In 2011, the first MacKillop Specialist School was opened by MacKillop Family Services in Whittington, Geelong. St Helen's Primary School (Sisters of Mercy) and St Augustine's School (Edmund Rice Education Australia) merged to become St Augustine’s Education and Training. Children and young people, who were disengaged from education and unable to experience learning success in a mainstream school, were referred to this setting. The curriculum was designed to provide opportunities for hands-on learning, in a range of settings, beyond the classroom.
In 2014, the school was registered as MacKillop Specialist School. It implemented the Victorian Curriculum and provided individualised and differentiated learning and teaching, to support the complex and diverse needs of our students. As the student enrolment numbers continued to increase, we extended our curriculum to offer the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning, supporting our secondary students to complete a senior certificate and enhancing their opportunities for post-secondary pathways. In 2017, in recognition of both the need and demand for the distinctive learning environment we could provide, an additional primary school campus was opened in Maidstone for students in Years 3 to 6.
In 2020, in response to the needs of students and families in Melbourne’s south, we opened a campus in North Caulfield, for students from Foundation to Year 10.
In this same year, in celebration of our commitment to learning diversity and inclusive practices, we launched our new school logo and branding, creating a consistent identity for our three schools.
Capturing the voice of our students and guardians was a critical part of this process; one student described MacKillop as being “so much more than a school." It is our hope that this is the experience we can provide, as we work collaboratively with families, carers and professionals, to enhance the learning outcomes for every child and young person in our schools.