Our History | Siena College
Our History

1939

Building works on the new Siena Convent and cloister completed and officially blessed and opened on 17 December by Archbishop Daniel Mannix.

1940s

Siena Convent commences its history with fifteen young women as the first students on 6 February 1940 and ends the decade with a total enrolment of fifty-seven.
The uniform is a lemon yellow checked dress, green jumper and rust blazer, but this changes due to war restrictions in obtaining the original material.
In 1943, four students become the first graduates of the Convent. Two go on to university to study Commerce and Science and two enter the Education Department.

1950s

Student enrolments go from nearly sixty to a hundred and fifty-six students.
The winter uniform consists of a simple rust tunic, green tie and rust jumper, accompanied by a rust blazer and beret.
The Dominican Sisters purchase Compton Street cottage to expand the school.
1948 graduate, Ursula McKenna, receives her MBBS (Hons) in Medicine and Surgery.
The first student newspaper, Rustling Leaves, is published in 1952.

1960s

Student enrolments go from 200 to 310 students.
Uniform accessories include a green pinafore to protect the uniform and indoor shoes, to protect the parquet flooring.
Major building works commence to add a science laboratory, six classrooms, a library, a hall and administration offices.
The first student newspaper, Incolle, is published in 1968.

1970s

Student enrolments go from 354 to just over 500 students.
The winter tunic becomes a skirt, while the beige summer dress is replaced by a cream dress. Hemlines shorten and hats, gloves and stockings disappear.
A major building project adds a new three storey wing connecting to the 1960s expansion. Two properties on Hocknell Street are purchased and the Compton Street cottage is converted to Music and Art and Craft rooms.
Siena Convent changes its name to Siena College.

1980s

Student enrolments go from just over 500 to 520 students.
A new administration building is added to the 1960s building extensions and a commissioned St Catherine bust is unveiled with the opening of the new building.
Hemlines lengthen, brown T-bar shoes replace lace ups and the tie is no longer used.
The College employs a total of fifty-four staff.

1990s

Student enrolments go from 522 to 616.
In the late 90s the rust winter skirt is replaced with a plaid skirt and the cream summer dress with a checked rust fabric.
An extensive two storey building is constructed at the back of the College and includes six new classrooms, multi-purpose area, four offices and a large open area.
The much loved Fiesta celebrations are introduced to celebrate St Catherine’s Day in 1999.

2000s

Student enrolments go from 637 to 664.
A St Catherine statue, sculpted by Pauline Clayton, is unveiled with the opening of the Piazza di Santa Caterina at the front of the College. Building works commence to renovate the Convent to add a new staff room, classrooms and transform the old staff room into a Careers Centre, Student Services, offices and classrooms.
The uniform changes introduced in the late 1990s remain until 2013.
A vertical pastoral House system is introduced in 2004.

2010s

Student enrolments go from 706 to 724 in 2014.
The College undertakes major refurbishment of existing classrooms with the Thomas Aquinas Learning Centre opening in 2011.
In 2013, a new College uniform is introduced incorporating Dominican black and white colours and retaining the rust blazer.
The College joins Girls’ Sport Victoria Association.

2015-2019

Student enrolments reach nearly 800 with approximately 120 staff.
A new three storey student centre, the St Catherine Centre is completed and opened as part of the 75th anniversary celebrations in late 2015.
The transition of the new uniform is complete with all students wearing the new College uniform in 2015.
Siena College celebrates 75 years of Catholic education in the Dominican tradition in 2015, 800 years of the Dominican Order in 2016 and the 150th anniversary of the Dominican Sisters arrival in Australia in 2017.