Mary's Mount Primary School

CELEBRATING 100 YEARS: 1921 to 2021


"It is a time to celebrate relationships, strengthen existing ties, and reengage if you have been out of touch with the school."

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I say 'Welcome Back' because for many of you it will have been sometime since you received a school newsletter from MMPS. So Welcome Back to MMPS and welcome to our 100th Year Celebrations.

What a year to join Mary's Mount Primary School!

On Monday 1 February of this year I joined the MMPS community as Principal. There were plans in place for a mass to be held on Tuesday 2 February - the day of our school's actual birthday - however COVID had created other plans. Fortunately lock down was only for a week, and we were able to still celebrate (although scaled down) with students and staff shortly after.

I feel blessed to have joined the Mary’s Mount Primary School community in such a significant year for the school. In the short time I have been here, I have met families with whose own histories are woven into the fabric of the school. I have loved hearing the stories of generations of family members connection with Mary’s Mount Primary School. The students, families and staff certainly make this a welcoming and vibrant school environment.

2021 will be a year when students are encouraged to create their own history and memories of Mary’s Mount Primary School, while taking inspiration from the Sisters of St Joseph of the Apparition and their faithfulness to the charism of their founder St Emilie de Vialar.

I invite you, past students, staff and families to join us on this 100 year journey as we celebrate 100 Years of Catholic education at Mary's Mount Primary School, and I am looking forward to meeting you, hearing your stories and sharing in your friendships and memories of your time at MMPS.

Many blessings to you and your families.

Emma Bell



On Thurs 17 June, we will be celebrating a whole school & community Mass at St Mary's Cathedral Perth followed by morning tea. Past students, staff and families are invited. Please RSVP by clicking here.

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1920 / 1921
  • 25 acres purchased from the Archbishop
  • Sisters received the Title Deeds in 1925
  • Sr Stanislaus Fahey prepared the cottage for the Sisters and the school
  • It is recorded that Sr Stanislaus stayed at Mary's Mount Primary School until June 1921

31 January 1921

  • Sisters arrived - Sr Emilie Walsh (Superior), Sr Carmel Nicholson, Sr Patrick Fraser

1 February 1921

  • First Mass held at MMPS

2 February 1921

  • MMPS opened as a school with 5 day pupils and 12 boarders

July 1925

  • Sr Emilie Walsh left for Albany and replaced by Sr Stanislas Fahey as Superior
  • Sr Pius McKenna arrived and was the Assistant Superior


  • First retreat held at Mary's Mount Primary School
  • Building extended, top floor added to the existing cottage


  • St Stanislaus Fahey left and replaced by Mother Columba Fleming


  • First Bushies school


  • Mother Columba left and Mother Ursula Walsh arrived


  • Sr Carmel Nicholson, founding member left for Fremantle


  • Mother Ursula left and Mother Pius took over as Superior


  • Sr Lawrence came as Assistant Superior
  • Temporary classrooms built.
  • Boarding numbers peaked during the war. Largest recorded number was 120 boarders.

"MARY'S MOUNT TURNS 100" Echo News, January 28 2021

We are blessed to have so many wonderful, multi-generational families in our school community like the Giovinazzo/Bonomi family who are woven into the fabric of our school.

We invite you to click on the link below to read about the Giovinazzo/Bonomi family and their contribution to the MMPS community that was published in the Echo News earlier this year.

Click here to read the article that was published in Echo News - "Mary's Mount Turns 100"


We were excited to be able to share birthday cake with our students to celebrate our school's actual birthday on 2 February 2021. Although actual celebrations were delayed due to COVID lockdown, you can read about the MMPS birthday celebrations as published by CEWA Inc via the link here - "Mary's Mount celebrates 100 years of history"


Our archives are a labour of love, and we are so blessed that the Sisters and staff have over the years ensured important information and historical moments have been preserved in time. We are blessed that they had the forsight to recognise special occasions, and everyday life in the MMPS community that has allowed us to collect a significant amount of memorabilia, history, photographs, dates and names from the past 100 years.

But of course, like all good memories, there are gaps in our story.

Sue Blair, a since retired, but dedicated Teacher at MMPS for over 30 years, has continued to work on our archives, preserving the information and continually collecting and researching the MMPS story. There is always a new memory, an additional photo, or another story to add. We are extremely thankful to Sue for her dedication to the MMPS archives and the many hours she still contributes to our school sharing her knowledge.

The Sisters of St Joseph of the Apparition have their own archives of the Sisters and their life work, and we have over the years collected and shared much information with them.

We know many of you reading this probably have a few photos, some special memorabilia popped away in a box, a flyer or a piece of artwork from our school. There are even a few pieces of historical items that have gone missing over our 100 years - misplaced, stollen and even just borrowed and then forgotten about.

If you have anything you would like to contribute, dontate, return or allow us to copy for our archives that you think could be of historical importance, we would love to hear from you.

Simply email us via with your name, contact details and description of what you have and we will contact you to investigate further. We would love to hear from you.


Exciting News! To celebrate Mary’s Mount Primary School turning 100 this year the school has commissioned Anne Gee!


Anne Gee is an Australian artist based in Cottesloe, Western Australia.

Anne's arts practice includes illustration, intricate hand-crafted paper-cut works, ink pen maps, drawings, paintings and three-dimensional paper sculptures under glass. Anne loves to investigate the arrangement of momentary and permanent sculptures that interact with nature.

“I love that an artwork has the power to elicit myriad reactions, interpretations and conjure powerful memories and connections for the viewer. My narrative for an artwork is just one side of the story.”

Anne will be keeping us connected with her work as she completes the magnificent artistic representation of the history of our school. The original piece will be housed in the main reception area of our school. Along with this will be a special piece that we will auction at the Gala dinner.

Throughout the year, there will be other opportunities to purchase an artistic vision of our history.

You can view Anne in action here -

We can't wait to see the finished art.


In 100 years, we have had many people contribute to the MMPS community. We would love to be able to share with you some of these stories and memories. Below we will introduce you to Peter Manucci (MMPS Boarder in the 1950's) and Daniel Perrella, a more recent student of MMPS.

If you would like to feature here, or have something to share, we would love to hear from you, so please let us know either via our 100 FaceBook page, or email

Peter Manucci - MMPS Longest Serving Boarder

A few months ago Peter Manucci contacted us at MMPS. He was keen to share his story with us at MMPS. Since then, Peter has been a significant contributer to our MMPS 100 Facebook group sharing his memories and knowledge about his time as a boarder at MMPS.

Peter is one of our longest serving boarders at MMPS between 1950 and 1958. Peter recently visited our school and was taken on a walking tour of our school pointing out many historical features and locations of historical items that we didn't know. Sue Blair has spent time with Peter revisiting his past. Peter also has a very extensive photo library with many images we didn't have in our own collection. We were surprised Peter had so many photos, until he explained his Father had been the school photographer.

Peter has also recently spent some time with Ann Gee helping her piece together the MMPS story in images for our new artwork that is being commissioned. He has been a valuable source of information, and we are very thankful and blessed that Peter contacted us and has been so keen to share his knowledge.

Daniel Perrella - Class of 2014

Daniella Perrella attended Mary's Mount Primary School for all of his primary school years from 4 Year old Kindergarten to Year 6, where he then attended Mazenod College. Since graduating from Year 12 last year, Daniel has commence University. But it was in Primary School that Daniel's passion for netball began when he first played netball at a lightning carnival at school. He then joined a mixed team for the Mary's Mount Netball Club. After these first few games, Daniel was hooked and he continued to play for many years as well as umpire until three years ago when he was invited to play for the WANL and in 2019 played in New Zealand for the Australian Men's Netball Team.

Daniel's Favourite Memory: Making lots of friends that have stayed with me throughout high-school.

Liked Most: What I liked the most was being able to have lots of opportunities through the school that enabled me to do things that I wouldn't have thought of like playing netball.

Congratulations Daniel on your successes and for sharing your memories of your time at MMPS with us.


