1846 to 2021

In 2021 Mercedes College is proud to be celebrating its 175 Year Anniversary alongside its College community.

The flame of Mercy education was lit by Mother Catherine McAuley in Dublin, Ireland and carried to our Western Australian shores by Mother Ursula Frayne and the founding Sisters in February 1846. 

Today, it continues to burn brightly through the ministry of Sisters of Mercy and the College community.

We invite you to be a part of this celebration sharing your memories of your own Mercy journey.

Come celebrate with us


  • 1840

    Sr Ursula Frayne and 6 sisters arrive on “The Elizabeth”. School opens with one student in a rented cottage on February 2. By the end of the year 100 students are enrolled.

  • 1850

    Sr Ursula returns to Ireland seeking recruits for the mission. Students number 145.

  • 1860

    Mary Brennan is the first Australian to join the Sisters of Mercy (boarder at Victoria Square from 1858-1860)

  • 1870

    The present Sisters of Mercy Convent was blessed and opened on 18 October.

  • 1880

    During a visit to the Eastern States to fundraise for repairs to the Subiaco orphanage following a fire, Vicar General Matthew Giney’s train is held up in Glenrowan due to Kelly gang siege and performs the last rites. A building is named Glenrowan.

  • 1890

    Opening of St Joseph’s day school and Ladies College Boarding School.

  • 1900

    Mother Brigid McDonald is named Principal of the Ladies College, a title she holds until the 1930’s.

  • 1910

    Alliance Francaise exams start

  • 1920

    Ex-students association starts. The College first publishes “The Link”.

  • 1930

    College students sing at the opening of the new part of St Mary’s Cathedral.

  • 1940

    Centenary celebration of the Sisters of Mercy.

  • 1950

    Past pupil of St Joseph’s, Lancelot Goody, consecrated Bishop.

  • 1960

    St Jospeh’s upgraded to High School status and can now accept Leaving students.

  • 1970

    Education Support Class introduced to College.

  • 1980

    St Joseph’s Board School and Coolock House demolished. Mercedes Medal introduced and the College name changes to Mercedes College.

  • 1990

    Blessing and opening of the Mercy Wing by His Grace Archbishop Foley. Demolition of old Kindergarten building to make way for the Performing Arts Centre. College wins all tennis trophies – a first for any girls school to hold in any one year.

  • 2000

    Millenium Celebrations. Students and staff raise $15,000 for projects in Perth, East Timor and Ethiopia.

  • 2010

    The College, and in particular the Year 12s, had the privilege of meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Education, Julia Gillard and the Federal Minister for Defence, Stephen Smith in a Q&A session. With the Federal Government’s BER funding, the College’s renovated canteen and the Coolock Centre, an education support facility, is opened by The Hon. Stephen Smith, Federal Minister for Defence and Member for Perth. Year 11 student Natasha Giuffre wins a scholarship to attend the prestigious LEAP program in Los Angeles.

  • 2020

    All schools across Australia and around the world were impacted by COVID-10. WA schools closed two weeks prior to the end of Term 2 as teachers and staff worked furiously to develop Online Learning for the first time in history. The College rose to the occasion with an enviable Online Learning platform which had great success.

Mercedes Memory

Share your fondest memories and recall your time spent here at the College.
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