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A school was opened in Colac in August 1849 in Chapel Street with Francis Flynn as teacher. The number of ‘scholars’ was less than thirty and the weekly payment was one shilling per scholar. The old schoolhouse cost seventy pounds to build. The population of the district was approximately three hundred and fifty.

By 1851, a more substantial building was erected and in 1876, a new weatherboard school was built at the corner of Gellibrand and Calvert Streets. This was followed by the arrival of the Sisters of Mercy in 1880 who began teaching at the school.

In 1920, a new brick school and hall were built on a different site on Calvert Street but this was destroyed by fire in 1942. The present St Mary’s was opened in 1946. The number of religious sisters in the school had decreased significantly by the end of the 70’s and the presence of lay staff was firmly established.

Today, St Mary’s is a modern educational facility due to the hard work and energy of an enterprising dedicated parent group, a staff passionate about the building of a dynamic learning environment for its children and government grants that have enabled the school facilities to keep abreast of educational changes.

As a learning community, St Mary’s is committed to the provision of rich learning experiences which allow students to attain their potential. Through programs which focus on developing and linking spiritual, academic, physical, social, emotional, and cultural growth, our students are well-placed to be effective citizens of the Colac community and in the wider global community of the twenty-first century.


St. Mary's Prep-Grade 2, 1928

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St. Mary's 1st logo, 1928

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