1881-1959)

Principal 1921-1927, 1933-1939 AND 1940-1946

Mother M. Teresa O’Brien was appointed Superior of the Kyneton Community 1921-27, 1933-39, 1940-46 and Superior of the Trentham Community, 1918-21 and 1928-29. Mother M. Teresa was also Head Teacher at St. Mary’s School in Malmsbury.

Past Principals

1946

1946 - 1951

Sr Aloysius McMenamin


Mother M. Aloysius McMenamin (R.I.P. 1874 – 1951)

Principal 1946 – 1951

Mother M. Aloysius was a founding sister at Castlemaine in 1905, in 1918 she was appointed Superior there. She later went on to teach at the Novitiate at Ascot Vale and then St Benedicts’s Hospital in Malvern. In 1946 she was appointed Superior of the Kyneton Community and died in office in 1951.

Past Principals

1951

1951 - 1955

Sr Brigid Bannan

Mother M. Brigid Bannan (R.I.P. c.1886-1966)

Principal 1927-1933 AND 1951-1955

Mother M. Brigid Bannan spent all of her religious life in Kyneton where she taught maths and was in charge of the boarders. She was Superior of the Kyneton Community from 1927-33 and 1951-55. In 1919 she obtained her Bachelor of Arts Degree at the University of Melbourne.

Past Principals

1955

1955 - 1959

Sr Christina McIntyre

M. Christina McIntyre (R.I.P. 1894 – 1987)

Principal 1955 – 1959

Apart from being Superior of the Kyneton Community (1955-59), Mother M. Christina McIntyre was also Superior at Camperdown (1938-41), Highton (1941-47), Geelong (1947-53), Coburg (1953-55) and Lilydale (1963-68).

Past Principals

1959

1959 - 1959

Sr Eymard Smith

Mother M. Eymard Smtih (R.I.P. 1907 – 1992)

Principal January 1959 – November 1959

Mother M. Eymard Smith held numerous teaching positions before being appointed Superior at Rosanna, Kyneton and Coburg North and Fitzroy, Shalom community Geelong and Whittington. In 1960 and again in 1966 she was elected Provincial Secretary and Councillor. Shortly after, she was elected General Secretary and Councillor of the Australian Union of the Sisters of Mercy.

Past Principals

1959

1959 - 1966

Sr Genevieve Meney

Mother M. Genevieve Meney (R.I.P. )

Principal 1948 – 1954, 1956 – 1966

Sr. M. Genevieve’s first appointment to Kyneton was at St Teresa’s, she then went on to teach at Brunswick, Geelong and Terang. For the last six years of Mother M. Genevieve’s term in Kyneton she was also Superior of the Kyneton community. After leaving Kyneton Mother M. Genevieve taught at Euroa, Brunswick, Warrnambool, Seymour and Watsonia.

Past Principals

1966

1966 - 1972

Mother Mary Justinian Gildea

Mother M. Justinian Gildea (R.I.P. )

Principal January 1968 – January 1972

Mother M. Justinian taught at Kyneton from 1961-1963 before being appointed Superior at Euroa. In 1966 she returned to Kyneton to take on the role of Superior and Principal. Upon completing her term as Principal at Kyneton Mother M. Justinian taught at Castlemaine and Geelong. In the 1980’s she was appointed Superior of Queenscliff then Terang.

Past Principals

1972

1972 - 1974

Sr Carmel Pascoe

Principal January 1972 – January 1975

Sr. Carmel’s appointment at Kyneton was the first time that the role of Principal had been held by a sister who was not also a Superior. During the period of her Principalship two significant events that affected the college took place. Firstly, the boarding school was closed and secondly the college became a co-ed school.

Past Principals

1975

1975 - 1978

Sr Vivian Dwyer

M. Vivian Dwyer (R.I.P. 1917 – 2011)

Principal January 1975 – 1978


Sr. Vivian was a teacher for 40 years, at one stage she was Principal at Flemington whilst simultaneously lecturing at Mercy Teachers’ College and studying after hours at Melbourne University. In the 1950’s and 60’s Sr. Vivian became Principal of the Mercy Teachers’ College and thereafter became Mercy Schools’ Supervisor.
Past Principals

1975

1975 - 1975

Coolock Wing

Built in 1975 but not officially blessed until 1982 when it was blessed and officially opened along with the Mercy Building.

Originally named Coolock it was renamed Xavier in 1989 by Sister Mary Moloney.

Buildings

1979

1979 - 1983

Sr Denise Doyle


M. Denise Doyle

Principal January 1979 – January 1984

Sr. Denise taught at a number of Victorian schools before being appointed Deputy Principal at SHC Yarrawonga and then Colac. Sr. Denise became Principal at SHCK in 1979 to re-establish year 12 classes which had been discontinued in the 1960’s. With the recent re-introduction of co-education and year 12 classes, student numbers had increased from 85 girls in 1971 to almost 400 students by 1984.

