Damascus College, established in 1995, has its origin in three foundation Colleges. Sacred Heart College and St Martin's in the Pines were owned and administered by the Sisters of Mercy, and St Paul's Technical College was a diocesan school conducted by the Christian Brothers at the invitation of the Bishop. Damascus College formed when these three schools amalgamated in 1995.

2021 marks the 140 year anniversary of our college, and we are proud to celebrate this milestone throughout 2021. As part of our celebrations, key members of our community were asked to provide a personal reflection on our College and their association with it. Marie Davey RSM and Brother Frank Hennessy share their story with us in these videos.

Today, Damascus College is jointly sponsored by the Institute of Sisters of Mercy Australia and Papua New Guinea and the Association of Canonical Administrators of the Parishes of Greater Ballarat. The College provides Catholic secondary co-education for students in Ballarat and surrounding areas on a beautiful 20 hectare site in Mt Clear.

Damascus College originally commenced operation on two campuses, the former St Paul's site in Victoria Street campus and the current Mt Clear campus, which had been the sit of St Martin's in the Pines. The decision to amalgamate onto one site at Mt Clear was announced by the Governors in 2005. The Victoria Street campus was closed in December 2010 and the College operated wholly from the current site in 2011. The Mt Clear site provides an inspirational natural environment in a rapidly developing area of Ballarat. It provides an ideal setting for a modern and integrated Year 7-12 campus.

The congregation of the Sisters of Mercy had its formal beginnings in Ireland in 1831. Its foundress, Venerable Catherine McAuley, in response to the needs of the time, established an institution for the care and education of less advantaged girls and young women. Since that foundation the congregation has continued to act in response to contemporary needs in society. In 1881, as part of this heritage, the Sisters of Mercy established Sacred Heart College in Ballarat East for students from Preparatory to Year 12. The Primary students later moved attended St Francis Xavier College (Primary School).

Sacred Heart College - 1881 - 1994

Victoria Street Campus

In 1960 Miss Alice Fanning, who was looked after by the Sisters of Mercy for several years, bequeathed her property in Mt Clear to the Sisters of Mercy on her death in February 1960. The land was used by the Sisters to grow vegetables and raise cattle, and following the decision in 1964 to develop the site for the senior school of Sacred Heart College, the foundation stone was laid in 1966. In 1967, a separate campus for Years 11 and 12 girls was developed at Mt Clear to form Sacred Heart Senior College, St Martin's in the Pines. In 1988, this campus became co-educational, with boys mainly from St Paul's College.

The Christian Brothers were founded in Ireland in 1802 by Br. Edmund Rice to educate the sons of poor and oppressed Catholic families. The Brothers provided the education whereby these boys gained some control of their lives. When the Bishop of Ballarat, James O'Collins established St Paul's College in 1948, he invited the Christian Brothers to continue their work for boys through the provision of technical education.

St Paul's Technical College - 1948 - 1994

Lydiard Street Campus

Based on the philosophies of the founders, the Colleges offered a broad education for boys and girls to prepare them for future life choices. Sacred Heart College offered a comprehensive education for girls from Years 7 to 10. St Paul's College emphasised the development of technical skills within a comprehensive Years 7 to 10 curriculum for boys. St Martin's in the Pines continued this broad education to senior students in Years 11 to 12, in an atmosphere and an environment appropriate to students about to complete their secondary education.

St Martin's in the Pines - 1967 - 1994

Mt Clear, Ballarat

In 1995 the three foundation colleges amalgamated to become Damascus College, a Year 7 - 12 co-educational facility, which began with two campuses in Victoria Street and the Mt Clear campus. The Victoria Street campus was closed in 2010 and in 2011 Damascus College operated from the one location at the Mt Clear campus. This Mt Clear location provides an inspirational 50 acre natural bush environment to continue in the tradition of the Colleges that went before it and also forges its own strong and vibrant future.

Damascus College - 1995 to present day

Mt Clear, Ballarat

Our Founding Patrons

Venerable Catherine McAuley
St Martin de Porres
Brother Edmund Rice
Mother Xavier Flood

Extra-curricular activities

(Watch the video)

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