Boarding at St Catherine’s School provides our girls with a safe and comfortable living environment. They have the opportunity to make friends with girls from across Australia and around the world. Boarders are provided the freedom to socialise with friends and to explore Melbourne on organised weekend activities, as well as the opportunity to develop positive study habits and importantly, to have a lot of fun!
A Place to Call Home
Our boarders call Illawarra home.
Our boarding staff members have been chosen for their caring approach and warm personalities. They bring a range of experiences and skills to the role.
The Boarding staff are involved in the daily pastoral care of the boarders and play a key role in supporting their academic progress. During the school week, members of the Boarding staff oversee homework and study time with Years 7 and 8 students receiving additional homework support twice a week from School provided tutors.
Older students mentor younger boarders and often provide assistance with both academic studies and social needs. It is not uncommon to see a group of students comprised of Year 7s to Year 12s on the couches in the lobby of an afternoon. When the girls return to Illawarra after School, year levels are forgotten and everyone is part of the boarding family.
2022 Meet our Head of Boarding
The #1 girls school in Victoria in 2021 – 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 BoardingAdvice sessions allow you to meet one on one online with our Head of Boarding Mrs Sue Collister 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 in 2021.
Contact Registrar Jeanette Boehm to arrange a time meet online email@example.com
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.
Creating great study habits
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|
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.
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.
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 for 2023 Boarding
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.