The story of St Mary’s Primary School begins in 1912 with the arrival of three Presentation Sisters in Dandenong to establish a new convent and Catholic school. Opening with 75 students, St Mary’s flourished despite challenges such as limited resources, a population explosion in the 1950s due to post-war migration, and a decline in teaching Presentation Sisters who were gradually replaced by lay teachers.
Throughout the 100 years since the establishment of St Mary’s, Dandenong has changed dramatically, transforming from a semi-rural market town into a thriving industrial and commercial centre. The population of the City of Greater Dandenong has swelled to over 140,000 residents from more than 150 nations and the St Mary’s school community reflects this cultural diversity.
St Mary’s Primary School has embraced these changes and held true to the founding philosophy of the Presentation Sisters, continuing to provide children with a warm and caring environment in which to learn and grow. This website traces the story of St Mary’s and reveals the dedication and community spirit that continues to guide the school.