Faith, Mission & Values

Our Franciscan History

Ave Maria College has been providing a Catholic Secondary Education to the young women living in the Essendon and surrounding areas since 1963.

Ave Maria College was officially opened on 20 March 1963 by Archbishop Simonds after he laid the foundation stone on 15 August 1962. Initially owned and operated by the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, the College grew quickly so that by 1969, students across six-year levels were enrolled. In 1978, the Catholic Education Office assumed responsibility for running the College following the sisters gifting it to the Archbishop of Melbourne. The College is now owned and operated by Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS).

Even though they are no longer actively involved in running the College, the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary remain our firm friends as we actively look for ways to retain this very important link to our heritage. The Franciscan charism in which Ave Maria College was founded continues to remain a source of inspiration for each new generation of students that enter our gates. The College continues to treasure the Franciscan values of peace, justice, care for creation and dignity for all.

Even though some things may have changed since our early beginnings, the College retains our strong sense of belonging and community. As we move forward into the future we continue to adapt to the needs of our students and community as we provide a well-rounded faith-based education in order to meet this need. We are proud of all that has been achieved since we first opened in 1963, and the wonderful young women that our students become.

Ave Maria College is proud to be part of the Franciscan Schools Australia network. For more information visit the Franciscan Schools Australia website.

Our Heritage

The College Crest

  • The star represents the star of the sea which in Latin is AVE MARIS STELLA, a favourite hymn of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary.
  • The boat sailing through calm waters guided by the star represents the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary spreading Christianity guided by God.
  • The water symbolises worldwide understanding and peace among nations, which is the goal of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary.