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Loreto Mandeville Hall Toorak is a Roman Catholic day school for girls in Toorakmarker, a suburb of Melbournemarker, Victoria, Australiamarker.It is one of many Loreto schools distributed over the world, established by the sisters of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary or Loreto Sisters, founded some 400 years ago by Mary Ward.The school was established in 1924. It has a co-educational Early Learning Centre, a joint venture with St. Kevin's College at St Peter's Church, Toorak Road, Toorak and a junior school and a secondary school at Mandeville Crescent, Toorak.


Loreto is associated with Association of Independent Schools of Victoria (AISV), Junior School Heads Association of Australia (JSHAA), Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA), Alliance of Girls' Schools Australasia (AGSA), and a member of Girls Sport Victoria (GSV).


Loreto is located on a single campus. The Junior School, featuring an art centre, Multi-Purpose rooms, tennis courts, netball courts, new classrooms and more is separated by the school Oval to the senior school. The Senior School facilities include the 'Barry Centre', featuring two pools, gymnasium, photography classrooms, art classrooms, weight room, health classrooms, basketball court and more. There are also science laboratories, drama classrooms and Cafe Mandeville, the school canteen.


The Loreto Sisters acquired Mandeville Hall in 1924. It is a former goldrush mansion and the original building is on the Victorian Heritage Register and Classified by the National Trust of Australia. The sisters established a convent and a boarding school for girls. In the early days there were also some boys in junior classes. In more recent years, the sisters moved off-campus and there are no longer boarders. The first house of the IBVM in Ireland at Rathfarnham was called Loretto after a popular place of pilgrimage on the Adriatic coast of Italy. This shrine dates from the time of the crusades and contains a small house which is venerated as the house of Mary in Nazareth and as the site of the annunciation. It is associated in piety with the holy family of Nazareth and was often chosen as a name for a happy family home. Loreto had been a favourite place of devotion for Mary Ward who had travelled across Italy to visit and pray there several times en route to and from Rome.

Spelling of name (Loreto, not Loretto)

Early records of Loreto convents in Australia and Ireland often show the title spelled as Loretto. This was how the Rathfarnham convent was first named and it was only around the turn of the 19th Century, that the correct (ie Italian) spelling was restored. The Institute in Canada (est. 1847) still retains the"double t". The Institutes in Europe and in Yorkmarker, which originated from the Mary Ward foundation in Munich, was never associated with the name Loreto. There the IBVM nuns were known as Englischer Fraulein or English Ladies. Because of the house name at Rathfarnham and all subsequent foundations in Ireland and overseas, and probably because of the length of the full name of the community,The Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the nuns in Ireland soon became known commonly as the Loreto Sisters.

Recent additions

Recent additions to the buildings include the Barry Centre 2002 which includes two pools, gymnasium, sports hall and other sporting facilities. In 2006 the Science Centre was opened, featuring several Forensic Laboratories, General Science Laboratories, creatures, displays and more.

Construction is taking place in part of the Junior School Campus.


Loreto Mandeville Hall Toorak offers a range of Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) subjects, approximately 36. There are also 11 University studies that Year 12 students are able to elect as part of their VCE program.

Co-curricular Activities


Loreto enters a large number of students from Years 7-12 in the Debating Association of Victoria's Debating Competition. In previous years, Junior Team competitions have been held at St. Catherine's Girls School in Toorak, whilst the Senior Teams (Years 8-12) have been held at Scotch College. Loreto also competes in friendly competitions against boys schools such as Xavier Collegemarker, St. Kevin's College and Melbourne Grammar Schoolmarker.


Prep students participate in a compulsory "Loreto Sings" programme. Year 3 students partake in the String Program, where they are able to learn a string instrument and have the option to continue. Year 5 students participate in the Brass Program, and similarly to the String Program, girls have the option to continue the instrument. All Junior School students learn the Recorder, and have the opportunity to join the Choir, Wind Band, String Band and more.

Senior School students have many opportunities to engage themselves in the musical area of Loreto Mandeville Hall. Year 7 students are able to choose an instrument to learn for a period of time; this is optional due to other commitments, however many students participate and continue learning. All girls are able to learn the instrument of their choice and join a band or Orchestra. Stage Band, Wind Band, Symphony Orchestra, Violin and Saxophone Ensembles to name a few. Late in 2008, the full Orchestra travelled around Europe to showcase their finest music. They travelled to Germany, England, Ireland and other parts of Europe. The Performing Arts Festival also invites all music students to join a House Band. All students can also participate in Choirs, such as the Junior, Senior and Year 12 Choir, specifically for the Year 12 students.


Loreto Mandeville Hall girls are known for their strength in Rowing and Aerobics in previous years. The Rowing Program begins for the Year 8 students in September/October. They participate in a 2 week Learn to Row program and then a Development Program. Girls who continue after the Development Program are expected and encouraged to commit to the full season which concludes with the Head of School Girls. In 2009, Loreto placed equal second behind Methodist Ladies College, however had the highest percentage ahead of Methodist Ladies College and Genazzanomarker.

The crews are separated into year levels, with the Year 11s and 12s combined to form Senior Crews. Aerobics is a strong field of sport for Loreto Mandeville Hall, with many students placing first, second and third in State and National Competitions. A large number of the Squad travel to Sydney for the Nationals where many teams and individual competitors achieve excellent results. The Aerobics Squad work closely with the Specialist Dancers. The school is affiliated withGirls Sport Victoria (GSV), sporting activities includes Water Polo, Snowsports, Diving, Swimming, Tennis, Hockey, Netball, Cross Country, Athletics, Soccer, Basketball, Cricket, Softball, Volleyball and more. Secondary Junior School Students are also involved in an inter-school program.


All girls participate in the compulsory Performing Arts Festival early in the year. This incorporates Music (instrumental and Choir), Dance and Acting, as well as Technical (sound effects and lighting) in which Student Leaders run. This is performed at Hamer Hall, the Arts Centre. Interhouse Drama is also another aspect of the Theatre at Loreto, in which girls are encouraged to partake in. Lunch time music concerts, interhouse drama and interhouse aerobics are examples of the in-school activities that students are encouraged to participate in if afterschoolor beforeschool activities are inconvenient or impracticable.

House System

As with the majority of Australian schools, Loreto features a House System. An important part of the School, Loreto has four houses, three of which are named after Loreto sisters, and one after the foundress of the IBVM. The Houses have several leaders for each Area of the School, such as Music, Sport, Drama and Debating.

Mulhall (Red)


Barry (Gold)

Ward (Blue)

The above houses compete in several Interhouse events, including interhouse athletics, cross-country, swimming/diving and aerobics. In the fields of Music and Drama, interhouse drama and the annual Performing Arts Festival are two events on the School Calendar. The PAF is compulsory for all students and this encourages girls to participate in the Music and Drama throughout school life. In Year 12, girls are separated into their house groups for Homeroom classes, allowing House Leaders to work closely together and form friendships.

Crest and Motto

It is thought that the Loreto Crest was developed by Mother Teresa Ball in the 1850s. There are six parts to the Crest which are of significance.

  1. Maria Regina Angelorum- Latin meaning Mary, Queen of Angels.
  2. Cruci Dum Spiro Fido- Latin motto meaning While I live, I believe in the Cross.
  3. The Cross
  4. The Sacred Heart of Jesus Sermounted by the Cross
  5. The Anchor of Hope
  6. The Loving heart of Mary

Notable Alumnae

See also


  1. Loreto history
  2. Famous alumni on Latham's hit list (accessed:26-04-2006)

External links

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