Loreto Kirribilli

Loreto Kirribilli is an independent Roman Catholic comprehensive single-sex primary and secondary day school for girls, located in Kirribilli, a Lower North Shore suburb of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Loreto Kirribilli
(1)Loreto Kirribilli.jpg
Loreto Chapel Tower
Loreto Kirribilli is located in Sydney
Loreto Kirribilli
Loreto Kirribilli

Coordinates33°50′49″S 151°12′59″E / 33.84694°S 151.21639°E / -33.84694; 151.21639Coordinates: 33°50′49″S 151°12′59″E / 33.84694°S 151.21639°E / -33.84694; 151.21639
TypeIndependent comprehensive single-sex primary and secondary day school
MottoMary, Queen of Angels, as I Live I Trust in the Cross
Religious affiliation(s)Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or Sisters of Loreto
DenominationRoman Catholic
Established1901; 119 years ago (1901)
PrincipalAnna Dickinson[1]
Staff~99 (2011)[2]
Enrolmentc. 1,054 (2014[2])
Colour(s)Royal blue, gold and white             

Established at Milsons Point in 1901, Loreto has a selective enrolment policy and currently caters for approximately 1,050 girls from Kindergarten to Year 12.[2]

The school is affiliated with the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA),[3] the Junior School Heads Association of Australia (JSHAA),[4] the Alliance of Girls' Schools Australasia (AGSA),[5] and is a member of the Association of Heads of Independent Girls' Schools (AHIGS).[6]

Loreto Kirribilli is one of many schools around the world established by the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or Sisters of Loreto, founded some 400 years ago by Mary Ward.

Its Sydney sister school is Loreto Normanhurst, and there are five other Loreto schools across Australia, in Melbourne, Ballarat, Victoria, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth, as well as other international schools such as St Mary's Shaftesbury and Saint Mary's Ascot in the UK.


Loreto Kirribilli was founded in 1901 following the move of the day school of Loreto Randwick (founded 1892) to Kunimbla, a house in Milsons Point. In 1907, increasing enrolments necessitated a move to Fern Hill, a house in Upper Pitt Street, and in 1907 to the current site in Carabella Street.[7]

Elamang, a home owned by early settler James Milson (1785-1872), was purchased in 1907 with the financial assistance of Sarah Heaton, mother of, Philomena Heaton (Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (IBVM)), a founding member of the Kirribilli community. This purchase allowed for boarders and an increase in day students. Adjacent properties were purchased over the years, including Coreena (previously owned by Alfred Milson) in 1921, The Hermitage in 1924, Thoms in 1952, and Araluen in 1975. The Loreto Kirribilli Chapel Tower was the highest point on the Kirribilli Peninsula for many years and remains a landmark dominating the skyline when viewed from Neutral Bay. Once the junior school, The Hermitage, was demolished in 1936 to make way for a playing field and tennis courts, and Coreena was replaced in 1961 by the present junior school. Government funding in the 1960s allowed for the building of St Joseph's wing, including science rooms and a library. This was also an era of significant growth in student numbers.[7]

The boarding school began its phasing out period in 1968, following an explosion which destroyed St Mary's (Thoms). Loreto's last boarding students left in 1972. In 1980, Araluen, which had previously been a music centre, was extended to provide accommodation for the Loreto Sisters, and the community areas in the Elamang building were converted for use as staff rooms, general school administration and music.[7]

In 2010, Loreto acquired the neighbouring Tremayne Private Hotel, formerly a Y.W.C.A.[8] and renamed it the Marian Centre.


Ordinal Officeholder Term start Term end Time in office Notes
1 Eulalia Hyland 1920 1925 4–5 years [6]
2 Elizabeth Forbes 1925 1929 3–4 years
3 Rita Nolan 1932 1937 4–5 years
4 Canice Woods 1938 1942 3–4 years
5 Mechitilde Farrell 1942 1948 5–6 years
6 Emilian Cowden 1949 1954 4–5 years
7 Miriam Nowotny 1955 1956 0–1 years
8 Jude Lane 1957 1958 0–1 years
9 Angela Quill 1959 1965 5–6 years
10 Juliana Coughlin 1966 1969 2–3 years
11 Noni Mitchell 1970 1970 0 years
12 Anne Anderson 1971 1971 0 years
13 Jeanne Cover 1972 1981 8–9 years
14 Mary Wright 1981 1985 3–4 years
15 Margaret Honner 1986 1992 5–6 years
16 Anne Kelly 1993 1999 5–6 years
17 Janet Freeman 1999 2013 13–14 years
18 Anna Dickinson 2014 incumbent 5–6 years


Compulsory subjectsEdit

In the Loreto senior school the following subjects are compulsory:

  • Religion- from year 7-12
  • English- from year 7-12
  • Maths- from year 7- until late year 11
  • PDHPE- from year 7-10
  • Technology and Applied Studies- year 7-8
  • Music- year 7-8
  • Visual Arts- year 7-8
  • LOTE- year 7-8

Elective subjects

Year 8Edit

In year 8 students choose a language from the following:

  • French
  • Italian
  • Mandarin

Year 9Edit

In year 9 students chose four electives, two subjects that run for two years (200 hrs) and two subjects that run for one year (100 hrs). They chose from the following subjects:

  • Academic Support (100 hrs only)
  • History Elective (100 hrs only)
  • Geography Elective (100 hrs only)
  • Visual Arts (100 or 200 hrs)
  • Photography and Digital Media (100 or 200 hrs)
  • Drama (100 or 200 hrs)
  • Food Technology (100 or 200 hrs)
  • Technology and Applied Studies (100 or 200 hrs)
  • French (200 hrs only)
  • Italian (200 hrs only)
  • Music (200 hrs only)
  • Commerce (200 hrs only)
  • PASS (100 hrs only)


The newly renovated Loreto library was opened in July 2013. The library contains over 27 000 books and resources.[9] The library is located at the top of the Saint Joseph's (J) Block. At the 2013 Spring Fair the library raised $3 000 for their sister school in Panighatta by selling handmade book related jewellery, in a stall named 'Read-Cycled'.

