Our College

Our Founders

The Presentation Sisters

The Presentation Sisters accepted an invitation from the parishes in the Waverley area to establish a Catholic Girls’ College and opened Avila College in 1965.

Irishwoman Nano Nagle founded the Presentation Sisters Order. In the county of Cork in the 18th century Nano Nagle combed the streets to invite the poorest of Catholics into her classroom. The law at the time forbade the education of Catholics and so Nano Nagle’s bravery in carrying out her work to help the poor became legendary.


Saint Teresa of Avila

The Presentation Sisters choose Saint Teresa of Avila as Patron for the School. Teresa of Avila was born in 1515 and she is an inspiring role model.

Saint Teresa was an energetic, inquisitive child who was bright, attractive and fun. When Saint Teresa was 15 her mother died, leaving her devastated. Her strict father sent her to a convent, which she did not like initially. She thought long and hard trying to decide between religious life or marriage before choosing to become a Carmelite. In her adult life she suffered serious illness but this did not stop her from carrying out her life’s ambition. This was to reform the Carmelite Order to refocus on its original aim to lead a simple life of poverty devoted to prayer. She carried this out brilliantly, but it involved suffering and physical hardships of many kinds for the rest of her life.

Saint Teresa was a woman who achieved greatness at a time when women had few opportunities. Her outstanding contribution to the theological understandings of the Church was recognised in 1970 when she was named a Doctor of the Church. She was one of only three women at the time to have achieved such a distinction.

The most famous and most relevant of her teachings is that serenity and peace of mind come through acceptance of change, and belief and trust in God.

Teresa was an accomplished writer and we can learn many lessons from her writings of so long ago.


Let nothing trouble you.
Let nothing scare you.
All is fleeting.
God alone is unchanging.
Patience obtains everything.
Those who have God
Want for nothing.
God alone is enough.
Let nothing trouble you

Saint Teresa of Avila

Saint Teresa greatest joy was to be of service as a faithful daughter of the Church. It is from this belief that we take our School motto ‘Ecclesiae Filia’ which is Latin for ‘Daughter of the Church’.