Footscray’s hidden gem awarded thousands

Dr Daniel Mulino, Nathan Owen and Col Mackin from Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools welcomed the grant given to St Monica's Primary School. (Supplied)

St Monica’s Primary School, also known as “Footscray’s hidden gem”, is one of seven schools in Fraser awarded a $25,000 grant.

The grant is part of the Schools Upgrade Fund that will deliver funding over two years to improve school facilities across the country.

On Thursday, June 8, Fraser MP Dr Daniel Mulino visited the school and said quality outdoor learning spaces are valuable, especially with families increasingly living in apartments.

“The huge tree in the heart of the playground also enhances the school, as does the newly planted kitchen garden, featuring a range of herbs and vegetables.”

“… These all contribute to the welcoming environment,” he said.

St Monica’s is one of Melbourne’s oldest schools, with a school on the site high above the Maribyrnong River since the 1850s.

Principal Nathan Owen said the grant would be spent upgrading the outdoor and indoor learning spaces including rejuvenating the playground.

Mr Owen also said it was a wonderful school to lead, being a linguistically and culturally diverse school community where more than 20 nationalities are represented.

“St Monica’s Footscray also has very strong links to Saint Mary Mackillop, Australia’s first saint, who regularly spent time at the school when she was in Melbourne.”

“… Her story provides inspiration for our work every day as educators, promoting our catholic faith and gospel values so that students at St Monica’s can flourish,” he said.

St Monica’s is one of more than 1300 schools that will share in $32 million in grants to upgrade school infrastructure and equipment, part of the overall $250 million commitment to improve school infrastructure.

Jennifer Pittorino