100 years of St John’s School, Footscray

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mural celebrating 100 years of St John’s School, Footscray.13 July 2022

Unveiling a mural celebrating 100 years of St John’s School, Footscray, is one of many events to mark the school’s centenary this year.

Students worked with artist Justine McAllister to create a mural which celebrated the history of the school. Blessed by parish priest Fr Rene Ramirez RCJ, the mural along the Eleanor Street boundary of the school includes many important symbols. Aboriginal symbols recognise the traditional custodians of the land the school is on, a portrait of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop acknowledges the contribution of the Josephite Sisters to the early school, and images that symbolise learning, diversity, cooperation and friendship at St John’s School highlight the experience of the students.

‘The hero of the design is the illustrated characters by the children’, wrote Justine. ‘The themes showcased include Australian flora, friendship, learning, creativity, health, Indigenous connections to the land, sharing, play, sport, the school farm, religious faith, brightness and hope.’

‘As principal, it’s an honour to lead this community during this amazing moment’, said Principal Emily Conroy. ‘Footscray has changed so much in the last 100 years and we’re delighted that St John’s School has been an important part of the history of Melbourne’s inner west. This significant event has allowed us to reflect on and celebrate the contributions of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart who started this school in 1922. We look forward to hearing more stories from the past and sharing who we are now with past, present and future students of St John’s over the course of the year.’

The school’s milestone was recognised at the Catholic Education Week Mass of St Patrick for Schools in March. St John’s School is preparing to welcome back past students for an alumni reunion on 11 September. For more information or to register your interest, visit the school’s 100 Years of St John’s website.