Sacred Heart School History

An ‘at a glance history” of Sacred Heart School

A chronology of significant dates

1896 Father Thomas O’Connell came to Tatura. He saw the need for Catholic Education in the Parish and with this in mind approached the Mercy Order in Bendigo asking that Sisters be sent to Tatura.

1900 On the 2nd November 1900 four sisters arrived to occupy the convent built for them. Sister Mary Francis, Sister M. Alphonsus, Sister M. Stanislaus and Siser M. Ignatius. On the 4th November a 2 room Primary School and High School opened in Tatura.

1901 St. Mary’s College (Hall) opened. The Sisters of Mercy started accepting boarders to combat the problems of travelling to and from school.  Travel was slow and families living much beyond a few miles from the school had little opportunity to receive a Catholic Education.

1912 Rebuilding, official opening and blessing of existing Sacred Heart Church.

1924 Additions made to the Primary School extending it to 4 rooms.

1934 Golden Jubilee of Fr. Thomas O’Connell Ordination. He was conferred with the honor of the title of Arch-Priest.

1935 Brick fence fronting the church built by father O’Connell at his expense to mark the Golden Jubilee of his ordination as a priest.

1941 On June 8 1941 the Right Rev Dr. Mc Carthy D.D. blessed and laid the foundation stone of a beautiful new convent.

1950 The Golden Jubilee of the Sisters of Mercy commenced on 9th November 1950 with a solemn High Mass celebrated by Bishop Stewart and was followed by a concert, picnic and reunion.

1952 Boarding at St. Mary’s ends.

1955 School closes for a week due to severe flood. 11 inches of water falls between 11th and 14th February.

1958 Mothers’ Club formed.

1961 Sister Imelda the principal of Sacred Heart approaches Frank Howley; a new resident in Tatura and a talented sports person, to teach sport at Sacred Heart Primary School.

1963 Years 10, 11 and 12 close at St. Mary’s. 1966 The new school was built opposite the convent. Seven classrooms and a canteen built in the form of a U and finished with an open verandah enclosing a concrete quadrangle.

Late 1960’s Sisters permitted not to wear habits and have the option to start wearing their own clothing.

1973 Fire at St. Mary’s Hall.

1977 Formation of an Advisory School Board to monitor finance and maintenance. Appeal to raise funds for St. Mary’s Hall restoration – Old Collegians reunion raises $3100. School fence was erected between hte school, the hall and the hospital. Fire escape for St. Mary’s Hall requested by Sr. Kathleen.

1978 St. Mary’s was refurbished to provide a hall and craft room. Trees planted around school. Fans installed in classrooms.

1979 Construction of a bike shed. A new classroom was added to the north east corner of the school and an existing room on the west side was refurbished to provide a new library facility for the school.

1980 Fete became a parish event – prior to this it was a Mothers’ Club event.

1981 PA system installed

1983 Adventure playground installed by Dhurringile prisoners. First computer and photcopier purchased. Sprinkler system installed to water oval. Heater put in staffroom. Cricket pitch constructed on oval.

1984 Sacred Heart emblem designed by Scott Miller and motto by Kerry Purcell. First lay principal appointed – Mr. Michael McGrath.

1988 Mr Tony Hoskin appointed Principal of Sacred Heart School.

1989 Sacred Heart Parish celebrates its centenary.

1991 A computer network is installed for all classrooms.

1992 Timetable change – lunchtime for students at 1 pm.

1993 Father Collins’ 50th Jubilee celebrations.

1994 The Sacred Heart Parents’ Club was formed to replace the Mothers’ Club. Aged tennis courts were upgraded to provide a multi purpose play area including tennis courts, basketball and netball courts. Land transfer to Moyola – 300 square metres. Parish carpark was constructed next to St. Mary’s Hall. The Frank Howley Sports Shed was built.

1995 Satellite dish installed.

1996 Security lights at the back of the school and church installed. Air conditioning was installed in classrooms. Extra seats were installed under the verandah. The roof and verandah on St. Mary’s hall were replaced.

1997 A new navy and gold uniform was introduced. The school library was automated and books were barcoded.

1998 Internet access – library and office.

1999 Cricket pitch upgraded. Airconditioning & heater put in reading recovery room – in the parish hall. A computerised subsurface watering system was insatlled on the oval.  Major upgrade to the classroom computer network with access to internet.

2000 Enrolment 200. Father Collins made a Monsignor. Parents’ Club celebrates 42 years of commitment. New school crossing in Hogan Street. Non compulsory staff uniform introduced. Shade sails installed in the quadrangle area. The Portable was added.         29-10-2000 – Centenary of Catholic SChooling in Tatura celebrated.  The Time Capsule (Bollard in the front garden of the school) was sealed  (to be opened in 2025).


2002 New Administration and Staff facilities officially opened by Bishop Joseph Grech (Bishop of Sandhurst) and the Dr Sharman Stone  (M.P.) on 30th August. THRASS introduced at Sacred Heart School.

2003 Mr Paul Wilkinson appointed Principal.

2004 Sacred Heart School became an Asthma Friendly and Sun-Smart School.  School hats were introduced for students in Terms 1 and 4.

