At Knight Street and the Year 9 Programme on the Emmaus Campus, our pastoral care of students is based around a House system. Each student is allocated to a House, the student remains within this House throughout their time at the College.
We have six houses each of which is named after a significant person in the College’s history.
First Principal of St Colman’s College
Brother Bernard McGann was appointed as the first Principal of St Colman’s College for boys in Shepparton when it opened in July 1951. He had been Principal in other Marist schools throughout Australia, including Mosman in Sydney, New Norcia in Western Australia, and Kyneton in Victoria.
With his experience and expertise, he enabled the Brothers and the local community to assist in the establishment of St Colman’s College.
He also held positions of Leadership within the Marist Congregation. He died on 28 January 1987 in Bethlehem Home in Bendigo and is buried in the Brother’s cemetery in Kilmore. St Colman’s College amalgamated with Sacred Heart College to form Notre Dame College in 1984.
Sister Gabrielle Jennings RSM
Congregational Leader of the Sisters of Mercy at the time of the Amalgamation and one of the First Governors of Notre Dame College
Sister Gabrielle Jennings was a Staff member of Sacred Heart College Shepparton from 1962 - 1968. Sister Gabrielle was a well-known academic and educator within the Melbourne Mercy Congregation and the Catholic Education Offices of Melbourne and Sydney.
She was appointed Congregational Leader of the Melbourne Mercy Congregation from 1978-1988. During this time the Religious Order Schools and Colleges were moving towards amalgamating, to provide facilities that would accommodate co-educational as well as other extended facilities that tertiary and further education was demanding. Shepparton was responding to these needs and it was during this time that St Colman’s College and Sacred Heart College amalgamated. Sister Gabrielle Jennings was a founding member of the Governor’s Council of Notre Dame College.
This was a period of growth within the Victorian Catholic school system and the Sisters of Mercy were encouraged to answer the call by moving from their comfort zones and live in small groups within new parishes, establish Parish Primary Schools then hand them over to Lay Administration and move on. This called for radical leadership.
As Congregational Leader, she was instrumental in establishing and supporting the Mercy presence in Pakistan. In 1991 she was appointed Director of Notre Dame Institute in Karachi and with other Australian Sisters of Mercy, she also established Notre Dame Teacher’s School in Karachi.
Her love and interest in these projects continued until her death in January 2003.
Bishop Martin Crane OSA
First Bishop of Sandhurst
Bendigo’s first Bishop, the Most Reverend Martin Crane O.S.A., arrived in this thriving city in 1875 when Bendigo was separated from the Archdiocese of Melbourne. As the first Bishop of Sandhurst, he arrived from Dublin with enthusiasm for this new diocese. He knew very little about Australia and nothing about Sandhurst. On his arrival in Bendigo, he gave education a high priority and invited religious orders of nuns and brothers to staff the schools within the Diocese, including the Sisters of Mercy and the Marist Brothers.
Sandhurst had become world-famous for its prodigious production of gold and prided itself on being the most progressive city in the Colony. However, in the early 1890s there was a severe economic depression in Victoria and the banking system collapsed. Bishop Crane who was concerned about the impact this was having on the community and arranged for the commencement of the building of a Cathedral which helped alleviate the effects of this high unemployment.
This was a courageous decision that enabled the commencement of a building that was blessed and opened in 1901 and eventually consecrated and dedicated on 14 May 1977.
Mother Augustine Mungovan RSM
Founding Superior of the Shepparton Mercy Community and also of Sacred Heart College Shepparton
Born in Geelong in 1857, Teresa Mungovan, a brilliant and successful Teacher with the Victorian Education Department, joined the Sisters of Mercy in Bendigo in 1879.
She was Superior of Bendigo Community from 1898-1903. In 1899, she founded the branch house of Tatura and in 1902 accompanied five Sisters of Mercy to Shepparton to commence a new foundation. She returned to Shepparton in 1905 as Superior.
After the general amalgamation of the Sisters of Mercy Victoria in 1907, Mother Augustine joined the newly appointed Leadership Team at Ascot Vale and from there was re-appointed Superior of Bendigo in 1917. She was then appointed Superior of Shepparton in 1923 but died from a serious illness before she commenced this term and was buried from St Brendan’s Shepparton on 16 January 1923. In each of these communities, Mother Augustine worked tirelessly for the growth and development of Catholic primary and secondary education. The College Chapel was named 'The Mother Augustine Mungovan Chapel' as part of the College’s Centenary Celebrations in 2002.
Rev Father Michael Kennedy
First Parish Priest of St Brendan’s Parish Shepparton
In 1873, Shepparton was part of the Wangaratta Parish. However with the continued growth in the Catholic population in rural Victoria, the Sandhurst Diocese was established and Shepparton became part of the new Benalla Parish.
Father Michael Kennedy, the first Parish Priest of Shepparton was born in Currans, Co. Kerry, Ireland in 1842. He studied at All Hallows Seminary and was ordained in 1867. He came to Australia and joined the Sandhurst Diocese in 1876 where he became assistant Priest at Beechworth. From there he went to Benalla in 1877 and would have visited Shepparton and been well known to the parishioners when he was appointed Parish Priest. He lived in Nixon Street prior to the building of the Presbytery.
There were already four Churches and one Church-School within the Parish – Kialla, Barmah East, Mundoona and Shepparton, and the Church-School at Karramomus South. Shepparton’s first Church was erected where the current Mother Ignatius Starkie Hall is situated - the previous Sacred Heart College building and the north wall and northeast of the building is part of the original Church. Recent renovations discovered burnt bricks and ash under the floorboards of classrooms.
Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop
Foundress of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart
First Australian Saint
Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop was born in Melbourne on 15 January 1842 and died in Sydney as Mother Mary of the Cross on 8 August 1909.
In 1867 Mary became the first Sister, and Mother Superior, of the newly formed Order of the Sisters of St Joseph and moved to the new Convent in Grote Street Adelaide.
Dedicated to the education of children of the poor, this was the first Religious Order to be founded by an Australian.
In January 1890, the Sisters of St Joseph began their work in Victoria at Numurkah. Here, Mother Mary of the Cross helped the sisters settle in and wrote from Numurkah in January 1890 of the “humble beginning of a great work.” Mother Mary was beatified by Pope John Paul on 19 January 1995 at Sydney’s Randwick Racecourse. Mary was canonized as a Saint of the Catholic Church by Pope Benedict XVI on 17th October 2010.
St Mary of the Cross MacKillop’s public achievements are historical facts in Australian history but for those who knew her personally, the most striking thing about her was her kindness. She encouraged, respected, and showed great care for people, making no distinction between the rich, high-born, nor the lowly, jailbirds and the outcasts of society. Everyone was treated with dignity and respect.