The Cecilia Circle

Last month, the College was pleased to launch its new bequest program - the Cecilia Circle. Named in honour of our school’s foundress, Mother Mary Cecilia Xavier Maguire, the bequest program was established to recognise, acknowledge and thank our community members who name Sacred Heart College as a beneficiary in their Will.

Joining us for the launch were alumni and legal professionals Lorraine Secen (Grinter, 1960) and Daniela Pavlovic (2001).

Read more on both Daniela and Lorraine's journeys from SHC to the field of wills and estates

The College was also pleased to announce the Poynton family as the patron family of the Cecilia Circle. The connection and support that the Poyntons have provided to the school over their 100-year association makes them a shining example of the true effect that the impact of gifts such as those given to both Catherine McAuley and Mother Xavier Maguire can make - a real and lasting difference to people’s lives, through education, care and service. 

If you would like more information on the Cecilia Circle, please contact Catherine Middlemiss, Director of Development. Your inquiry and any information provided will be held in strictest confidence. 

P: 5222 0459

Our Foundress, Mother Mary Cecilia Xavier Maguire (c1819–1879)

In 1859, six women set sail from the House of Mercy in Baggot Street, Ireland to Australia and settled in Geelong on Newtown Hill.
Rev Mother Xavier Maguire and Sisters Gabriel Sherlock, Mary Margaret Mulally, Mary Regis Manley, Mary Rose Lynch and Mary Aloysius Ryan (a novice) quickly began their work of caring for Geelong’s orphans, visitation of the sick and giving religious instruction.

Just after they arrived, on 12 December, a meeting of townspeople was called to make arrangements for the establishment of a convent in Newtown. The following resolution was passed: 

Resolved: That being fully aware of the blessings in education, both to the higher and lower classes, in charitable ministrations, irrespective of creed or country, to the poor, the sick, and the dying, conferred by the Sisters of the order of Mercy, wherever they have settled, we hail with pleasure the arrival in Geelong of an affiliation from the parent house in Dublin. 

Resolved: That feeling sincerely grateful to those ladies for leaving home and friends and coming so many thousands of miles to diffuse amongst us these blessings, we form a committee for the purpose of procuring for them a suitable residence to enable them to carry out more efficiently the objects of their sacred institute. 

The committee wasted no time and a sum of 1000 pounds was donated from the generous community of Geelong. Sacred Heart College Geelong was officially opened as a school for day students in 1860. Mother Xavier Maguire belongs to a largely unsung host of women religious who have contributed so much to the development of the Catholic Church and also to the life of the nation. 

View The Cecilia Circle Brochure

Year 12 Alumni Welcome Breakfast 2022

The College farewelled our 2022 Year 12 cohort from Sacred Heart College and welcomed them to the Alumni Association at our Sacred Heart College Alumni Welcome Breakfast on 18 October 2022. Thank you to attending members of the Association Enza Hughes, Treasurer (1987), Kelly Suvoltos (1991) and guest speakers Stephanie Reynolds, Vice President (2003) and Emma Badrock, College Captain (2021).

Annual General Meeting (AGM) 2022 Update
Sacred Heart Alumni Association

On Sunday 6 November 2022 the Association held our SHC Alumni Annual General Meeting. There were no nominations for vacant positions. In accordance with the Alumni Association Constitution, expressions of interest for the following vacant committee positions were called for eight weeks prior to today’s AGM:

  • Vice President

  • General Committee – four positions

As the Association did not receive any nominations for the aforementioned positions, they remain vacant at this point in time. Re-nominations have been received for the executive positions from President, Anne Mathieson and Treasurer, Enza Hughes. In accordance with the Alumni Constitution, these nominations are now accepted and ratified. Re-nominations have been received for non-executive positions from Gael Perry (1962) OAM and Kelly Suvoltos (1991). In accordance with the Alumni Constitution, these re-nominations are now accepted and ratified.

The following general committee members have announced their retirement from the committee and we thank them for their time and dedication to the Association:
Peta Credlin (1989), Stephanie Reynolds (2003), Jane Clark (2010), Ella Credlin (1994)
Elizabeth Grayland (2010), Emma Morgan (2012), Samantha Morrissy (1995), Laura Shandley (2010) and Alicia te Wierik (1989)

2023 Alumni Association Committee is as follows:

  • Executive: President: Anne Mathieson / Deputy President: Vacant / Treasurer: Enza Hughes / Alumni Officer: Jo Welch

  • General Committee: Gael Perry (OAM) / Kelly Suvoltos

  • Principal Representative: Catherine Middlemiss (1982)

Alumni Association Committee Nomination Form

Early Days of the Alumni Association
1924 -1945

The Alumni Association officially began in 1924, originally under the name of the Sacred Heart Past Pupils Association. This coincided with the first official reunion at Sacred Heart College in the same year. Prior to this there had been formal get-togethers of past students at the convent, including a large gathering of up to 300 for the 1910 silver jubilee of the College.

The first president of the association was Mrs Mary McCabe Doyle (nee Ryan). She remained in office for many years, and in the 1930s, Mrs Margaret McNamara, Mrs McCabe Doyle and Mrs Teresa Kerley (nee Munday) alternated the role of president. In 1932, the Association changed its name to the Sacred Heart Old Collegians Association.

The Association quickly became very active once it was formalised – arranging annual sports days, deb balls, fundraisers and by the 1930s had not only a Geelong committee but a Melbourne president and committee who arranged ‘at homes’ and dinner dances at the Menzies and Wentworth Hotels, and also frequently held card games at chic places like the Green Door in Collins Street, and the Picadilly Café. 

The Old Collegians went on to begin the Mercedes club - between 1935 and 1942; it had rooms in the Block Buildings, on the ground floor of Lt Malop St (now Market Square shopping centre).

The club rooms had a piano, tables and chairs, a stove, heating, crockery, a table tennis table (on loan from the Commonwealth Bank) and a library of 100 of the most up to date books. The club rooms are mentioned in the pages of the College Annual Mercedes between the years 1936 and 1942, with descriptions of improvements, such as stippled paint decoration on the walls, bookcase installation and carpeting to beautify and increase comfort for members (sadly there are no pictures of the rooms).
Other activities run from the club included a birthday fund, where a member marked her birthday by making a donation to the association and a thrift club, where a bank account was opened, encouraging members to make deposits, helping members begin saving. ‘Jam Days’ were held annually, where members would make and sell jam to raise funds for the children in St Catherine’s and St Augustine’s Orphanages.