Our Story

Dominican History

The founder of the Dominican Order, Dominic De Guzman, was born in Caleruega, Spain in 1170. In 1216, the Order of Preachers (OP) was founded, beginning over 800 years of proclaiming the Gospel to every corner of the world. Dominican Sisters, Priests, Brothers and lay Tertiaries have been called to witness the good news in the way that Dominic did, by preaching and teaching to people of all ages in all countries.

The Dominican ideal is characterised by a commitment to truth explored through dialogue, a critical appreciation of culture and cultures, a love of the beautiful and a vibrant preaching of the Gospel. Our goal in the College is to foster these values, together with a spirit of prayer and contemplation, respect for the dignity and uniqueness of each person, and the pursuit of excellence. We hope to prepare students to meet the challenges of today, to share their gifts responsibly and make a difference in the world.

‘Veritas’ (Truth) is the Dominican and College motto.

Saint Dominic

College History

In 1883, Mother Rose Columba Adams was invited to bring a group of 6 Dominican Sisters from Stone, England to settle in North Adelaide to undertake nursing work. They arrived in August 1883. After many challenges and unexpected circumstances, their commitment to their faith, prayer and service led them to open St Dominic’s Priory College in Molesworth Street, North Adelaide, in February 1884. The college functioned as a boarding school for girls from 1884 until 1974. Boys were also welcomed at the day school from Reception to Year 2, up until 2006.

From 1971 to 2019 the College was led by Sr Jillian Havey OP, AM. As Principal, she was the driving force behind several major redevelopments at the College, culminating in the current Master Plan with Stage 1 being completed in her final year in the role. Her long-standing position as Principal is one that has shaped the College and inspired many thousands of students to become leaders of the future. In 1998 Sr Jillian was made a Member of the Order of Australia for service to education, and in 2019, the Sr Jillian Havey Centre for Year 12 students was officially opened and named in her honour.

Over a century after the school was first opened, the conviction of the Sisters from Stone lives on in our students, encouraging them to become women of faith, truth and hope. In the spirit of St Dominic and with the Gospel values in our hearts, we encourage each girl to embrace her future with the same principles as our founders.

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