Heritage and Tradition

Founded in 1965, Avila College has a proud tradition of educating girls, fostering intellectual curiosity and empowering students to achieve their own personal best.

Inspired by the spirituality, devotion and mysticism of St Teresa of Avila, the first female Doctor of the Church, the College was named in her honour. The Presentation Sisters of 1965 brought to life the legacy of Nano Nagle, shining a light on education for girls in a contemporary world.


“The Presentation Sisters teaching at Avila were nuns at the cutting edge of education; they were the original Women’s Libbers who instilled in the girls the concept of ‘You can do anything’.”Vivienne Hughes, 1969 College Co-Captain


In 1969, the first matriculation class of 13 students graduated. From an initial enrolment of just 110 students and two full time staff, Avila College has grown tenfold since the first classrooms were built in Charles Street. It is now one of the largest Catholic secondary schools for girls in Victoria with an enrolment of more than 1100 students.

The College initially operated from temporary classrooms in the grounds of St Leonard’s Catholic Primary School in Glen Waverley before moving to its present location in Charles Street, Mount Waverley at the start of 1966. Initially students were accommodated in portable classrooms. Construction of a single classroom block began and the grounds looked very much like farm paddocks.

Over the decades, the small site has evolved and expanded through continuous development, renewal and refurbishment into a modern, green and technology enabled school campus.

Avila Building Timeline

1966 First building at Charles Street, Mount Waverley
1967 North Wing building completed
1968 Science laboratories constructed
1969 West Wing completed
1971 Library built
1974 Third Science laboratory completed
1980 Specialist block opened
1982

1985

Construction and dedication of St Teresa’s Garden

Terry Roche Resource Centre opened

1992 Presentation Wing and Music School completed
1996 Food Technology Centre and Year 9 area completed
2001 Administration, Science and Senior School completed
2004 Art Centre, Music Room and Year 9 facilities opened
2006 Bunjil Creation Centre and Gathering Space opened
2012 Junior School opened
2015 Gathering Space and Gymnasium and Agriculture and Horticulture Centre opened
2016 Outdoor Learning Space and Memorial Garden opened.
2019 The Carroll Centre was renovated and refurbished.
2020 The Year 9 Learning Space, Year 12 Classrooms and Study Hub was renovated and refurbished.

 

Avila Building Timeline

 


 

Inspirational Women – Avila College Principals

1965 – 1970
Sr Patricia Carroll
(dec.)
1970 – 1973
Sr Raymonde Taylor
(dec.)
1974 – 1979
Sr Josepha Dunlop
(dec.)
1980 – 1986
Miss Patricia Ryan
1987 – 1995
Mrs Maureen Thompson
1995 – 2005
Ms Filomena Salvatore
(dec.)
2006 – 2010
Ms Liz Gleeson
2011 – 2016
Ms Louise Gunther
2017 - Current
Dr Michelle Cotter