Newman College Archives

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A Brief History

Newman College goes back a lot further than 1977 and involves all of these Schools:

  • St Ildephonsus College, New Norcia (1913-1964)
  • St Joseph’s College, Subiaco (1954-1964)
  • Marist (Junior and Senior) College, Subiaco and Churchlands (1965-1976)
  • St Joseph’s (Brigidine) Primary School, Subiaco (1942-1982)
  • Brigidine Secondary School, Subiaco (1942-1961)
  • Our Lady of Victories Primary School, Wembley (1949-1982)
  • Brigidine College, Floreat (1962-1976)
  • Siena Girls’ High School, Doubleview (1962-1976)
  • Newman Middle School, Floreat (1977-1982)

With our history being a little convoluted, we have chosen a few significant milestones:

1913Opening of St Ildephonsus College, New Norcia, a boys’ boarding school built by the Benedictines, who asked the Marist Brothers to run it.
1942The Brigidine Sisters arrived in Western Australia to take over the running of St Joseph’s Parish (primary) School, Subiaco.
1943The Brigidine Sisters opened Brigidine Secondary School in the shed behind the convent at 12 Station Street, Subiaco. As the property had been a former milk vendor’s home, these girls dubbed it the Cowshed, and themselves ‘the Cowshed Girls’. Brigidine Secondary School was built in 1953, at 14-16 Salvado Road, and closed in 1982.
1949The Brigidine Sisters opened Our Lady of Victories Primary School on Cambridge Street, Wembley. It catered for boys and girls and closed in 1982.
1954St Joseph’s College, Subiaco opened. It is the first Marist Brothers’ school in Perth and initially catered for boys from Grade 4 to First Year (Years 3 to 8), expanding with the student cohort to the more senior years. 1958 was the first year of students sitting their Leaving (Year 12).
1962Brigidine College opened in Peebles Road, Floreat Park, catering to all the senior girls from Brigidine Secondary School. Siena Girls’ High School was opened in Doubleview by the Dominican Sisters.
1964St Ildephonsus College was handed back to the Benedictines to run, which they did under the name St Benedict’s.
1965St Joseph’s College opened as Marist Junior College, catering to boys from Year 4 to 9 (Sub-Junior). Marist Senior College opens in Churchlands. Seventy boarders from New Norcia were among the senior cohort, who all then boarded at Marist Senior College. (After those boarders finished school in 1967, Marist College was a school for day boys only.) 
1969Co-instruction for Maths, Physics, Chemistry and French began between 4th and 5th Year (Years 11-12) students at Brigidine and Marist Colleges. These girls were referred to as “Mari-dines”
1973The Marist Brothers, Dominican and Brigidine Sisters met to discuss amalgamating as a co-educational school.
1976The 1973 idea came to fruition when the Brigidine girls in Years 11 and 12 were moved onto the Churchlands campus. 
1977The Churchlands campus was renamed Newman College (now Marcellin campus). Brigidine College became Newman College Middle School (now Marian). Newman College Junior School opened, on the Churchlands campus (now Lavalla). Siena Girls’ High School became Newman Siena (and then Newman College Doubleview Campus in 1995, which closed in 2004).

The Archives

The Newman College Archives was established in 2020 and is dedicated to the collection and preservation of items relating to the history of all of our Schools, our Alumni, and our Staff from 1913 to today. 

The Collection currently comprises a Reference Collection, a Photographic Collection, textiles, architectural plans, yearbooks and trophies. The Photographic Collection is growing, and beginning to cover aspects of the School throughout its history.

We are actively seeking items related to the history of all of our Schools to add to our growing Archival Collection, including:

  • Photographs (to digitise for you if you don’t wish to donate the original)
  • Documents
  • Trophies and pennants
  • Yearbooks (particularly from Brigidine College if they were produced)
  • Uniform items (hats, tunics, blazer pockets and sports uniforms, etc)

We are also seeking to connect with Alumni to share their memories, and have developed an oral history program for which we are looking for participants. (Note: Covid is making face-to-face meeting a little difficult, but we have the technology to conduct and record oral histories via phone.)  

If you would like to contribute items, or your memories of your time at one of the above Schools, our Archives team would love to hear from you at

St Ildephonsus College, New Norcia, run by the Marist Brothers from 1913-1964
Brigidine Secondary College at 12 Salvado Road, Wembley – the Cowshed Girls, 1943
Our Lady of Victories Brigidine Primary School, Cambridge Street, Wembley, 1949
1953 Brigidine Secondary School
Back row : Leonie Caldwell, Ainslie Meadowman, Delys Maslin, Patsie Ward, Iris Alexander, Maureen Banks, Camille Wilson
Middle: Gayle Hoyne, Norma Pianta, Judith Jackson, Rowena Houlahan, Barbara Meloncelli, Bernadette Boylen
Front: Margaret Jones, Wendy Maynard, Judith Rait, Josephine Murphy
St Joseph’s (Marist) College, founding student cohort, 1954 with Brothers, L-R: Br Victor Chalmers, Br Lucian Gerber (Headmaster), Brother Ernest Gleeson
St Joseph’s College, Subiaco, 1957 (1954-1964)
Brigidine College, Peebles Road, Floreat, in 1962
Girls from Brigidine College, Floreat, 1960s
The peg marking the corner of what became Marist (now Newman) College, March 1964
L-R: Terry McCartney, Peter Townsend, Frank Townsend
Aerial shot of the Marist College, Churchlands (senior) campus, 1966
St Ildephonsus College and Administration (foreground), New Norcia, early 1960s
Girls from Brigidine College, Floreat, 1970s
Our Lady of Victories’ Year 1 class, 1976, with Sister Dolores Berriman
Newman College Middle School, Year 8 boys, 1980
Newman Siena College, Doubleview, 1995