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Monivae Principals

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Since it was founded, Monivae College has had many different Principals, who have all bought their unique skills and attributes to the position. From our first Principal Fr Robert Hyland who was Principal before the school had even begun classes to the first lay Principal in former student Peter Gurry in 1996, these Principals are part of the unique history of Monivae College.

2010 - M. McGinnity

The current Principal is Mark McGinnity who was appointed in 2009 to begin his term at the start of 2010. See Principal's Profile.

2000 - 2009 B. Neal

Born in Melbourne in 1954, the same year as Monivae's foundation, Bernard Neal grew up in Preston and Armadale. On completion of his schooling at St Kevin's in Toorak, he began a degree in economics-law but left to begin studies in teaching drama and literature at Rusden.

He taught at St John's in Dandenong, at the new school St Francis Xavier in Beaconsfield, at Mater Christi as Head of Creative Arts and then onto Mount Lilydale as Director of Learning and St Joseph's as Deputy Principal. At the end of 1999 Mr Neal was appointed to begin his term as Monivae's longest Principal beginning in 2000.

Mr Neal is currently the Principal of Galen College in Wangaratta.

1996 - 1999 P. Gurry

Fr Mulrooney's time as Principal was to finish at the end of 1995, but at that time no MSC was available for appointment. The position was advertised and Peter Gurry, then Principal of Padua College at Mornington, was appointed as Monivae's first non-MSC Principal.

Peter began at Monivae in 1955 as a Form I student from Branxholme, following his brother Paul who was a foundation student. Following his studies at Monivae, he did join the MSCs for some years before he left the seminary for a teaching career where before coming to Monivae he was Padua's Principal for 12 years.


1991 - 1995 Fr J. Mulrooney

John Mulrooney was born in Cootamundra in 1954. He did his secondary schooling as a boarder at Chevalier College, and then joined the MSCs. Ordained in 1980, he was appointed to Chevalier College as teacher and Dormitory Master.

Upon completing his Bachelor of Arts degree he had begun at the Australian National University while a seminary student, he worked for four years with the MSC retreat team.

Whilst completing his studies for a Masters Degree in Education he was asked to come back and become the new Principal of Monivae in 1991.


1985 - 1990 Fr M. Reis



1978 - 1984 Fr D. Uhr

Denis Uhr was born in Brisbane in 1940, and entered the MSC Society after his schooling at Downlands College. After his seminary and university studies he taught at Chevalier, and then returned to Downlands College, but this time as a teacher in 1973.

It was around this time that many MSC schools were told ‘not to plan any developments that would involve a further commitment of MSC personnel' as fewer young men were joining the MSCs. So in 1978 despite not holding any senior administrative positions in schools before, Fr Uhr was appointed Rector (Principal).

Fr Uhr has continued to be active at Monivae, and as Director of MSC Education was the MSC representative on the Monivae Board for a number of years up to 2009.


1969 - 1977 Fr M. Fyfe

Malcolm Fyfe was born in Melbourne in 1935, and educated at St Paul's Primary School in Bentleigh and at Christian Brothers' College, East St Kilda.

Upon joining the MSCs in 1953 he taught for a year at Douglas Park during his seminary studies, and when these studies were completed at the end of 1960 he was appointed to the teaching staff at Monivae.

He was ordained as a priest in 1962, during which time he was the senior math teacher and leader in the choir and of liturgical music. Under a new process of selection for leaders in MSC schools, Fr Fyfe was recognised as a man of great intelligence and creative ideas and at the age of 33 became the youngest Rector (Principal) in history of the College.


1963 - 1968 Fr A. Prentice

Anthony Prentice was born at Randwick in 1927. He studied at Marcellin College and then at St Joseph's at Hunters Hill. He commenced a science course at Sydney University, leaving it unfinished to join the MSCs.

Immediately after ordination he was appointed to Chevalier College where he was a teacher and dormitory master. He then completed his degree in Sydney before he returned to teach at Chevalier before being appointed as Rector (Principal) of Monivae in 1963.


1960 - 1962 Fr J J. McMahon

John McMahon was born in Brisbane 1913 and received his primary education in Brisbane, Randwick and Bowral, and his secondary education from the Marist Brothers before studying at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

In 1931 he went to the MSC novitate, and was sent in 1935 to complete his seminary studies in Rome, where he was ordained priest in 1937. When World War Two interrupted further study in Rome he went to the Catholic University of America in Washington.

Upon returning to Australia 1941 he was appointed as Bursar at Douglas Park before being appointed as Director of Studies at Downland College in 1945. In 1949 he was appointed Rector of Chevalier College and then in 1952 he taught Scripture at Croydon Monastery

In 1953 he was appointed as Director of Studies at Monivae College before he was appointed Principal in 1960.


1957 - 1959 Fr J. Burford

John Burford was born in 1916 in Junee, the second of seven children in a devout catholic family. He was educated by the Sisters of St Joseph and the Christian Brothers. He joined the MSCs and was ordained as a priest in 1942. He taught at Douglas Park and Chevalier College, then was Prefect of Studies at Downllands, and returned to Chevalier as Rector in 1952.

In 1959 Fr Buford was appointed to be the first Rector of the new MSC school, St John's in Darwin.

1954 - 1956 Fr R Hyland

Robert Hyland was born at Beeac in the Western District in 1885 and educated at Christian Brothers College Ballarat. He was professed as a MSC in 1907 and ordained as a Priest in 1914. At the end of the First World War, he was sent to Rabul to assist the missionaries who had come from the German province of the congregation and were now in some difficulty.

He was appointed as the first Rector (College Superior) of the first MSC school established at Downlands in Toowoomba. He was delegate to the General Chapter of the MSCs in 1932 and later joined the army as a chaplain in 1941. After various postings overseas he was back in Australia in 1948 to attend the profession ceremony of his sister in the convent at Ballarat when Fr Breene rang to appoint him to Hamilton to build a school that was to become Monivae College.