School History

A Brief History

St. Patrick's Catholic Parish, centering on the township of Kilmore and the surrounding rural district is situated approximately 60 kms north of Melbourne, in the State of Victoria, Australia.


St. Patrick's was the first inland Catholic parish to be established (1849) in the southern part of what was then the Colony of NSW and is now the State of Victoria, Australia. Earlier parishes in Victoria were Melbourne (1839), Geelong (1842), Portland (1847) and Port Fairy (1849). The parishes of Melbourne, Geelong and Kilmore represent the three oldest parishes in the Archdiocese of Melbourne whilst the parishes of Portland and Port Fairy are the oldest parishes in the Diocese of Ballarat.

Early Parish Primary Education in Kilmore


St Patrick's Primary School Kilmore is a far cry from the Catholic primary school started sometime in 1848, being school number 358, situated on the highway.  There are some unconfirmed reports of there being a boys and girls school as early as 1844.

The Vicar General, Dr Geoghegan wrote in an application to the Denominational Schools Board, dated July 3 1848:


“There are sufficient Catholic children here (Kilmore) to entitle the teacher to Government aid.”

On March 27, 1849, the Bishop wrote:


“There is an unaided school at Kilmore….. The average attendance is 30 - 40. The schoolroom is most inadequate and unsuitable…”


And so in 1850 school number 358 officially opened, as a boys-only school, with government aid.  The girls school, using the same name and number, opened on the opposite side of the highway in 1851.

The school inspector Childers visited the schools in 1851 and wrote: 

“I visited this school in Sydney Street on April 30 accompanied by the clergyman, Rev. C. Clarke …The school is a slab hut with shingled roof, not plastered, no floor. Is in good condition, and was erected in 1848... Schoolroom is 86 x 11. Has glass windows, a fireplace, and two windows. There are 33 boys and 7 girls present."

In 1854/55 the bluestone school was built in the church grounds, which was later demolished in 1956, and replaced by the brick school.


In 1875 the Mercy Convent opened, with Sisters teaching primary levels.  Then in 1890 the new Mercy boarding and day school opened.


In 1893 the Marists began Assumption College, taking over the boys day school, and then taking boarders in 1901.

And more recently 


With humble beginnings, there has been a rich history of Catholic education in Kilmore, being initially provided by local parents or community members acting as teachers, then later by the Mercy nuns, Marist brothers and then Parish school teachers.


Catholic primary education has had a number of locations including the Parish centre (next to the Church), the now-Kilmore International School when the school was known as St Joseph’s, and the last school site opposite Assumption College from 1968 when it changed its name to St Patrick’s, and now at the current site since 2011.


Today, our Parish Priest is the employer of our staff and head of our school, governed by Catholic Education Melbourne.  Our school is a beautiful and very well-resourced school that can accommodate up to 582 students in 21 classes, with over 70 teaching and non-teaching staff members.