Our Lady of Lourdes School, Bayswater

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Our Lady of Lourdes School, Bayswater

Principal:  Mr Ross Williams

E No.  E1241

Year Levels:  P to 6

Phone Number:  9729 3411

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The building of a Catholic school in Bayswater was a major step in the Catholic life of this suburb and was to lead to the establishment of the separate parish of Our Lady of Lourdes, which until 1968 was part of the Boronia parish which had been severed from St John's, Ferntree Gully. However, as a Mass centre, Bayswater had functioned for about 40 years. Firstly, in private homes then in the public hall in High Street for a few years. The first Catholic church hall was in Mountain Highway. It was transported from Spencer Street (where it was used as the 'Mission for Seamen' chapel) and became Our Lady of Lourdes church hall just after World War 2. Mass was celebrated there every Sunday, after the opening by Archbishop Daniel Mannix, and it was also used for social and fundraising functions for about 20 years.

As the Mountain Highway site was too small for development for a school, it was decided in 1964 to purchase land in Orange Grove, to establish a new parish centre.

The present church school building was blessed and opened by Dr Simmonds in 1965, and the school took the first pupils in Prep to Grade Four early that year. Prior to that time the Catholic children travelled by train and the parish bus to Ferntree Gully, and for a short time Grades 5 and 6 were accommodated at St Joseph's, Boronia, when it opened.

In 1967 two more classrooms were built to cater for increasing enrolments. With the establishment of Our Lady of Lourdes as a separate parish in 1968 a presbytery was acquired in Waranga Road as a temporary measure and extended to accommodate a housekeeper.

Further additions to the school were needed as the parish grew and two more classrooms and a shelter shed were added early in 1969. At the same time the sports oval was upgraded.

Three classrooms, a new tuck shop, staffroom and office were added in 1970. In 1976 two portable classrooms were purchased as an interim measure while waiting for capital assistance from the government for a new classroom block. This block was to be joined to the existing school building and a new girls toilet block was built in 1976.

Although the school was established under the guidance of Sister Genevieve from St Joseph's School, Boronia – Our Lady of Lourdes was unable to obtain a religious congregation to staff the school until 1973. Hence, we were greatly indebted to the zealous and dedicated lay teachers who conducted our school. Our head teachers were Mrs J Finn 1965–1968, Miss E Reid 1969, Mrs EK Reid 1970–1973.

In 1972 the remainder of the church land in Mountain Highway was sold to Safeway Stores Pty Ltd and the adjoining acre of land in Orange Grove was purchased for the future church, presbytery and convent.

The Salesian Sisters – Sisters Christina, Helen and Eileen – arrived in January 1973, and were temporarily accommodated during that year at the homes of Mrs B Rees at 4 Vincent Street, Mrs D Stewart at 15 Peck Street and 17 Bungalook Road, until the convent was ready for occupation on 23 December of that year.

Our new church and presbytery project began on 6 May 1976 and the presbytery was ready for occupation on 22 January 1977. The first Mass in the new church was celebrated on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes on 11 February 1977 with the official blessing and opening of the church and presbytery taking place on 25 March.

Following Sr Eileen as principal, we have had Sisters Sarah and Margaret until the appointment of Mr Denis O'Callaghan (1990–1993) followed by Mrs Jenny Allatt (1994–2008). Our next principal, Mr Brendan Welsford was appointed in 2009 and lead our school admirably until 2016 when he was succeeded by our current principal Mr Ross Williams.

The school has, since its foundation, been very energetically and generously assisted financially and socially by the School Auxiliary or Parents and Friends Committee.


Our Lady of Lourdes School, Bayswater, is located in the outer-eastern suburbs in the Archdiocese of Melbourne. It is situated 20 kilometres east of Melbourne and services the primary education needs of the parish of Our Lady of Lourdes. Father Sebastian Mappilaparambil is currently our parish priest.

Our Lady of Lourdes is a school where Catholic faith and traditions are an integral part of education in a community atmosphere. Our philosophy is to foster a love of learning, the highest possible educational standards and help all members to achieve their maximum individual potential as well as to demonstrate our motto 'Serve the Lord with joy'.

The school is an active and important part of Our Lady of Lourdes parish family where joy, love and ongoing growth are experienced. Our Lady of Lourdes School strives to develop the child’s self-respect, respect for others, and an understanding of responsibility and justice. We aim to give each child equal educational opportunities by catering for individual needs.


Specialist programs, which enhance the children’s learning, are available to all students at the school. These are Italian, Music and Physical Education. Extra-curricular activities included interschool sports, school choir, GATEWAYS, keyboard and guitar lessons, and student action teams.

The school facilities provide a bright, beautifully-maintained learning environment and work place for students and staff. Facilities include eight classrooms, an art room, music room, Italian room, hall, shaded playgrounds and sandpit, full-sized oval and basketball courts, and a large multi-purpose room. We continue to explore innovative ways of using our facilities, including the inquiry hub and library for team teaching.

School location

Address:  23 Orange Grove
Bayswater VIC 3153

Diocese:  Archdiocese of Melbourne

Region:  Eastern

Parish:  Our Lady of Lourdes