On Friday 29 October, we will be opening our school to the community. More details on this event will be available later, but it will be an opportunity to visit our school, connect with friends, and visit our archives, photos and memorabilia.



In 2020, a decision was made to investigate how the grotto that had previously been a feature of our school could be bought back to life to commemorate the centenary of Mary's Mount Primary School. Since then, there has been much discussion, time and quotes provided to the school. The School Advisory Council has spent time deliberating over this and have came to a united decision in how to proceed.

The result of our meetings is the plan to build an outdoor SACRED SPACE for our community.

A sacred space at Mary’s Mount Primary School will commemorate the century of the school, which honours tradition and will create a place for prayer and spiritual connection for current, past and future members of the school community. It is a space that will combine our commitment to expressing our Catholic identity and environmental sustainability.

From the time the first piece of ground is broken, to its opening, the students will have involvement in as much of the project as possible. The ownership of the space by the students was an essential vision of the project. All plants, mulch and path will be put in place by the students or our community members. Over the course of the construction, every student in the school will be involved.

Our School Advisory Council members, as well as Dave Vallis, Melanie Tonon, Melissa Antoine, Derek Gair, Christopher Smith, Adrian Martin and our Principal Emma Bell are all part of the working group on this exciting project and we can't wait to share our vision for the sacred space in the near future with you.


The plans for the sacred space involve a number of construction features, one of which is a brick walkway in the shape of a cross which will form a key feature of the sacred space. To help cover the cost of our sacred space, we will be selling bricks that can be personalised that will form part of this walkway. Details on how you can purchase a brick can be found below.

We have also had a number of families ask us about the possibility of making a donation towards the sacred space. If you would like to make a cash donation, we invite you to contact the school office. Donations can be accepted via cash, credit card or electronic transfer.



This is your opportunity to create a long lasting legacy with a personalised engraved brick!

To commemorate Mary's Mount Primary School's 100th Anniversary, we will be selling personalised bricks to current and past families and students that will be laid in either our new sacred space or around the school grounds.

We are still working out the details for the bricks, so keep an eye out for information on how you can order yours soon.


In the lead up to our 100th year, it was clear that it was an opportune time to modernise our faction cests whilst particularly highlighting the contribution of each of the four prominent Sisters of St Joseph of the Apparition.

The faction houses were named after each of these founding sisters of Mary’s Mount Boys College (as it was known as nearly a hundred years ago).

And so began the project by our Year 5 and 6 Literacy Extension students in 2019 to undertake the design process for re-designing the faction flags. It took a good part of a semester from the onset to final production of the crests and flags, a project which involved the students in analysing assorted sporting crests and the evolution of well-known sporting crests over time, looking at symbolism used in logos, coats of arms and emblems and the design process involved in creating new crests.

Following the initial stages of establishing a design brief, researching the founding sisters and brainstorming their key historical contributions and attributes, students worked individually to brainstorm, sketch and execute their designs using an online crest design platform. They then collaborated in faction groups to discuss ideas with to each other, then revise and modify to ensure clarity and simplicity before presenting a final crest artwork.

A graphic designer worked directly with our students to discuss colour, symbol placement, simplicity and proportion, font and visual appeal.

We believe that these new faction crests perfectly represent the history and virtues of our founding sisters of Mary’s Mount Primary School. The updating of these crests allows us to continue to recognise the tremendous contributions that Sr Walsh, Sr McKenna, Sr Nicholson and Sr Fraser have made to our school and acknowledge the legacy of their inspirational work which continues to flourish today.


The updated Fraser crest commemorates Sister Patrick Fraser who joined the Sisters of St Joseph of the Apparition in 1899. Her first teaching experience was at congregation schools in Fremantle before she was requested to be a foundational member of the Mary’s Mount Boys College when it opened in Kalamunda in 1921.

Interconnected jigsaw pieces, joined hands and a heart on fire are the three symbols used on the Fraser crest. The three jigsaw pieces represent Sr Partick Fraser’s connection to the new school community. She was well-focused on ensuring close triad relationships with her pupils, their parents and her fellow religious colleagues. The joined hands also depict her gentleness and approachability. She was a well-liked teacher who had no hesitation in reaching out to students who needed the most love and compassion. The heart with flames symbolises the unwavering, beaming love for the students and the school which filled Sr Fraser’s heart right up until the time she passed away in 1957.

