Our school has a long history...
About St. Mel
St. Mel is the Patron Saint of the Diocese of Ardagh, County Longford, Ireland. Ardagh is also our first Parish Priest, Father O' Reilly's hometown.
A Cathedral and a College for boys are all dedicated to St. Mel. He is said to have been the son of Conis and Darerca, the sister of St. Patrick, whom he accompanied to Ireland and helped to evangelise in that country. According to the Life of St. Brigid, he is said to have had no fixed See, which might fit in his being a missionary.
St. Patrick himself built the church at Ardagh and to this he appointed his nephew, Mel. Acting upon the apostolic precept, he supported himself by working with his hands, and what he gained beyond bare necessities, he gave to the poor. Saint Mel was St. Patrick's nephew who brought him to Longford and he was consecrated Bishop by St. Patrick, who declared him first bishop of the Diocese of Ardagh. He was present at the religious profession of St. Brigid of Ireland and gave her the religious veil, and she repaid him by letting him stay at her Convent for a week and gave him a cow for each day he said mass.
St. Mel has only six other Parishes in Australia dedicated to him.
St. Mel's feast day is February 6.
1955 - St. Mel's separated from St. Brendan's and declared a parish.
1956 - Opening of church.
1957 - Opening of School and building of Presbytery.
1960 - Purchase of 3 blocks for tennis courts.
1961 - Purchase of 6 blocks where Presbytery and Church now stand.
1966 - Portable classroom added to school.
1967 - First Parish council.
1968 - Building of Parish hall
1969 - Presbytery converted to a Convent, Kindergarten built and entrusted to the Daughters of Divine Zeal.
1969 - New Presbytery built.
1970 - Opening of Christ the King Church. Purchase of block adjoining Church.
1971 - Purchase of two blocks adjoining School on south for expansion.
1972 - Construction of another three classrooms. First school board elected.
1974 - Parish Council elected by Parishioners.
1975 - Administration block added to school and toilets upgraded. Special English portable classroom was added to the school.
1976 - Refurbishment of original classrooms. School yard was sealed.
1977 - Junior building built.
1978 - Church toilets built.
1980 - Sisters of Mercy Convent opened.
1991 - Mercy Sisters left
1992 - Mr. Bill Wans became first lay principal.
1994 - Administration, library and senior block renovations complete
1996 - 40th Anniversary of school
1997 - Mr. Bill Wans retired
1998 - Mr. Tom Sexton became principal
2000 - New fence built along Archer St.
2001 - Kinder relocated into an old refurbished classroom block
- New grass playground on the site of the old convent / kindergarten
2002 - Major redevelopment of the senior playground
2003 - Two new classrooms
2004 - Two new classrooms and a new toilet block
2007 - Mrs Di O'Brien became principal
2008 – New verandahs built on north and south side of hall
2009 - Hall and junior building demolished
2010 - New classrooms, hall/performing arts centre, music rooms, canteens, meeting rooms built with Building Education Revolution(BER) funding.
2011 - Dom Poppa commenced as principal, kindergarten car park closed and Kiss-and-Go established in Hamilton Street for drop off and pick up
2012 - Refurbished classrooms 7 and 8
2013 - New car park created on old tennis courts by City of Greater Shepparton Council
2014 - Cubby House and nature playground established, refurbished Arts Suite (Performing and Visual Arts Studios), Upper Years Learning Suite (Rooms 12,13,14) and Lower Years Learning Suite (Rooms 9,10,11), land purchased for new Kialla Education Facility accessing funds from Sandhurst Diocese Land Fund.
2015 - Climbing play nets installed, Funding application grant applied for new buildings on northern end of school site, planning for new Kialla Educational Facility.
2017 - Construction for the new Learning Centre commenced. Old building and playground was decommissioned.
2018 - Chris Summers commenced as new principal of the school. New Learning Centre, senior playground and school landscaping was completed in September of 2018. Grade 3-6 students began their learning journey in their new spaces.
2019 - Learning Centre was officially opened in March. Shade sails were replaced in the courtyard.
2020 - New Shade Sails constructed in front of the school hall and canteen.
2021- Prep outdoor learning space re-established.
