St Columba's College Ltd, Essendon

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St Columba's College Ltd, Essendon

Principal:  Ms Rita Grima

E No.  E1070

Year Levels:  7 to 12

Phone Number:  9337 5311

Email Website


After taking responsibility for St Monica's School in Moonee Ponds in 1896, Mother Ursula Bruton purchased the property at 139 Buckley Street to provide secondary education for the girls from St Monica's. She believed that this was needed so that young women could take their rightful place in society.

Mother Ursula was the first principal and named the school St Columba's. Columba was an Irish saint and a great scholar, who lived in the sixth century.

The college motto was Fidelis et Fortis, meaning faithful and strong, and the crest with its crown and dove reflected the Sisters of Charity's own crest and Columba (Columcille, meaning dove). The first classes were held on 13 July 1897 for 47 students.

The initial educational program provided a broad and liberal education for young women and in 1900 the College presented its first candidates for Matriculation. The school has a proud history of excellence in education and the history books indicate that music, languages and the visual arts have always been central in the curriculum.


Founded in 1897, St Columba's College, Essendon, a Catholic secondary school for young women, is guided by the educational mission of the Sisters of Charity.

We aim to provide the opportunity for the development of each person’s full potential in an environment where the individual is respected and which places God at the centre of our lives. We seek to be a learning community in which all members participate in learning as a lifelong endeavour.

At St Columba’s, we live by our motto ‘Fidelis et Fortis’. Young women of the 21st century are given a strong foundation for life – a foundation of faith, learning and love – which will allow them to confidently take their place among others: faithful and strong witnesses to the message of Jesus.


The thinking curriculum, technology and the rich tasks associated with the Victorian Essential Learning Standards (VELS) are integral to the classroom experience. The co-curricular program is extensive and allows students to further develop their talents.

School location

Address:  2 Leslie Road
Essendon VIC 3040

Diocese:  Archdiocese of Melbourne

Region:  Northern

Parish:  St Monica's