150th Anniversary

150 years of St Mary’s College

A year to celebrate!

2018 marked the 150th anniversary of St Mary’s College, with all members of the College community helping us celebrate the memorable occasion in a series of events held throughout the year.

To get in the spirit of our 150th birthday celebrations, we created a ‘School Spirit Video’! This project has been months in the making, and we were excited to share it with the College community. 

You can view the video via the link below – and please be sure to share it with your family and friends. How many familiar faces can you spot?

St Mary’s College 150th School Spirit Video from St Mary’s College on Vimeo

150 Faces of SMC

A special highlight of our 150th milestone celebrations is the production of a book that honours the many faces of St Mary’s College.

The book, titled 150 Faces of St Mary’s College, features 150 men and women who have been fully or partially educated at the College during its first 150 years of operation. 

Written and researched by St Mary’s College Archivist, Margaret Rootes, it tells the story of the College through its people, highlighting achievements through personal anecdotes, memories and photographs relevant to their time. 

Among the ‘150 Faces’ profiled are  Australian National University Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Marnie Hughes-Warrington; former Australian Senator, Christine Milne, first-class cricketer, Michael Di Venuto; Australian children’s television personality, Patsy Biscoe; high-profile Tasmanian businessman, Michael Kent; and State Cinema owner, John Kelly.

Integral to the book are the stories of the first archbishop and the nine Presentation Sisters who voyaged from Ireland in 1866 to found St Mary’s College. The College was opened on its present site on February 3, 1868. 

Order yours now for $45 by completing the order form and returning it to the St Mary’s College Business Office or contact the office on (03) 6108 2560 to make a phone order.

Read more about the project here.

Anniversary news

150 Faces of St Mary’s College book launch

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the 150 Faces of St Mary’s College book launch on Wednesday 17 October 2018.  

The evening was wonderful celebration of our St Mary’s College community and the hard work of College Archivist, Margaret Rootes.

Marg has spent the best part of three years researching, interviewing subjects and writing the publication, with many all-nighters pulled to ensure the book made it to the printers in time. 

Describing the book-writing process as a ‘labour of love’, Marg’s long-standing passion for all things St Mary’s is clearly evidenced in the stories she has captured for us to enjoy. 

Writing and publishing a book is a great feat, and Marg should be enormously proud of her efforts. Congratulations from all at SMC!

The book is priced at $45 and can be purchased by phoning the College Business Office (03 6108 2560) or through our website here: https://www.smc.tas.edu.au/150th-anniversary/

If you have made a previous order, we will be in touch to arrange collection. 

Visit our online photo gallery for more photos from the night: https://www.smc.tas.edu.au/photos/nggallery/galleries/150-Faces-of-SMC-book-launch

150th Anniversary Grand Bazaar a ‘grand’ success! 

Thank you to everyone who supported the SMC Parents and Friends Association by attending, and all those who helped with stalls, donations, sponsorship, setting up and packing up. 

An event of this scale takes a great deal of planning and team work, and your spirit, generosity and enthusiasm did not go unnoticed!

Congratulations to Annabel Hutchinson (Year 1), pictured left, who won the lolly jar guessing competition, and the Cruz family, who were announced as the lucky winners of the Giant Trailer Hamper Raffle.

More photos from the event can be viewed on our online gallery here: https://www.smc.tas.edu.au/photos/nggallery/galleries/150th-Anniversary-Grand-Bazaar


150th anniversary merchandise

Commemorate our 150th anniversary with an Esther Shohet or Peter Barraclough artwork, cheeseboard, coasters or greeting card, which are now available for purchase from our front office.

Local artist Esther Shohet has created an original piece to showcase Hobart’s lively connection to St Mary’s College.

Amongst the historic buildings and many facilities you can see students at play and a nod to the Presentation Sisters foundress, Nano Nagle.

Click here to order your 150th anniversary merchandise items. Order forms can be scanned and emailed to stmarys@smc.tas.edu.au or printed and delivered in person.


Esther Shohet A3 print $17.50
Esther Shohet greeting card $3.30 
Peter Barraclough A3 watercolour print $15.00

Please note that the Esther Shohet cheeseboard and coaster set are now sold out.

We thank both Peter and Esther for their beautiful contribution to our school and for managing to capture the St Mary’s College spirit in a single image.

To view more of the artists’ work, please visit their websites, which are listed below:


Please note that all souvenir items are available in limited quantities until sold out. Re-ordering may be possible, but not guaranteed

Lights, camera, action! 

We are excited to announce that the professional photos taken at the 150th Anniversary Gala Dinner are now available to view and purchase online via the link to the photographer’s website, provided below:


To sign in, select the event: St Mary’s 150th Anniversary Dinner and enter the access code: STMA5CA5D413

If you have any queries about the ordering process, please phone Michael Webb Photography on 0419 536 548.


Grand Bazaar poster competition

We are delighted to announce that Lily Barnett (Year 1) has been named the winner of the 2018 Grand Bazaar poster competition. Lily, whose colourful design (pictured below), will receive $20 to spend at the fair.

Congratulations, Lily, and well done to all Junior School students who entered the competition, including runners-up Sophia Bearman (Year 5) and Isabella Harman (Year 4).

Prizes can be collected on fair day at the fish and chips stall.

150th Anniversary Art Competition 

People’s Choice category winner.

Among the many events and activities planned to mark our 150th birthday this year was a 150th Anniversary Art Competition.