Past Principals

1981

1981

Cephas Science Wing

SR. M. CEPHAS RIORDAN (R.I.P. 1900-1986)

Sr. M. Cephas Riordan was a teacher at Sacred Heart College Kyneton (SHCK) for more than thirty five years.

After completing teacher training at Mercy Teachers’ Training College, Ascot Vale, Sr. M. Cephas studied a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Melbourne.

In January 1938, Sr. M. Cephas transferred to Kyneton where she taught music for five years before joining the staff of SHCK, where she taught for the next thirty-one years.

Buildings

1981

1981

Quambi

Aboriginal for Mercy Quambi was built in 1981 with the assistance of the Parents and Friends Association and was officially opened and blessed by Father Brian McCormack.

Quambi gave the college not only an indoor sporting venue but also an indoor space where the college as a whole could assemble for Masses, assemblies and special occasions.

Buildings

1982

1982

Mercy Building

The Mercy Building, a 12 classroom block built to accommodate the rising student numbers at the college. The Mercy block was built under the watchful eye of Principal Sister Denise Doyle, Blessed by Bishop Joseph O’Connell D.D.,D.C.L. and officially opened by Sister Gabrielle Jennings RSM, Congregational Superior of Sisters of Mercy.

Buildings

1983

1983

Buckley Building

Sister Mary Genevieve Buckley

Born Mary Anne Buckley 1859 in County Cork, Ireland. Sr Genevieve entered Geelong Convent in 1877 and volunteered to come to Kyneton with Mother Gabriel Sherlock in 1889.

In 1898 she was elected Superior at Kyneton, a position she held three times (1898-1904, 1907-1909, 1914-1918).

Sr Genevieve returned to Ireland in 1909 to recruit more sisters to return to return to Australia, soon after her arrival back in Australia she returned to Kyneton and held the office of Superior until her death.

Sr Genevieve passed away 19 November 1918; she is buried in the sisters’ plot at Kyneton Cemetery.

Buildings

1984

1984 - 1986

Sr Philomene Carroll

Sr Philomene Carroll
Principal January 1984 - December 1986

Prior to her appointment at SHCK Sr Philomene taught at St. Agnes’ Geelong, Holy Rosary Kensington and St Aloysius College North Melbourne.
Sr. Philomene then spent eleven years at SHC Geelong, from 1962-1968 as a teacher and from 1968-1973 at Principal. She was then appointed Principal at St Ann’s College Warrnambool until 1984.

Past Principals

1987

1987 - 1992

Sr Nancy Freddi

Sr Nancy Freddi

Principal January 1987 - December 1992

Sr. Nancy taught at numerous Primary Schools for sixteen years before undertaking further studies, many of these schools were in the Heidelberg/Eltham area. Sr. Nancy then went on to be Principal at Thomas’ Geelong and St. Bernard’s School East Coburg. Prior to her commencement at SHCK she was Principal and Superior of the Convent at St. Joseph’s in Mildura. After leaving SHCK Sr. Nancy undertook Principalships at Mt. Lilydale College and Aquinas College on the Gold Coast, in 2006 she was elected to the Congregation Council.


Past Principals

1987

1987

Hilary Building

HILARY STEVENSON (R.I.P. 1895 – 1985)

Sr. M. Hilary Stevenson was a Sister of Mercy for fifty eight years and most of her religious life was spent in Kyneton.

Sr. M. Hilary was Lay Sister, which means that she spent much of her time undertaking domestic duties in the Convents. She worked in the kitchens and cared for the boarders, she was also a keen gardener who was known in Kyneton for her roses.

Sr. M. Hilary is buried in the Sisters’ plot at the Kyneton Cemetery.

Buildings

1998

1998

O'Neill Building

Mother Patricia O’Neill

Martha Mary O’Neill (Mattie), born 18 November 1878 in County Cork, Ireland. Mattie was educated at the Convent of Mercy girls’ school, Kyneton.

Sister Patricia was registered to teach at both primary and secondary levels, she enrolled as an external student at Melbourne University where she completed a Diploma of Education in 1917 and a bachelor of art degree in 1919.

She taught at numerous schools as well as training sisters’ at the Novitiate Training College.

In 1939 Sr Patricia was elected Mother-General of the Sisters of Mercy in Victoria and Tasmania, during 1953 the Sisters of Mercy then in 15 autonomous groups were invited to unite. Eight groups joined the union and in 1954 Mother Patricia was appointed the First Mother General of the Australian Union of the Sisters of Mercy.

Mother Patricia passed away 25 November 1972 and is buried in the convent grounds at Newtown.

