History

Our Story

On Sunday, August 16,1970, Sacred Heart School, Pearce was officially blessed by His Grace, The Most Rev. TV Cahill, DD., Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn and opened by The Hon. Nigel Bowen QC, MP, Minister for Education and Science.

In early settlement days in Woden there was only one parish, Holy Trinity, Curtin, where all the children, including those intended for Sacred Heart, were enrolled. In 1968 the Parish of Sacred Heart was created and Father Ailbe Conway was appointed as Parish Priest. It had been promised that the school of Sacred Heart would be ready for occupation in 1968 but when the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions, who had been invited to staff the new school in the Parish of Pearce arrived from Victoria, the school was not yet built.

Classes of Sacred Heart children in Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 2 were formed and taught at Curtin by the newly arrived Sisters where they remained until 1970. In 1969 the children destined for Sacred Heart in the Primary grades, who up until now had been part of the Curtin classes, were transferred to Sts Peter and Paul's School at Garran. Some were in separate classes; others were part of the Garran classes. It was not until early 1970 that some Infants classes were able to move into the partially completed school building at Pearce. Two Primary classes were temporarily accommodated at Marist College with their teachers. These and the other Primary classes from Garran arrived at Sacred Heart as soon as their classrooms were finished later in 1970. All classes were in residence by the time of the official opening.

The first four sisters who taught, firstly at Curtin and Garran, and then in 1970 at Sacred Heart were Sr M St. John, Sr M John SH, Sr M Antonia and Sr Laurentius (Sr Mary). In 1971 the first three mentioned sisters left Sacred Heart and were replaced by Sr M Bernadine, Sr M Catherine and Sr M Athanasia as Principal. Sr M Elizabeth came to Sacred Heart as a music teacher when Sr Mary moved on. After two years, Sr Catherine replaced Sr Michael.

Within six years all the pioneer Sisters had moved on to other convents and other schools and had been replaced by 1976 by Sr Frances Theresa (Sister Mary O'Sullivan), Sr Thecla, teacher of Speech and Drama, Sr Madeleine and Sr Veronica Noonan as Principal. Sr Madeleine, who took over as Principal during Sr Veronica's leave for study, left Sacred Heart at the end of 1978. Sr Majella and Sr Veronica Martin, Principal, joined the community in 1980. Sr Veronica, who stayed only one year, was the last Religious Principal although Sr Majella remained on the staff at Sacred Heart. Sr Thecla and Sr Francis de Sales who had arrived in 1981 were active in the parish. In 1980 the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions relinquished the principalship of the school. Since then we have striven to keep alive the spirit of our founding order and rely on the patronage of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary Help of Christians.

In 1981 Mrs Pat Clark became the first lay Principal and in 1983 Sr Majella and the other Sisters closed the convent and left the Parish. Mrs Marie Shaw was appointed Principal of Sacred Heart School in 1989 and remained in that position until her retirement at the end of 1996. In January 1997 Mr Phil Marsh came from the Maitland Diocese to become the School Principal. In January 2002 Mrs Patricia Whitelum became the Acting Principal followed by Mrs Amanda Mackenzie as Principal in 2003. Mr Brad Gaynor served as Principal from 2006 - 2011 and Mrs Anne Staines joined the staff as Principal in 2012.