2005 Portable refurbished to accommodate Art Room and a small teaching space.

2006 New adventure playground equipment was installed.

2007 Student Toilet Refurbishment – ‘Investing in our Schools’ Grant.  Named pavers added to Memorial garden.   Four new interactive whiteboards installed.  Memorial Garden in Memory of Albert Scrimizzi (Parent) was begun.

2008 Mrs. Jenni Hindson appointed Principal. Enrolment – 138 (6 class groupings). New school Vision and Mission statements, Identity Statement and Student Graduate Outcomes written by School Staff and School Board under the facilitation of Mrs. Philomena Billington (Deputy Director of Catholic Education Sandhurst.)   Albert Scrimizzi Memorial Garden completed. Lone Pine Tree planted in front of the Church. Water saving taps and toilets installed. Bollard in front of the school repainted in indigenous theme. Tiles depicting ‘Go For Your Life’ (Healthy Living) theme laid above taps. Cut leaf Silver Birch trees planted in the front of the school. Speaker system installed in St. Mary’s Hall. School concert – ‘Dance Extravaganza’.  Music  enrichment program introduced. Pastoral Care and Finances, Facilities & Resources School Reviews ‘Active After School Communities’ program introduced. School Chaplain (Damien Beasley) appointed (National Chaplaincy Program).

2009 Enrolment – 144 (6 class groupings). Ms Ann Margaret Carroll appointed Deputy Principal Religious Education Co ordinator.  Karen Nihill appointed as School Chaplain/Well Being Officer. Curriculum & Religious Education School Reviews. ‘Making Jesus Real Program’ introduced in the School.  Sacred Heart became a ‘Go For Your Life’ school. Interactive Whiteboard Technology in all classrooms.  New website was introduced. Classrooms 5,6 and 7 refurbished (National Schools Pride funding). Seats in the school quadrangle replaced.  Second flagpole erected (during National Reconciliation Week) to fly the Aboriginal flag. School Musical – ‘Circus Splendida’.
Building Education Revolution project (extension & refurbishment of library and construction of multi purpose hall) begun. New Apple Macbook computers purchased for staff. School vegetable garden established.  Mercy student award introduced – awarded to Katy Minutoli.

2010 Enrolment – 145 (6 class groupings).  Mrs. Carol Coulston appointed as School Board Chair person. New air conditioning installed in classrooms 1-4 and staff room. Library and multi purpose hall construction completed . Honour boards installed in school gallery listing school Board Chair Persons, Principals and Parish Priests. One:one laptop program launched for grade 5 & 6 students.  A trolley of 14 laptops purchased for P – 4.  Wireless internet array installed in classroom 1. Solar panels installed on the roof producing 5 kw of electricity.  Sacred Garden created around  a classic labyrinth designed by local artist Angie Russi (funded through a grant from Arts Victoria).  School Concert – Billy’s Bush dance Company. Whole School Review. Mercy Award awarded to Tristian Zito.

2011 – Enrolment – 147 (6 class groupings). Mrs. Angela Finn appointed as Deputy Principal/Religious Education Co ordinator.  Classrooms 1,2,3 & 4 refurbished. Walls between classroom 2 & 3 and 3 & 4 replaced with bi fold doors creating a more flexible learning space. De mountable building refurbished (art room and small teaching room).  A steel structure was built providing shade over the adventure playground. Shade sails in school quadrangle replaced. Planting of native plants along the tennis court fence.  De-mountable building (including art room and small teaching room) refurbished. School wireless internet connection upgraded with wireless arrays being installed in classroom 5 and the multi purpose hall providing reliable wireless internet throughout the school. School chicken coop established. School Production – ‘Vege Mania’. Mercy Award renamed ‘Sr. Agatha Woodman’ award – awarded to Emma McGrath.

2012 – Enrolment – 154 – (7 class groupings). Multi purpose hall officially named the ‘Mercy Centre’ in memory of the Mercy Sisters who began the school.  Sports teams also named McAuley (Gold), Frayne (Blue) and Geary (Red) in memory of Catherine McAuley, Ursula Frayne & Sr Alphonsus Geary. New sports banners made and a Mercy cross crafted for each classroom of the school. Catholic Identity and Leadership School reviews undergone. Raised vegetable gardens constructed and planted and a new sandpit (under shelter) constructed. Positive Behaviour Support & Intervention Program introduced – ‘Be Respectful.  Be Responsible. Be Resilient. Be your Best!’.    Sacred Heart School App launched and school website redone.  ‘Sr. Agatha Woodman’ award – awarded to Matthew Dodd.  Principal Jenni Hindson retired.

2013 – Mrs Trish Miller appointed new Principal.  Enrolment – 167 – (7 classes).  School Toilet refurbishment was completed in January. Master Plan consultation process began with Mr Peter Byrne (VArc) commissioned to draw up plans.

2017 – Ms Pauline Hindson is appointed Principal and the school is continuing to grow. Enrolment is 212 students – 10 classes. Mr Michael Dundon is appointed as the School Board Chair.

2018 – Enrolment is 220 students with 10 classes.  The Administration Block was refurbished.