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Our Story

St Alipius Primary School first opened its doors to the children of the Ballarat East goldfields on April 1st 1853 – the thirteenth non-government school formally registered in the state of Victoria.

The mainly Irish Catholic parents of the time joined with Father Matthew Downing to establish a school in the wood and canvas tent that was being used as a church on Sundays.

Surrounded by the disorder and disillusion of the goldfields, these parents were seeking something more for their children: a chance for the better life that they believed an education could bring and the chance to belong to a community that found its inspiration in the person of Jesus.

From these humble beginnings grew the school that we know today – a school that is recognised for its commitment to nurturing the growth of all children within a warm and welcoming, faith-filled community.

Over the years our story has been shaped by groups of significant people.
  • The Sisters of Mercy came to St Alipius in 1881 to educate girls from Ballarat East on our present school site.
  • The Christian Brothers established St Alipius Boys School in 1888, in the building now used as our Parish Hall.
  • A large number of dedicated lay staff members committed to educational excellence.
  • Hundreds of families have experienced a sense of belonging in this community and have, in turn, invited others into the St Alipius fold.
  • Thousands of children proudly claim that they belong to the only school in the Ballarat Diocese to have provided over 150 years of continuous Catholic education.

Our school evolved during the time of the Eureka uprising, with numerous parents of pupils apparently involved in Australia’s only politically motivated civil uprising. It was a time of passion and struggle and commitment to a cause. These qualities continue to inspire us as we strive for excellence in educational outcomes for all our students within a culture of authentic Catholic community.