Founded in 1954 by the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, Monivae College was initially established as a boys-only boarding school at the Old Monivae homestead, on the Port Fairy Road, Hamilton. Since that time, the College has grown to be the largest Catholic Co-educational Day and Boarding school in the Western District.
The following synopsis of our early history draws in part from; ‘The best you can’ - The History of Monivae College Hamilton 1954 – 2004, by Fr. John Franzmann MSC. Aptly, Franzmann’s title encapsulates the ‘spirit of learning’ that underpins a Monivae education. From humble beginnings, the College has always faced its challenges with good humour, innovation, creativity and the support and love of Old Collegians and friends of Monivae.
The one constant in the College’s unique story is the MSC Charism that continues to pervade all that we do – ‘the belief in God’s love for us and how when allowed that love will transform our lives’.
‘Monivea’ stems from the Gaelic ‘Muine-an-Mheadha’, meaning “Meadow or shrubbery of the mead”. Historically the name refers to the ffrench family estate, Monivea Castle, circa 1550, County Galway, Ireland. Situated 30km from Dublin, the Monivea Castle ruins may still be viewed today.
Forward centuries and a continent far away, Acheson Jeremy Sidney ffrench, a descendant of the original ffrench family arrives in Australia (1838). Acheson purchases a large rural estate on the Port Fairy Road, Hamilton and with a slight change to the spelling, he names the Western District property, the Monivae Homestead. In 1947 the homestead was purchased by the MSCs, on the advice of property agents who deemed it a ‘most suitable site to establish a boy’s boarding school”. Our story begins here.