Extra curricular activitiesEdit


Loreto currently participates in three debating competitions:

  • ISDA - Each year has 1 team in year 6+
  • CSDA - Each year has 1 team in year 7+
  • Archdale - 2 teams from both year 7&8, One team in year 9+


Students are encouraged to join musical ensembles such as the Orchestra, Choir, Flute Ensemble,Concert Band, Stage Band or Chamber Strings Group. Private instrumental or vocal tuition as electives, is also available.[9]


Loreto 1st VIII receiving third place medals, Head of the River, 2007

Loreto sporting teams participate in competitions run by a number of associations, including the Junior School Heads Association of Australia (JSHAA)[4] for primary students, and the Catholic Girls' Secondary School Sports Association (CGSSSA), and Independent Girls' Schools Sporting Association (IGSSA)[10] for those in the secondary school.

Sports offered to junior students include: Athletics, Basketball, Cricket, Cross country training, Equestrian, Gymnastics, Hockey, Netball, Rowing, Skiing, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tae Kwon Do, Tennis, Tildesley Shield Tennis,Volleyball and Touch football.[11] In 2015 Loreto won the Interschools competition for Tae Kwon Do.


As with most Australian schools, Loreto has a house system to facilitate school based competitions and activities. House activities include Inter-house debating, athletics and swimming carnivals, music and drama festivals and other house activities. The school currently has four houses:

  • Barry – Gold
  • Heaton – Green
  • Milson – Red
  • Ward – Blue[9]

There are a number of inter-house events during the year. These include the athletics carnival, swimming carnival, drama festival, dance night and Music Festival which is held annually at the Sydney Town Hall in June.[12]

Notable alumnaeEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Principal's Message". Loreto Kirribilli. 2014. Archived from the original on 27 January 2014. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "Loreto Kirribilli 2014 Annual Report" (PDF). About Loreto Kirribilli. Loreto Kirribilli. 19 June 2015. Retrieved 15 August 2007.
  3. ^ "AHISA Schools". New South Wales. Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia. November 2007. Archived from the original on 2 November 2007. Retrieved 19 December 2007.
  4. ^ a b "JSHAA New South Wales Directory of Members". New South Wales Branch. Junior School Heads' Association of Australia. 2007. Archived from the original on 17 January 2008. Retrieved 19 December 2007.
  5. ^ Butler, Jan (2006). "Member Schools". Members. The Alliance of Girls' Schools Australasia. Archived from the original on 19 July 2008. Retrieved 19 December 2007.
  6. ^ a b "Heads of New South Wales Independent Girls' Schools". About AHIGS. Association of Heads of Independent Girls Schools. Archived from the original on 27 September 2008. Retrieved 2 December 2007.
  7. ^ a b c "History". About Loreto Kirribilli. Loreto Kirribilli. Archived from the original on 16 September 2007. Retrieved 8 March 2008.
  8. ^ Johnstone, Ellie Harvey and Toby. "Colleges go house-hunting to beat the urban squeeze". Retrieved 12 February 2017.
  9. ^ a b c "Prospectus" (PDF). Enrolments. Loreto Kirribilli. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 September 2007. Retrieved 8 March 2008.
  10. ^ "AHIGS Member Schools". Member Schools. Independent Girls' Schools Sporting Association. 2007. Archived from the original on 19 July 2008. Retrieved 8 March 2008.
  11. ^ "Sport". Extra Curricula. Loreto Kirribilli. Archived from the original on 8 February 2008. Retrieved 8 March 2008.
  12. ^ "Inter-House Competition". Extra Curricula. Loreto Kirribilli. Archived from the original on 8 February 2008. Retrieved 8 March 2008.
  13. ^ "Encore on Again" (PDF). Board Bulletin. Board of Studies NSW. 6 (1): 12. January 1997. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 March 2011. Retrieved 30 December 2010.
  14. ^ Crawford, Kate (20 January 2009). "Soprano by the Seaside". The Mosman Daily. News Community Media. Retrieved 30 December 2010.
  15. ^ "TENNIS". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 1 February 1934. p. 21 Supplement: Women's Supplement. Retrieved 30 December 2010.
  16. ^ "A very public life". The Sydney Morning Herald. 6 March 2004. National News. Retrieved 8 March 2008.

Further readingEdit

  • Emilsen, S. and Callaghan, M. 2006. A School With Spirit: Loreto Kirribilli. Alliance Distribution Service. ISBN 978-1-74114-922-7.
  • Meagher, F. 1997. Loreto Normanhurst: A Century of Memories 1897-1997. Allen & Unwin: St. Leonards, NSW. ISBN 1-86448-353-9.

External linksEdit