At St Catherine’s School Boarding, we believe in fostering a nurturing and inclusive community that promotes personal growth, academic achievement, and lifelong friendships. We are committed to creating a home away from home where students feel supported, challenged, and inspired to reach their full potential.

A Place to Call Home

Our boarders call Illawarra home.


Providing nurturing and inclusive home away from home, Illawarra is home to our regional and international boarders. Our boarding house provides a supportive and enriching environment where students can thrive academically, socially, and personally.

Situated on campus at St Catherine’s School, our boarding house offers a safe and comfortable residence for students from various backgrounds and cultures. It is a vibrant community where lifelong friendships are forged, and a strong sense of belonging is fostered.

Our dedicated and caring boarding staff members are committed to creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere, ensuring that each student feels valued, supported, and cared for. They provide round-the-clock supervision, guidance, and pastoral care, acting as mentors and role models for our boarding community.

The boarding house features well-appointed rooms and common areas designed to promote a sense of belonging and camaraderie. Students have access to comfortable living spaces, study areas, recreational facilities, and communal dining areas where they can relax, socialise, and engage in meaningful conversations.

We prioritise the wellbeing and holistic development of our boarding students. Regular activities and events are organised to foster a sense of community, promote personal growth, and provide opportunities for students to explore their passions and talents. From study groups and cultural celebrations to sports competitions and creative workshops, our boarding house offers a rich and diverse program that enriches the boarding experience.

Academically, our boarding students benefit from a supportive study environment. They have access to designated study spaces, resources, and technology to aid their learning journey. Tutors and academic mentors are also available to provide guidance and assistance, ensuring that students have the necessary support to achieve their academic goals.

We understand the importance of maintaining strong communication and collaboration with parents and guardians. Regular updates, parent visitation opportunities, and open communication channels ensure that families are involved and well-informed about their child’s boarding experience.


Meet our Head of Boarding

Meet our Head of Boarding online 

While we welcome visitors to our National Trust-listed boarding home Illawarra, we recognise it can be difficult for many to visit us on campus.

Our personalised Illawarra Online Boarding sessions allow you to meet one on one online with our Head of Boarding Ms Claire van Boxel and Registrar Ms Jeanette Boehm from the comfort of your home. This unique opportunity allows you to ask questions, do a fly-through tour of Illawarra and find out more about why St Catherines is the #1 girls school in Victoria.

Contact Registrar Jeanette Boehm to arrange a time meet online


Caring environment

Our boarding staff are specially chosen for their caring attitudes and warm personalities. Older students also support younger boarders and a culture of respect and kindness makes the Boarding House a great home. Read reflections from our current Boarding Captains and Boarding staff on their time in Illawarra here.

Academic Support

Allocated study times and appropriate bedtimes mean boarders are in a great position to make the most of their education. Our boarding staff possess a collective wisdom across a diverse range of qualifications, ensuring we have the breadth of academic support to assist students with homework and study.

Boarders are provided with outstanding personalised academic care and sound careers guidance that, when combined with the School’s University Enhancement courses offered in Years 11 and 12, helps to establish an easy pathway to tertiary studies at institutions such as The University of Melbourne or Monash University.

Boarding staff currently studying
Master of Teaching (Science)
Bachelor of Nursing and Public Health
Bachelor of Education (Secondary)
Bachelor of Arts/Law
Doctor of Philosophy
Boarding staff qualifications
Master of Teaching (Primary) Graduate Certificate of Education (Specific Learning Difficulties)
Bachelor of Arts (Psychology/Criminology) Graduate Diploma of Education
Bachelor of Science Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery(Hons)
Master of Education Bachelor of Arts (Chinese)
Bachelor of Education (History/Politics) Diploma of Commerce
Bachelor of Education (Sec) (Media) Bachelor of Commerce
Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Bachelor of Health Science
Bachelor of Arts Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Education)
Diploma of Positive Psychology Diploma of Teaching (Early Childhood)
Bachelor of Midwifery
Student Wellbeing

Every boarder is an individual and one of the key tasks of the boarding staff is to understand the needs of each girl. Orientation activities are arranged at the start of the School year to enable everyone to get to know each other and to familiarise new boarders with the local environment.

Each day, the Director of Boarding Services liaises with key members of the Senior School staff to ensure that all boarders are supported academically, culturally and socially.

Friends and freedom

Boarders are welcome to invite friends over and overnight visits can also be arranged. With permission, boarders can visit other students’ homes, attend parties and go on outings with a friend’s family.

Students are allowed to use public transport which is conveniently located close by to go to local shops and are given increased freedoms and responsibility as they mature.


The physical and mental wellbeing of our boarders is paramount and all boarders have access to the best medical practices available. A School nurse is available during school hours and can visit the Boarding House as required during the day. The School is also affiliated with a local medical clinic, which provides an on-call doctor afterhours.

St Catherine’s is located close to two excellent private hospitals (with emergency departments). If an ambulance is called, it will transport patients directly to the Royal Children’s Hospital or Monash Medical Centre (public hospitals). The School also has a close relationship with ancillary services, such as dentists and physiotherapists.

We ensure our boarders have every opportunity to fulfil their academic potential by providing an excellent diet, allowing time for sufficient sleep and encouraging an active lifestyle.

Food for thought

The menu is always healthy and varied and dietary requirements are catered for.

Girls have access to the fully stocked pantry which includes everything needed for hot drinks and also snacks such as dried fruit and nuts, sweet biscuits, cheese and yoghurt.

Weekend Activities

On weekends, many boarders arrange social outings, which can include shopping, going to the cinema, meeting friends at a café or restaurant, visiting galleries, markets and beaches, or one of Melbourne’s many public attractions. A supervised program for Years 7 to 9 is run each Sunday afternoon.

At the beginning of every year, the Boarding Captains and staff organise a special weekend of activities on campus. Both new and returning boarders look forward to this ‘Closed Weekend’, which is a time for having fun and getting to know each other.

Boarders are welcome to invite friends to the Boarding House and overnight visits can also be arranged. With permission, boarders can visit other students’ homes, attend parties, or go on outings with a friend’s family.

Co-curricular Opportunities

St Catherine’s boarders have always been encouraged to become involved with all aspects of the co-curricular life of the School. Living adjacent to the School, boarders are ideally placed to attend early morning and afterschool practices, rehearsals and matches. Boarders take responsibility for their own time management and this skill may be developed and improved through involvement in co-curricular activities.

Limited place now available

Our places fill quickly, so we advise families to send in the Application for Enrolment along with the Application Fee (non-refundable) and other required documentation as early as possible.

We also invite you to visit the campus, meet our students, Principal and staff by simply booking a tour or contacting our Admissions.

Boarding Scholarship

We welcome applications for the Boarding Scholarships eligible to those entering into Years 7–11.  For further enquiries on Scholarships please contact our Admissions Office.

Request a Prospectus

The Prospectus provides an insight into our School, and also includes a hard copy of the Application for Enrolment and other relevant information to the year level your child is enrolling in. To request a Prospectus please complete the online enquiry or email us at