History & Heritage

The College’s Mercy heritage and history goes back to the arrival of seven Sisters of Mercy in Perth in 1846.  They were led by Mother Ursula Frayne and proved themselves to be resourceful, resilient and strong women.

The Sisters opened their first school on St George’s Terrace in February 1846. As enrolments  increased, school buildings, including a boarding school, were built in the grounds of the present Mercedes College.

As the demand for boarding places increased from country families, the Mercy Superior at the time, Mother Brigid McDonald, and her Council resolved to build a new ladies’ college for boarding and day students in the bushland in Attadale.  Santa Maria College opened its doors in 1938.

The post-war period brought with it a rapid expansion in residential development around the College. As a result, there was a growth in student numbers and the student population at Santa Maria College changed from primarily boarders to a majority of day students.

Today Santa Maria College is a vibrant community of 1200 students from Years 5 to 12.  We enjoy beautiful, modern facilities and lead in the areas of technology and innovative education.  However, we  retain the vision of those early Sisters of Mercy and strive to provide a nurturing environment for a holistic, values-laden,  education.