“Vitality” is the motto chosen for Fraser as this characterises the person that Sr Fraser was. She was friendly, energetic and had a wonderful sense of humour that was loved by all.

The Walsh crest is a commemoration to Sister Emilie Walsh. Sr Emilie came from a very holy family. She was one of 4 children from her family to have entered into a life committed to God. In 1899, Sr Emilie Walsh joined the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Apparition and by 1921, she was appointed as the sister in charge of Mary’s Mount Boy’s College in the locality of Kalamunda.

The symbols used on the new Walsh crest are a sun, a mortar board and a Bible. The sun is representative of her dynamic, bright and warm nature which was an attribute loved by Sr Emilie Walsh’s students and parents of the school. The mortar board is indicative of her academic leadership in the new boys boarding school with her appointment as sister in charge, and the Bible represents Sr Emilie Walsh’s commitment to God from a young age to her death in 1960.

“Dedication” is the motto given to Walsh as this truly defines the approach of Sr Emilie in her endeavour to create a flourishing school.


The new Nicholson crest recognises Sister Carmel Nicholson’s contributions at Mary’s Mount Boy’s College. Sr Carmel joined the Sisters of St Joseph of the Apparition congregation in 1916, remaining at the school until 1938, then returning to teach at the college again in 1953.

The symbols used to represent the characteristics and gifts of Sr Carmel Nicholson are the Christian Ichthys, or fish-shaped symbol, a cross and musical notes. The fish symbol which depicts Christian commitment, is indicative of Sr Nicholson’s prayerful life. She spent much of her time in worship in the chapel and was known to regularly pray for others ahead of her own needs. The cross signifies the responsibility Sr Nicholson assumed as the Mistress of Novices. This means that she was in charge of the young girls who wanted to become sisters themselves and she was known to be extremely passionate about this role. Musical notes at the bottom of the crest signify her contribution to the student’s love of music at Mary’s Mount. She taught music lessons for most of her time at the College and was highly enthusiastic about this discipline.

“Leadership” is the motto given to Nicholson as this clearly describes Sr Nicholson’s prominent quality in guiding and influencing impressionable young Christian mentees.


The McKenna faction honors Sister Pius McKenna who was a missionary work volunteer before becoming a Sister of St Joseph of the Apparition in Fremantle on 1916.

She was sent to Mary’s Mount in 1925 as a teacher, then became the sister-in-charge of the St Emilie de Vialar convent which was located on Kalamunda Road, just at the base of where Davies Crescent now meets the main road.

A handprint with a prominent embossed heart, a pile of books and an outline of Sister Pius McKenna are the symbols incorporated on the new McKenna crest. The handprint symbolises the practical work that Sr Pius carried out to take care of the boarding children, especially those whose fathers were at war and whose mothers were working. Sr Pius McKenna was not afraid to get her hands dirty and in doing so, she imprinted love on her students. The books represent her excellence as a teacher and the outline of Sr McKenna emphasises her prominence as a loved pioneer of the school.

“Perseverance” is the motto given to McKenna. Sr Pius McKenna was persistent in assisting the most vulnerable boys of the College and she was ever-determined to confront the government bureaucrats to have accommodation resources approved for their needs.



While we know not everyone is on Facebook, but if you are, we invite you to join this group. We would love to hear a bit more about you...

  • What do you remember from your days at MMPS?
  • Who was your favourite teacher?
  • Can you remember what faction you were in?
  • Were you a boarder?
  • What years were you at MMPS?

Please join this page and share your memories, photos, and maybe even reconnect with some past friends or teachers.


Mary’s Mount Primary School is the parish school for Holy Family Church in Kalamunda.

Fr Suresh celebrates mass at the beginning of each term, for solemnities and special feast days and offers reconciliation to students who are preparing to receive their Sacraments.

Parish Priest : Fr Antony Suresh

Parish Secretary : Louisa Sizer