Santa Maria College is a Years 5 – 12 Catholic school for girls, both day and residential, offering a quality education inspired by Jesus Christ and the vision of Catherine McAuley, with a commitment to living out the Mercy values of:

Hospitality, Compassion, Justice, Service, Excellence

Hospitality: To show hospitality is to respect the dignity of each person valuing them for who they are. We do this by welcoming the stranger and creating a friendly space where everyone is included..

Compassion: To be compassionate is to feel for others.  We do this by keeping our hearts open to the cause of all people and reaching out to them in a spirit of hospitality.

Justice: To be just is to be concerned about achieving fairness for all.  We do this by promoting the dignity of all people and upholding their rights as human beings.

Service: To give service is to want to make a positive difference or contribution to the lives of others. We do this by being open, sensitive and responsive to the needs of all people.

Excellence: To excel is to strive to do everything to the highest possible standard to which we are capable. We do this by using our gifts and talents to their fullest at all times.

Statement of Beliefs

Members of the Santa Maria Community believe education must be founded on the Christian vision of the human person as exemplified in Christ, proclaimed by the Catholic Church and embodied in the spirit of Catherine McAuley.

The Human Person

  • Each human person is a unique creation made in God’s image and therefore possessing inherent dignity and value.
  • Education is about learning what it means to be human as exemplified in Jesus Christ and expressed in Catholic tradition.
  • The Mercy vision is that compassion is an essential quality of being truly human.

Educational Philosophy

Education must enable an integration of faith, life and culture. The Catholic school contributes to the mission of the Church. The school must ensure the continuation of the Mercy traditions of justice, compassion and concern for others.

  • Education in a Catholic school requires a commitment to a shared set of Christian values.
  • Education is a means of discovering meaning in one’s life.
  • Education is the search for truth that liberates and empowers individuals and leads them to the service of contemporary society.
  • Education is about the development of each person’s spiritual, intellectual, emotional, physical, social and cultural potential.
  • Providing an excellent contemporary education is a necessary part of Catholic education.
  • Education is a life-long process.
  • The building of good relationships is central to the purpose of education in a Catholic school.
  • For education to be successful it must be affirming and positive.
  • The education of girls in a single sex school allows the identity and potential of women to be fostered in a special way.
  • Recognise the value of parents and support them in their role as primary educators of their children.

Given these beliefs, Santa Maria College is committed to –

Faith Education – Mercy Tradition

  • Giving a central place to faith education and acknowledging the relevance to all areas of learning of a Christian view of life as interpreted in Catholic tradition.
  • Developing Christian values, an informed conscience and fostering an understanding of the Mercy vision.
  • Encouraging a critical participation in our society based on a commitment to human dignity, justice, peace and the integrity of creation.
  • Preparing girls for Christian leadership roles in society.

Individual Dignity

  • Promoting mutual respect, care, trust and the recognition of each individual’s worth and potential.
  • Affirming the contributions of all members of the school community.

Learning and Teaching

  • Fostering the total development of each person by providing a well-rounded, holistic education.
  • Fostering the development of knowledge, skills and attitudes which will enable students to live effective lives in their society.
  • Affirming the identity and potential of women and an appreciation of their expanding roles in modern society.
  • Providing a systematic pastoral care policy, and a range of student services relevant to contemporary needs.

Organising the Learning Environment

  • Ensure excellence in education.
  • Provide curricula, which reflect relevant, contemporary educational developments.
  • Provide a diversity of learning strategies.
  • Provide challenges and affirm effort and achievement.
  • Develop critical thinking and enquiry skills.
  • Develop skills of co-operation and teamwork.


  • Striving for honesty and integrity in all our management processes.
  • Ensuring efficient needs based management of resources.
  • Providing open communication and two-way accountability.
  • Providing participative decision-making.
  • Providing support and pastoral care for all staff.
  • Providing relevant professional and personal development to enable staff to contribute fully to the mission of the College.