The Scalabrinian Fathers played a very important role in the development of St. Mel's Parish. The Scalabrinian arrived in 1962. Fr Corrado Martellozzo was the first Scalabrinian Parish Priest.
The Daughters of Divine Zeal
The Daughters of Divine Zeal arrived in 1969 to establish a kindergarten and child care centre. The kindergarten is still in operation and an integral part of our school community.
Here is a list of some of the Mercy Sisters that worked in St. Mel's between 1957 and 1991:
- Sr. Margaret Mary Plier R.I.P.
- Sr. Austin Curthoys
- Sr. Denise Donnelly
- Sr. Catherine Daley
- Sr. Alphonsus McCarth
- Sr. M. Liam
- Sr. Ineen Mathers
- Sr. Maureen Loftus
- Sr. Mary Caldwell (Laurence)
- Sr. Elaine Gleeson
- Sr. Stephanie Christian
- Sr. M. Declan
- Sr. Kathlyn O'Brien
- Sr. Malita Burke
- Sr. Anne Cossar
- Sr. Carmel Flanagan
- Sr. Frances O'Leary
St. Mel's School was opened on Feb 5th, 1957. It was run by the Sisters of Mercy and Sr. Margaret Mary Plier was the first principal of St. Mel's school, from 1957 to 1960.Seven other Mercy Sisters became principal, before Mr. Bill Wans began in 1992.
Below are the names of the eleven principals that have been at St. Mel's since it opened in 1957:
- Sr. Margaret Mary Plier, 1957 - 1958
- Sr. Carmel Flanagan, 1959 - 1965
- Sr. Stephanie Christian, 1966 - 1971
- Sr. Maureen Loftus, 1972 - 1976
- Sr. Catherine Daley, 1977 - 1982
- Sr. Kathlyn O'Brien, 1983 - 1988
- Sr. Mary Caldwell 1989 - 1991
- Sr. Austin Curthoys July 1991 - December 1991
- Mr. Bill Wans, 1992 - 1997
- Mr. Tom Sexton, 1998 - 2006
- Mrs Dianne O'Brien 2007 – 2010
- Mr Dom Poppa 2011 - 2017
- Mr Chris Summers 2018 -
Early in 1956 construction commenced to build St. Mel's. The senior block is 165 feet long and 24 feet wide. The crosses on each end of the block are made of stainless steel and are a copy of an ancient cross made of stone from Ireland. The junior building which stands in the south of the school was built in 1977 and was used for classes from prep to grade three. The extensions and refurbishment of St. Mel's office and meeting rooms opened in November 1994 by Reverend Noel Daly Bishop of Sandhurst. In 2003 and 2004 two new buildings were built to cater for increasing enrolments. Our Prep grades are currently in one of these buildings on the northern section of the school grounds. New verandahs were built in 2008 to create a shady environment for our junior block and provide a sheltered pathway for all students to move from one part of the school to another.
2010 saw an exciting addition to our school, through the Building Education Revolution. The federal government funded a new performing arts centre/parish hall which includes meeting rooms, new canteen, music room and storage rooms. We also have 4 new state of the art classrooms, based on an open design which allows for freedom of movement, visibility and best teaching and learning practice. We moved into these classrooms in Term 4, 2010, and they have been a wonderful addition to our school, providing a new environment to explore and develop a Reggio Emilia philosophy in our Early Years teaching and learning unit.
In 2017 we began the construction of a new learning suite consisting of six studios, a gallery, gathering space with mezzanine and a number of small withdrawal spaces. The building is due for completion in early 2018. Once completed the original building will be demolished opening up for green play space.
New Building was completed in September 2018. The old building was taken down and replaced with a new playground and grass space for the children to play on. The new building was officially opened in March 2019.
In 1957 the Mercy Sisters opened St Mel's school operating from the original building here on site. Since that time many things have changed. People have come and gone. Buildings have been added, modified and removed.
St Mel's is a proud Catholic Education Community striving, learning and achieving together through Christ our light.
In 2017 we celebrated 60 Years of Learning.
Our celebrations were a great opportunity to meet old friends, share stories and
look toward the next forty years when we will be 100!