A Rich History...

St Mary Star of the Sea College was founded as a parish school in 1873 by the Sisters of the Good Samaritan under the guidance of Australia’s first Archbishop, John Bede Polding.

The secondary section of the College was established in 1875 with 14 students. It is the oldest girls’ school in the Illawarra and the fourth oldest Catholic independent girls’ College in Australia.

Providing Catholic education for over 150 years, the College has expanded its buildings, its curriculum and its horizons. It responds to the changing expectations of employers and tertiary institutions, the changing nature of the world we live in and the Church’s vision for society.

At the heart of our School are the core values of the Love of God, Love of Learning, Hospitality, Stewardship and Peace.

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Academic Excellence

The College is committed to the pursuit of academic excellence and the development of the complete individual.

As a nurturing community we are also committed to an inclusive education which values uniqueness and caters to differing needs. The College offers a variety of learning experiences which ensure students' continued intellectual, creative and spiritual development.

girls in chemistry lab

& Enrichment

St Mary's provides extension and enrichment in a wide variety of areas for all students.

Young film-makers are encouraged to develop their skills by entering the Ice Pix Film Festival. In the area of music the girls can join the College orchestra, vocal ensemble, choir, or stage band. St Mary's has a wonderful reputation in the performing arts with recent productions of Sound and Fury, a rock version of Macbeth, Aladdin and a punk steam version of Godspell. Dance, drama, debating, mock trial, tournament of the minds are only some of the other co curricular activities available. Sport is also an area where girls can excel.

Pastoral Care

At St Mary's, all girls know they are cared for individually.

The pastoral care of each student makes the years of adolescent development a shared experience between the family and the College. An embedded vertical House system promotes pastoral care and builds communities within the larger College community. The College offers a faith environment grounded in the Gospel story of the Good Samaritan where all are accepted unconditionally. The College respects the life journey of each individual and aims to engage young women in academic, spiritual, sporting, cultural and leadership pursuits which will engage their heads and hearts in both the current context and into futures filled with promise and possibility.

"I am born for higher things"

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Why a Girls' School?

The comments made by the students speak for themselves...