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St Patrick's History

The Gunditjmara People were the original inhabitants of the land in southwest Victoria where English, Irish and Scottish settlers came to make their homes in the early years of the 19th century. Prior to ongoing settlement, Port Fairy was a base for seasonal whale hunters. 

In 1849 Father Thomas Slattery was appointed by Bishop Polding to the Mission of Port Fairy, which then stretched from Colac to the South Australian border. On July 27, 1849, a school, a single building, was opened for the first time. Owen Flannery was the first teacher, followed fourteen months later by Stephen and Margaret Madden.

In 1855 a second building was added to cope with increasing numbers and in1869 a stone portion was added. Lay teachers staffed the school until the arrival of the St Joseph of Cluny sisters in 1906. The order of St Joseph of Cluny was recalled to France in 1912 and their place at St Patrick's was taken by the Good Samaritan sisters, who are still, even a century onwards, assisting the now lay teaching staff at St Patrick's. The original 1910 infant room, later to become a music room, still stands in the school grounds.

In 1960, the first stage of the new St Patrick's school was built, with the second stage added in 1979. A third stage of refurbishment and extensions to these buildings was completed in 2000 and 2003. A new Physical Education facility and Adventure Playground were added in 2004. In 2010 a new Library, Information Technology Room, and Meeting Rooms were built. At this time refurbishment of our staff room was also completed. In 2012 our Foundation classrooms and Art Room were refurbished. In 2015 our 1 & 2 classrooms were refurbished with the addition of two offices and a disabled toilet. In 2019 a 2 room portable was put on our small oval to accommodate our growing school. Plans were created for an extension to our current 3/4 area. The building consisted of 5 flexible learning spaces, 4 offices, a sensory room and a collaborative learning space. These extensions were begun and completed in 2022. The portable building was removed from the school.