Open to all members of the College community, the competition was an opportunity for our emerging artists to showcase their work at our gala dinner.

Submissions could range from 2D and 3D media and could be individual or collaborative pieces, but they had to be in the theme of ‘150 Years at St Mary’s College’.

The competition received a delightful array of entries across all award categories. Our judging panel was not only impressed with the level of talent on display, but the participants’ ability to interpret the competition’s theme in such creative and insightful ways.

Congratulations to the following individuals who received awards in the St Mary’s College 150th Anniversary Competition:

Junior School Award

Winner – Lucy McKenna (Year 5)
Highly Commended – Sophie Fidanza (Year 4), Lily Castellana (Year 6)

Senior School Award
Winner – Stefani Khoo (Year 7) and Kay Lye Khoo
Highly Commended – Eliza Topham (Year 7), Sonia De Cesare (Year 7), Adele Harman

People’s Choice Award
Winner – Clare (Year 4) and Mia Wanandy (Kindergarten)
Highly Commended – Louise Davidson (St Mary’s College teacher)

Reflecting on celebrations and memories

The month of May was an eventful and meaningful one in the history of St Mary’s College, as we gathered as a school community to celebrate a sesquicentenary of educating young boys and girls in the Presentation tradition.

150th Anniversary Cocktail Party | Government House Tasmania | Thursday 10 May 2018

Our planned program of milestone anniversary events commenced on Thursday 10 May with a cocktail party hosted the Governor of Tasmania, Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Kate Warner AC and Mr Richard Warner at Government House Tasmania. 

One hundred and fourteen invited guests attended the reception – including staff, parents and friends of the College and other dignitaries, which marked the College’s long and generous contribution to the greater Hobart community.

Set in the magnificent surrounds of the ballroom, the warm and dignified occasion was a wonderful opportunity for attendees to connect and mingle with one another, while escaping the evening’s torrential rain and fierce wind.

150th Anniversary Gala Mass | St Mary’s Cathedral | Saturday 12 May 2018

Our 150th Anniversary Gala Mass on Saturday 12 May was a beautiful and spiritual celebration of our 150th.

With enchanting music, a moving speech by College Head Prefect, Isobel Kuo; striking lanterns adorning the walls and spaces of St Mary’s Cathedral, and a very special lantern procession featuring our smallest and tallest students, the Mass will be ingrained in the hearts of our College community for a long time.

Thank you to the organisers of the Mass, Ruth Prichard, Sr Gabrielle Morgan, Andrew Clarke, Estelle Levy and Scott Weston, as well as Ruth and Christina Martini, and the many teachers who assisted with ensuring that the lantern reflections were prepared in time for the Mass.

While the wet weather conditions forced the cancellation of the historic walking tours scheduled for that afternoon, College Archivist, Margaret Rootes generously opened Fermoy Cottage for visitors who were keen to view our historic memorabilia prior to Mass.

150th Anniversary Gala Dinner | Hotel Grand Chancellor | Saturday 12 May 2018

The festivities kicked up a notch that evening, as our SMC community let their hair down – and kicked up their heels – at our gala dinner at the Hotel Grand Chancellor.

The event saw the venue’s Federation Ballroom packed to the rafters, as more than 640 guests were treated to a three-course meal, with the talented Australian Army Band Tasmania providing a live musical backdrop of smooth jazz tunes to keep feet tapping. 

Everyone was in great spirits as we rejoiced in stories from days at St Mary’s and re-acquainted ourselves with old friends.

Thank you to Co-Chair of the SMC 150th Anniversary Committee, Josephine Messer, for doing a superb job as MC of the evening, and our guest speaker, Margaret Rootes, who regaled attendees with colourful anecdotes connected to the many great alumni of the College.

The dinner formalities concluded with the cutting of the 150th birthday cake by our Presentation Sisters, and a rousing rendition of our school song, the Alma Mater, that echoed throughout the halls of the Grand Chancellor building.


SMC goes green to honour Irish heritage

St Mary’s College was bathed in a sea of green on Saturday 17 March as we celebrated 150 years of our Irish beginnings with a community ‘fun day’.

Past and present students, teachers and parents took part in the festivities, which centred on a program of Irish music and dancing, colonial dress-ups and old-fashioned games dating back to SMC’s 19th century heritage.

Guests enjoyed historic tours of the College, green food and beverages, and a fancy dress parade showcasing St Mary’s College uniforms through the ages, with children kept amused with face painting, a scavenger hunt and jumping castle.

Blessing of 150th badges

On Tuesday 6 February 2018 the College gathered as a whole school community to be presented with the 150th Celebration Badges.

The badges, which were blessed by His Grace Archbishop Emeritus Adrian Doyle AM DCL were distributed to our 970 students and 150 staff members to wear proudly throughout our anniversary year.

Reconnect with us

Archives uniformSt Mary’s College alumni are being invited to reconnect with the College in the lead-up to our 150-year anniversary by updating their contact addresses to stay informed of the various celebratory events we have planned.
If you believe your details might be out of date, please email Communications at communications@smc.tas.edu.au and encourage your friends to do the same.
We also encourage alumni to share memorabilia such as uniform items and stories from their school days to be included in our Heritage Centre.
If you would like to contribute to the Heritage Centre, please email communications@smc.tas.edu.au or phone 03 6108 2560.

History of St Mary’s College


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