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House System

MacKillop College has four House Systems, Chisholm, Gilroy, MacKillop and McAuley. These houses are named after four prominent people in the school’s history. From these four Houses, 16 House Captains are chosen. Two for each House from Students in Year 11 and two for each House from Students in Year 10. 

During the course of the year, various activities are conducted and points are awarded accordingly as each House competes for the House Shield that is awarded at the end of the year. Apart from the usual points up for grabs, there are also a few fun activities that the students enjoy participating in like the House Cheer at the Swimming Carnival and the House March at the Athletics Carnival. 

Caroline Chisholm

Mary MacKillop

Caroline Chisholm was born in Northampton, England, in 1808. In 1830, she married Archibald Chisholm and became a Roman Catholic. Together they moved to Windsor, Australia, in 1838 and assisted many stranded and poor immigrant women in Sydney.

In 1841, with the help of a committee of women, she decided to establish an immigrants’ home for unemployed girls. Part of the old Immigration Barracks was granted by Governor Gipps for the girls; home. Due to Caroline Chisholm's efforts, conditions of immigrant ships improved.

She accompanied large groups of women to country areas to gain employment forming committees to supervise work. Within six years, she had cared for at least 11,000 people.

In 1847, two shiploads of children from workhouses came to Australia. She persuaded the British Government to grant free passages for the wives and families of transported convicts, emphasising family unity.

Caroline Chisholm was still very dedicated to her work for others, despite failing health. She campaigned for better conditions on the Victorian goldfields, advocating the building of shelter sheds among major roads. She also opened a girls school in Sydney in 1862.

Caroline Chisholm’s accomplishments have made her a worthy patron and role model for our College.

Mary MacKillop was born in Fitzroy, Melbourne in 1842. 

Mary was an attractive and intelligent girl. She received a sound basic education, loving music, singing, dancing and horse riding. She loved her country and was especially drawn to children. 

While still young she felt called to teaching. When it was time for to help support the family, she took a job as a governess to the family of a relative. Mary knew that her happiness lay with children who were deprived of education. She also knew that God had work for her to do, but she did not know what.

She met the parish priest, Father Julian Tenison Woods who was a gifted and zealous priest, and who was concerned for the children of his large parish which covered some 22,000 square miles. Under Father Julian’s direction, Mary followed a simple program of prayer and good works.

In 1865 Father Woods asked Mary if she would take over the school at Penola, which she did with the help of her two sisters, Annie and Lexie. In 1866, Mary adopted a simple black dress and bonnet as a sign that she was living the life of a Sister. Later that year other girls joined her and the Sisters of St Joseph were established. Many girls were inspired by the Sisters’ way of life and asked to join them and schools were opened in many new areas.

Mary died in Sydney in 1909, but before she did so she witnessed the establishment of her Congregation in nearly all the States of Australia and New Zealand.

Mary MacKillop was canonised by Pope John Paul II in 2010 for her work for the church and was named Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop.

Cardinal Gilroy

Catherine McAuley

Cardinal Gilroy, a man of devotion and integrity, was born in Glebe in 1896. He finished his schooling at the age of fourteen and was a junior wireless operator on a ship at Gallipoli.

He was ordained a priest in Rome in 1923. Gilroy was the first Bishop of Port Augusta and he later became Archbishop of Sydney. He was appointed as the first Australian born Cardinal in 1945. In 1969, he was the first Cardinal to be knighted.

In 1967 Cardinal Gilroy officiated the opening of this College. It is through his contributions and relationship with education, that he became a role model for our College. The greatest achievement during Cardinal Gilroy’s reign was the securing of State Aid for Catholic Schools.

He died in Sydney in 1977, at the age of 81 but was still an inspiration for all.


Foundress of the Sisters of Mercy in Dublin, Ireland. She was born in 1778 and died in 1851. After the death of her parents, Catherine was reared by protestant foster parents who left her a large legacy. She was attracted to helping the poor children and established a residence for working women in Baggot Street called the House of Mercy in 1827.

Soon after this she added an employment agency and an orphanage. After deciding to form a religious congregation, she and two companions went to the Presentation Convent in Dublin to make their noviceship. They took simple vows on December 12, 1831, and the Sisters of Mercy came into existence. When Mother McAuley applied to Rome for approval of her constitution, she stated that “the principal purpose of this congregation is to educate poor little girls, to lodge and maintain poor young ladies who are in danger and that they may be provided for in a proper manner, and to visit the sick and poor."

In 1839, Mother McAuley established a house in London, the first one outside Ireland. Since this, the Sisters of Mercy have grown to be the largest religious congregation ever founded in the English speaking world.