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Catherine McAuley College

Catherine McAuley College (CMC) is a coeducational Catholic secondary school in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia.

Catherine McAuley College
Catherine McAuley College logo.jpg
Former nameCatholic College Bendigo[1]
Marist Brothers’ College[1]
St. Vincent's College[1]
St Mary’s College[1]
TypeSecondary college
Motto"Living Mercy"[5]
DenominationRoman Catholic
(Sisters of Mercy)
PrincipalBrian Turner[2]
Number of students1600[3]
CampusesCoolock (junior) and St. Mary's (senior)
HousesBackhaus (purple), Champagnat (maroon), Jaara (orange), MacKillop (green), McAuley (blue), Vincent (yellow)[4]

The school has two campuses Coolock and St Mary’s. The Coolock campus is located in the outer Bendigo suburb of Junortoun and provides education for Years 7–9.[6] The St Mary’s campus located in the heart of Bendigo provides education for Years 10-12, including the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) and Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL).[6]

Catherine McAuley College is governed by the Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea.[3] In 2018, the school was renamed from Catholic College Bendigo (CCB), signifying the end to the Sisters of Mercy and the Marist Brothers governance partnership formed in 1983.[2][5] The partnership was dissolved in January 2013 and in 2015 the Marist Brothers opened Marist College Bendigo a co-educational school (Prep to Year 12).[1][7]


There are two central founders of Catholic College Bendigo. The Sisters of Mercy arrived in Bendigo in 1876 and set up a day and boarding school for girls - St Mary's Convent - on Wright Street (now the Coolock site). The Marist Brothers arrived in Bendigo in 1893 and established their own college for boys. The founders of these orders, Marcellin Champagnat and Catherine McAuley, are considered the founders of Catholic College Bendigo.

In 1955, the site at La Valla was opened for boarding boys as St Vincent's College. Due to declining boarders the school opened to day pupils in 1972.

In 1983, the two schools run by the Mercy Sisters and the Marist brothers combined, to make a co-educational school. It was also renamed Catholic College Bendigo. By 1988, the school had two sites - La Valla and Coolock, which are the current two sites.

A process of refurbishment has been running since the late 1990s — in 1998, the Junortoun quadrangle was refurbished. In 2004, Wright Street, which runs through Coolock, was bought by the school and closed, which led to a large refurbishment of the area to face the road. In 2005, the Coolock arts building was refurbished. In 2006, work on a new technology building at La Valla began. It was completed in 2007.

In 2008, the Marian Centre at Coolock was opened. It features a new music block and theatre, as well as a large gym with two basketball courts. This gym is the venue for whole school assemblies—a 2008 initiative to bring the two sites closer together.

There was a major transition to a vertical pastoral care system in 2009. Prior to 2009, Catholic College Bendigo had four houses - Marcellin (blue), Backhaus (yellow), McAuley (green) and Crane (red). The new system comprises six houses, with homegroups now aligned into houses. The new houses of the college are Vincent (yellow), Backhaus (purple), McAuley (blue), MacKillop (green), Jaara (orange) and Champagnat (maroon).

Coolock also changed their homeroom model to a vertical housegroup system. At Coolock, each house now has six Years 10 to 12 housegroups. At La Valla, each house has two Year 7 housegroups, two Year 8 housegroups and two Year 9 housegroups. The total number of housegroups across the college is 64. There are also two further housegroups, bringing the total to 66. In 2017 the La Valla site changed its homeroom to vertical, so it could bring the Years 7, 8, and 9 together.

In 2018 the College was renamed to Catherine McAuley College after the founder of the Sisters of Mercy, Catherine McAuley.[8] At this time both campuses were also renamed to reflect the history of the Mercy sisters and the College - with the then La Valla in Junortoun becoming Coolock, reflecting a location where Catherine McAuley undertook work,[9] and the then Coolock becoming St Mary's, the name of the College prior to 1983.

CCB is a member of the Catholic All Schools Sports Association (CAS).

Each year the college puts on a production, displaying the theatrical talents of Year 9 students.


St Mary'sEdit

Mercy Building - three floors. On the ground floor is general reception, staff room, office of Senior Leader and office of the deputy principal of Coolock. On the first floor, there are staff offices, the finance office, the office of the Director of Catholic Identity and the principal's office. On the second floor, there is the publications office, alumni office and the office of the Director of Teaching and Learning.

Kelly Building - two floors. On the ground floor, there are four general classrooms. On the first floor, there are three computer rooms and IT staff offices. All Vincent homegroups are held in this building.

Ursula Frayne Building - science block, two floors. All McAuley homegroups are held in this building.

Champagnat Arts Building - arts block, with general classrooms, language classrooms and, on the first floor, art, media, visual communication, textiles and photography rooms, as well as art offices reside. Champagnat and MacKillop homegroups are held here.

Library - general library, with two research areas, an information lab, a non-fiction section, a fiction section and a reading area, as well as a silent study room and library offices.

Backhaus Building - two floors, classrooms on both floors and two staff offices on the first floor. All Backhaus homegroups are held here.

Coolock House - two floors, with careers office, staff offices and general classrooms. Jaara homegroups are held here.

Marian Centre - music room, stage, theatre, music and PE offices, practice rooms, foyer. Gym with two basketball courts, a weights room, and two classrooms. Four portable classrooms are also installed.

College prayerEdit

The College's prayer was updated in 2018 upon its name change to Catherine McAuley College.[10]

Loving God,

We ask you to bless Catherine McAuley College

and challenge us to act in the spirit of Catherine.

May we inspire all in our community to be learners impelled to thrive and to serve;

Guide our community to live our Mercy Values and the Gospel message of Jesus Christ.



  1. ^ a b c d e "History". Catholic College Bendigo. Archived from the original on 28 October 2017. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  2. ^ a b Pinda, Anthony (1 February 2018). "Catholic College Bendigo renamed as Catherine McAuley College". Bendigo Advertiser. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "College Governance". Catherine McAuley College. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  4. ^ "Houses". Catherine McAuley College. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  5. ^ a b "'Living Mercy' at Catholic College Bendigo". Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea. 27 February 2017. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  6. ^ a b "College Tours". Catherine McAuley College. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  7. ^ Pedler, Chris (20 April 2018). "The Marist Brothers celebrate 125 years since arriving in Bendigo". Bendigo Advertiser. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  8. ^ Pinda, Anthony (1 February 2018). "New look for a new school: Catherine McAuley College". Bendigo Advertiser. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  9. ^ "Our Foundress – Catherine McAuley | Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of Australia". Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  10. ^ "College Prayer". CMC. Retrieved 19 September 2019.

External linksEdit