The Southern Cross The Southern Cross

Read the latest edition. Latest edition

Honouring 70 years of heart and truth


There were bold patterns and big hairstyles galore when Our Lady of Grace School celebrated its 70th anniversary with a 1970s-themed dress-up event for parents last month.

Print article

The platinum celebrations will continue throughout the year for the small school nestled on a leafy suburban street in the heart of Glengowrie.

Principal Josette Charles said the anniversary was a chance to honour the past, the present and the future.

Scenes from the 1970s at Our Lady of Grace School.

Scenes from the 1970s at Our Lady of Grace School.

The school began the year with a Mass that included the lighting of seven candles, each one representing a decade in the school’s rich history.

“Significant people from the school’s journey came and lit the candles,” Ms Charles said.

“There were old scholars and a grandfather who started here in 1954. His grandson attends the school now.”

OLOG’s motto for its special anniversary year is ‘Light the way with your heart’.

“Our heart and truth have been lit by the Dominican Sisters for more than 70 years and we continue that in our journey,” Ms Charles explained.

“The Dominican Sisters left us the charism of four pillars: study, service community, and prayer. These days, we call them the OLOG way.

“These children are immersed in so much richness of Catholic learning. We are a community-based school, and the community is growing. We are strongly engaged with families on this partnership and journey together.”

70s themed celebrations at Our Lady of Grace School

70s themed celebrations at Our Lady of Grace School

Our Lady of Grace School’s story began on September 13 1953 when the church building officially opened and the school began using three rooms.

“It was just bare bones,” Ms Charles said.

“The nuns wanted to ensure that Catholic education was available for families, and it thrived. The Dominican Sisters were well known for education and would travel by bus from Cabra where they lived.”

On February 9 1954 the school itself admitted its first students, many of whom transferred from the then Rosary Convent at Glenelg.

After gradual expansions, the Early Learning to Year 6 school now has 212 students enrolled and this number will grow to approximately 235 this year.

“The engagement and partnership with the school and community was there from the get-go. It is still known as a strong community school,” Ms Charles added.

“Our vision is for young people to value truth, to achieve personal excellence, act with compassion, and make a difference in our changing world. That is at the heart of everything we do.”

In partnership with the local parish, OLOG will host an anniversary high tea for parishioners who were part of the school from the beginning.

The principal encourages current students to test their maths skills by asking them to calculate how old they’ll be in 20 years’ time.

“I say, ‘Don’t forget you always belong, this is your school you’re a part of this forever. The footprint you leave will always be here’.”

More Schools stories

Loading next article