‘Monivea’ stems from the Gaelic ‘Muine-an-Mheadha’, meaning “Meadow or shrubbery of the mead”. Historically the name refers to the Ffrench family estate, Monivea Castle, circa 1550, County Galway, Ireland. Situated 30km from Dublin, the Monivea Castle ruins may still be viewed today.
Forward centuries and a continent far away, Acheson Jeremy Sidney Ffrench, a descendant of the original Ffrench family arrives in Australia (1838). Acheson purchases a large rural estate on the Port Fairy Road, Hamilton and with a slight change to the spelling, he names the property, the Monivae Homestead. In 1947, the Homestead was purchased by the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSCs), on the advice of property agents who deemed it a ‘most suitable site to establish a boy’s boarding school”. Our story begins here.
A new school was built on the current Ballarat Road site and opened on 14 February 1956 with an enrolment of 65 boarders and 46 day students in Years 7 to 10.
45 female students from Maryknoll College, joined Monivae’s senior forms in 1974, beginning the transition into full co-education.
Consistent improvements and development on the current site have resulted in todays’ Monivae, a flourishing college with over 550 students and some 100 staff. More than 11,000 alumni have graduated with an education ‘of the heart’.
The one constant in the College’s unique story is the MSC Charism that continues to pervade all that we do – ‘the belief in God’s love for us and how when allowed that love will transform our lives’.