In 1898 the Sisters of Mercy opened the College of Our Lady of the Sea Boarding School (COLS) for Young Ladies in Tanti Avenue, Mornington. In the following year, the Sisters established Padua House Preparatory School for Little Boys. The name ‘Padua College’ was assumed in 1960, and had both day students and boarders up until 1960 when there was no longer a need for boarding facilities.
Another important date in Padua College’s history is 1968 when the primary section separated to become St Macartan’s Primary School. Both schools continued to grow and in 1973 plans were drawn up for Padua College to be relocated to Oakbank Road, Mornington, which opened in 1975.
An official opening ceremony was held later, in February 1977. As enrolments increased a second campus was established at Inglewood Crescent, Rosebud in 1987 and a third at Tyabb in 2014.
The administration of the College passed from the Sisters of Mercy in 1976 to lay principals, including Mr Bernard McDowell (1977 – 1983), Mr Peter Gurry (1984 – 1995), Mrs Patricia Cowling (1996 – 2000), Mr Christopher Houlihan (2001 – 2015) and Mr Anthony Banks (2016 – 2022). The present principal, Ms Kelly McGurn, commenced in 2023.
From these small beginnings, Padua College has developed into a thriving, multi-campus Catholic community, providing co-educational secondary education to the children of families residing from Mt Eliza, across to Western Port and south to Portsea.
For over 125 years, Padua College has consistently offered students the very best education and pastoral care, always remaining true to the Catholic ethos. Students are encouraged to reach their fullest potential. In the words of the College Song, students are encouraged to ‘dream great dreams…if we persevere, we conquer all’.
Chapels provide settings for reflection and regular Eucharistic and Liturgical celebrations. Facilities at each campus are kept well maintained and up to date and include superb sporting grounds. Natural bush and wetland areas are an added feature of the College.
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