Buildings

1991

1991

Catherine McAuley Library Extension

Mother Mary Catherine McAuley

Catherine McAuley was born in Dublin in 1778. In a884, she used her inheritance to build a large House of Mercy where she and other lay women would shelter homeless women, reach out to the sick and dying and educate poor girls.

Catherine decided to found a religious congregation. On December 12, 1831, she and two others professed their vows as the first Sisters of Mercy. Before her death on November 11, 1841 Catherine founded convents and works of mercy throughout Ireland, and England.

Buildings

1993

1993 - 2005

Sr Mary Moloney

Sr Mary Moloney
Principal January 1993 - December 2005

Prior to her appointment at SHCK Sr. Mary taught in a number of Mercy schools – Mercy College Coburg (1980), Sacred Heart College Geelong (1983-86) and St. Joseph’s Mildura (1987). In 1988 Sr. Mary was appointed to the position of Senior Mistress at SHCK and then to the position of Deputy Principal for 5 years, 1989-1992. During her time at the college enrolments increased from 550 to 700 students and significant building works took place including the Patricia O’Neill VCE area, the Mary Moloney Theatre and the Frayne Hospitality Centre.

Past Principals

2004

2004

Frayne Hospitality Building

Mother Ursula Frayne

Ursula, at age 29, was the leader of the first group of Sisters of Mercy to arrive in Australia.

Clara Mary Frayne was born in Dublin in 1817 and died in Melbourne in 1885. She was trained by Catherine McAuley and became a professed Sister of Mercy on 25 January 1837, taking the name of Sister Mary Ursula.

Mother Ursula Frayne opened the first Mercy school in Australia in Perth on 2 February 1846 with planks, bricks and packing cases as the furniture.

Buildings

2004

2004

Mary Moloney Theatre

Mary Moloney

PRINCIPAL – 1993 – 2005

Prior to her appointment at SHCK Sr. Mary taught in a number of Mercy schools – Mercy College Coburg (1980), Sacred Heart College Geelong (1983-86) and St. Joseph’s Mildura (1987). In 1988 Sr. Mary was appointed to the position of Senior Mistress at SHCK and then to the position of Deputy Principal for 5 years, 1989-1992. During her time at the college enrolments increased from 550 to 700 students and significant building works took place including the Patricia O’Neill VCE area, the Mary Moloney Theatre and the Frayne Hospitality Centre.

Buildings

2006

2006 - 2010

Mr John Arthurson


Mr John Arthurson – R.I.P. 17/8/1954 – 30/10/2010

Principal – January 2006 – October 2010

John’s first teaching job was in Murtoa followed by six other schools around Victoria including Kyneton Secondary College. Before commencing at SHC John was Principal at CRC North Keilor for 11 years. John was the first lay Principal at SHC, a position which he believed was “an honour and a privilege” to hold. John’s motto for all students was “Your best will always be good enough”.

Past Principals

2011

2011 - 2018

Mr Craig Holmes


Principal – January 2011 – December 2018

Craig Holmes taught at a range of schools as well as leadership roles in Catholic Education Melbourne, enhancing his passion for contemporary learning which he brought to Sacred Heart college. During his time at the College enrolments continued to grow with the first six stream intake of students in 2013. Significant building, grounds and refurbishment took place under his leadership, including the Arthurson Atrium , The Dwyer Senior Learning Centre, side Chapel restoration, the science laboratory in O’Neill and the planning for an undercover basketball court. The College crest was renewed along with the introduction of the new uniform. The installation of the Mercy Heritage Trail and new signage at the College, commencing from the 125th Anniversary in 2014 under his leadership.

Past Principals

2014

2014

Arthurson Atrium

Mr John Arthurson – R.I.P. 17/8/1954 – 30/10/2010

Principal – 2006 – 2010

John’s first teaching job was in Murtoa followed by six other schools around Victoria including Kyneton Secondary College.

Before commencing at SHC John was Principal at CRC North Keilor for 11 years.

John was the first lay Principal at SHC, a position which he believed was “an honour and a privilege” to hold. John’s motto for all students was “Your best will always be good enough”.

Buildings

2015

2015

Vivian Dwyer Senior Learning Centre

Sr. M. Vivian Dwyer (1917-2011)

Sr. M. Vivian Dwyer was a past Principal of Sacred Heart College Kyneton, from January 1975 – December 1978.

She was a Sister of Mercy for seventy three years, and a teacher for forty years, taking classes from primary through to tertiary level.

Sr Vivian lectured at Mercy Teachers’ College in Ascot Vale and studied after hours at the University of Melbourne.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Sr. M. Vivian was Principal of Mercy Teachers’ College and showed great leadership in the training of the expanded intake of first lay teachers.

Following this appointment, Sr. M. Vivian took on the role of Mercy Schools Supervisor.

Sr. M. Vivian died on 17 May 2011and is buried in the Kyneton Cemetery.

Buildings