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In 2022 we celebrated a significant milestone - 150 years of education on the site we know today as Emmanuel College.

We remain grateful to the eight pioneering Sisters of Mercy who, in 1872, responded to the request of Bishop Goold to travel from Ireland to Warrnambool, (which was then considered a remote location) so they could provide a Catholic education to the students of this district.

The foundation group of eight Sisters was led by Mother M. Philomene Maguire who was accompanied by Sisters Catherine McQuillan, Agnes and Philomene Graham, Stanislaus Aldridge, Xavier Flood, Joseph Howard and Bridget Cousens. They knew the task they committed to probably meant they would never see Ireland or their families again, but guided by faith, hope and love, they bravely answered the call.

These were strong and determined women who won the support of the local community and overcame the many obstacles placed in their path to establish a successful school that quickly gained a great reputation. We are proud to pay tribute to these Founders. We are proud to belong to Mercy Education and we continue to be inspired by the vision of Catherine McAuley.

Common Threads:

150 years of stories from Emmanuel, St Ann’s & CBC

A key element of our 150th Anniversary celebrations in 2022 was the release of a special commemorative, hardcover book. This is not a dry history book, but a timeline filled with photos, stories and quotes from the people of our community through the decades. Common Threads incorporates many voices into a community-focused, storytelling narrative that is inclusive of Emmanuel’s diverse history. These stories are accompanied by a visual treasure trove of photos sourced from Emmanuel’s archives. This is a story that connects generations of alumni and it will be available to both current families and alumni as a foundation for our 150th anniversary celebrations.