The All Hallows' Story

The All Hallows’ Story

In 1861, two years after the separation of the colony of Queensland from New South Wales, All Hallows' School was founded by the Sisters of Mercy. All Hallows' School was the first secondary school for girls in Queensland, and its history affords insight into the nature of the changing role of women in our society. All Hallows’ School is the oldest secondary School in Queensland.

The early intention of the Sisters, to provide a curriculum through which students might become accomplished women of deep faith and sound learning, has continued to the present time. Girls are encouraged to reflect upon the problems confronting humanity in the modern world, and are given opportunities to deepen their spirituality and to live out the values associated with mercy in practical Christian service.

The pursuit of sound learning influenced the School’s curriculum, policies and activities. In 1879, the decision was taken to present candidates for examination at the University of Sydney; All Hallows' being the first Catholic school to take this step. After World War II, when the knowledge explosion brought changes in the way in which science, social studies and languages were taught and learnt, Aquinas Hall was built. It was equipped with the most modern science laboratories, social science and language facilities then available. Since then, major changes have occurred in teaching methods which has led to major refurbishment of buildings.

The Turrbal Garden, a tangible symbol of the School’s acknowledgement of the traditional owners of the land on which All Hallows’ stands was also created in 2009.

In 2011, our sesquicentenary year, a recreational place was created in the centre of the School. Formerly an area for tennis courts, the space, now known as Catherine Court, is a beautifully landscaped area for the School community. A significant focus of Catherine Court is a bronze of Catherine McAuley which was also installed in 2011. The bronze symbolically depicts Catherine’s compassion as she extends her shawl to one in need. In the same year, the Celestine Art Centre Courtyard was landscaped with the assistance of two local Indigenous artists who included some of our art students in the production of a wall mural and ceramic art significant to the All Hallows’ story.

Although buildings and teaching methods change, the staff at All Hallows' remain committed to creating an educational environment based on Christian values of respect, compassion, integrity, joy, service and justice in the tradition of the Sisters of Mercy.