Developing resilient, grounded and confident young women

For boarders at St Catherine’s School in Toorak, it is not only the supportive and engaging environment of Illawarra House, but a curriculum tailored to the needs and interests of each student that
ensures the focus remains firmly fixed on developing learning beyond the classroom.

St Catherine’s Boarding House, Illawarra is referred to as “home” by boarders and the girls’ emotional, physical and academic wellbeing are the centre of the boarding experience. “Whether it is through academics, sport or the student’s development as an individual,” head of boarding Sue Collister says, “their wellbeing is central to our school philosophy.”

Year 10 Boarder, Charlotte Rowe enjoys the environment. “Due to the small size, there is the ability to gain many friendships, and with a variety of backgrounds and personalities, no girl is the same, yet, we all get along so well,” Charlotte says.

It is a commitment to ensuring that boarding students feel part of a dynamic and vibrant home that drew Charlotte’s parents, Rosie and Mal Rowe to St Catherine’s. They like the “small size of St Catherine’s, the many opportunities offered and the leadership of the School”.

“Of course, school is also about opportunities beyond the classroom,” Rosie Rowe says. “We’ve valued the chance for Charlotte to meet girls from all kinds of backgrounds, girls with a sense of curiosity, courage, fun and enthusiasm.”

Life at Illawarra provides a foundation for girls to flourish. As Rosie and Mal reflect, they reveal, “we believed that Charlotte would gain greatly from being educated in a school with strong and inspiring role models – women of integrity, intellect and inspiration.

Seeing Charlotte flourish and grow into a confident, open-minded and independent young woman reflects the true value of her education.”

To find out more, contact registrar Ms Jeanette Boehm at or visit

The Australian

10 September 2021

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