1860 to 2020 and beyond
Catholic Education began in Wodonga on 4 October 1860 when Bishop Goold (1812-1886) dedicated a chapel to St Francis.
To this chapel was attached a wooden school building. The story of St Augustine’s and Catholic College began in 1876 with a co-educational school built on the corner of High Street and Osburn Street. Dean Tierney of Beechworth and Father M. O’Connor of Chiltern were responsible for erecting and maintaining this school until 1892.
In 1892, four Sisters of Mercy from Albury were invited to make a foundation at Wodonga, and thus began St. Augustine’s School. By 1899 they had completed new school buildings and Mother M. Aloysius Tierney and the three Sisters moved from temporary classrooms. At this stage, St. Augustine’s was catering for primary, secondary and commercial classes. Meanwhile a boarding school was established at the convent to provide for girls from outlying areas.
In the 1970s Albury-Wodonga was declared the National Growth Centre. The expansion in numbers at St Augustine’s Girls Secondary College led to its relocation to Wodonga West in 1979 under the direction of Sister Mary Duffy. The name changed to Catholic College Wodonga.
John McEvoy, one of our very first teachers, reminisces on those founding years.
Today, Catholic College is a co-educational school with more than 1220 students affiliated with Mercy Education. It continues to thrive with the Mercy charism providing a solid base from which to grow.
Catholic identity is the heart of the school. It is more than the teaching of religious education; it is how we, as a community, express and live our Catholic faith … not only through masses and liturgical formation. Our community is encouraged to experience discipleship through encounter, and actively engaging in our local area and on a global scale. We are a Mercy family focussed on hospitality, compassion and justice.
We continue to be grateful to the men and women of Wodonga who had the vision and determination to create and nurture this wonderful school for young people of the region.
Image: By permission of the Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea Archives.