St Aloysius College makes the move to co-ed

St Aloysius College makes the move to co-ed

In 2023 St Aloysius College will takes a bold step towards the future, becoming the first Catholic co-educational secondary school to serve the vibrant, multicultural City of Melbourne.

Co-education will commence with the first intake of Year 7 boys. Subsequent years will continue to welcome boys through the Year 7 intake until St Aloysius becomes fully co-educational in 2028. 

St Aloysius College principal Mary Farah said the change “continues the 134-year Mercy tradition of responding to local community needs and making education accessible to all talented young people, especially families seeking to educate their children together”.

Below, The Educator speaks with Farah about why the College’s decision to go co-ed and how she believes it will benefit staff and students.

TE: What has prompted the decision to become a co-educational school in 2023?

 In 2019, Mercy Education concluded a two-year project with Catholic Education Melbourne (CEM) to reimagine Catholic education in the inner-city of Melbourne. An invitation was extended to Mercy Education to provide a Catholic, co-educational offering for these families. This invitation was accepted as an excellent opportunity to demonstrate our core Mercy values of hospitality, service and compassion through the provision of a quality education for all young people living in the City.  St Aloysius presented an ideal location to serve the inner-city areas of Melbourne, as well as being able to cater to the significant population growth   envisaged in the Arden-Macauley development precinct in North Melbourne.

TE: How do you think this will benefit the school and students?

The fundamental principles of a Mercy education have stood the test of time and are just as relevant today as they were when the school was founded 134 years ago. The inclusion of boys will bring a fresh perspective and new interests, helping to extend all that we offer for everyone’s benefit. The plan in-cooperates new and improved facilities, increasing diversity of curriculum programs and different ways of thinking. When our students go out into the world the genders are mixed so the earlier we can start reflecting life the better for all.

TE: What preparations are being made this year to progress this move towards a co-educational offering?

The St Aloysius College Leadership Team and the Mercy Education Executive are currently developing a new master plan to refurbish aspects of the Curran Street North Melbourne campus along with the school gymnasium on Boundary Road and the 40-bed accommodation facility in Torquay for residential camps. Mercy Education has committed to providing a top-quality educational environment for both girls and boys. We have a short-, medium-, and long-term implementation plan which has been carefully and expertly crafted over the last couple of years in the short term our focus will be on sharing our vision with families new and old, preparing our staff and curriculum programs.  Also ensuring our girls continue to be supported in their Secondary Schooling Journey. Within Mercy Education, St Aloysius College and the broader Catholic education we have access to significant experience and expertise with co-education and Mercy Education is very confident of our capacity to deliver a modern and engaging co-educational program at St Aloysius College.

TE: What are the key plans for 2021?

So far, we have commenced the enrolment processes for 2023 and beyond which, as we transition to co-education is a really exciting time. We are thrilled to see relatively equal volumes of applications coming in from both boys and girls and are expecting a full and balanced 2023 cohort. Our staff are embarking upon various workshops and professional development opportunities to prepare them for the years ahead, and we are in full swing ensuring our campus continues to reflect the needs of its cohort. Our learning programs continue to evolve, our extra-curricular offerings are growing, and we are looking ahead at a really special chapter in the St Aloysius College book.