About Us

School History

After World War II Sefton grew quickly as a residential suburb for nearby industries. In 1948 the parish of Sefton was established and placed in the care of the Oblate Fathers of Mary Immaculate. At this stage there was only a hall, which could serve as both a church and school. The first parish priest, Fr Dan Breslin OMI, arranged for the Sisters of St. Joseph to staff a parish school, which began in 1948, in the church hall. There were 48 pupils, taught by Sr. Philip and Sr. Mary.

The school developed as a primary school for girls from Kindergarten to Sixth Class and for boys to Fifth Class. Older primary boys could attend Brothers' schools in nearby suburbs, and in the early 1960s the Patrician Brothers established a school on the same parish site for older primary and junior secondary boys. This was short-lived, closing in 1964.

Enrolments at Immaculate Heart of Mary grew at an astonishing pace: 600 students in 1957, peaking at 783 in 1965. Major building was required, and this occurred in three stages between 1958 and 1964. Meanwhile, Kindergarten classes were held in old army huts.

Conditions for teachers and students were extremely challenging in this period. In the Josephite and Patrician schools on the parish block there was a combined enrolment of nearly 1200 students by 1964. Classrooms were overcrowded. For example, in 1960 there were 659 pupils taught by seven Sisters and four lay teachers - an average of sixty pupils per class. And this was in a period when there was no government funding.

Sefton was just one of the many Catholic schools experiencing critical stresses, and Catholic authorities responded by developing a system of schools managed by the CEO, Sydney. The Josephites brought Sefton into this system from the late 1960s. The successful State Aid campaign of these years also helped the school. Government funding now allowed for the employment of more lay teachers, and they gradually gained major responsibility in the school. In 1982 the Sisters of St. Joseph handed over leadership of the school, and the CEO, Sydney appointed Mr. Michael Thompson as the first lay principal.

In 1990 a savage hailstorm caused comprehensive damage to buildings and equipment. Partly as a result of this there was a general refurbishment of the school in 1992-93, including new Kindergarten classrooms and an Administration section. Another important change was that from 1992 boys were retained to Year 6.

In 2003 an extensive building and renovation program was begun to bring all facilities up to modern day expectations. Eight classrooms were extended and renovated, six new classrooms were built along with new specialists rooms, Library, Administration and Staff facilities, with all areas being air-conditioned.

In 2010, Immaculate Heart of Mary received government funding through the BER Project (Building the Education Revolution) to refurbish the school hall, create new learning spaces and storage facilities, as well as a new toilet facilities for our students.

Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Primary School is part of the Inner West Region of CEO Sydney. We are a co-educational primary school, Kindergarten to Year 6 with approximately 400 pupils enrolled. We are feeder school for Trinity Catholic College, Auburn and Regents Park.

School Principals

  • 1948-52: Sr Philip Neri McPhillips RSJ
  • 1953-56: Sr Allen Sheahan
  • 1956-63: Sr Patrick Dowling
  • 1964-66: Sr Peter Damien Milner
  • 1967: Sr Edith Forrest
  • 1968-70: Sr Winifred (Cecilia) Gates
  • 1971-72: Sr Patrick Francis (Kathleen) McGettigan
  • 1973: Sr Gertrude (Marie Therese) McGuire
  • 1974-75: Sr Angela Wray
  • 1976-81: Sr Andrina Cooper
  • 1982-88: Mr Michael Thompson
  • 1989-95: Mr Warren Hopley
  • 1996: Mrs Margaret Gosper (Acting)
  • 1997-2007: Mr William (Bill) Nolan
  • 2008–August 2011: Mrs Anne-Marie DaSilva
  • August-December 2011: Mr Peter Holmes
  • 2012- 2015: Mrs Teresita Borthwick
  • 2016 - current: Mr John Kennedy