College History

St Francis Catholic College officially opened as Catholic Regional College Melton in 1980. 

The school started with 57 students in Year 7, four teachers and Principal Sr Helen Reed. Sr Reed was from the Order of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart. The Order was founded by Mary MacKillop who was a passionate believer in education for all. 

In March 1980, the College relocated from is temporary location at St Dominic’s Parish Hall to its permanent site in Bulmans Rd. The new school had one building that included four classrooms, toilets, a shared area, two seminar rooms, space for lockers and a temporary staff room.

The year also marked the 1500th anniversary of the death of St Benedict, founder of the Benedictine order and western monasticism. Sr Helen took inspiration from St Benedict for the College motto In All Things Let God Be Glorified. The phrase, known to be Benedict’s own personal motto (taken from 1 Peter 4:11), was chosen to reflect the vision of the College. It is an enduring reminder of the aims of the College founders, that Christ be at the centre of the work of the school.

By 1983, the College had become a Year 7 to 10 campus in the CRC Federation with 280 students and 22 staff. At the end of this year the foundation class graduated and went on to CRC Sydenham campus to complete their secondary education. Stage Two of the original building program had been completed with specialist classrooms added for Woodwork, Art, Craft, Home Economics and Science studies.

In 1985 Mr Frank FitzGerald was appointed Principal and during his 10-year leadership the school experienced enormous growth and change. The third and final stage of the original building program was completed in 1986 and as the College continued to grow, further major building works were undertaken. The curriculum was reviewed to ensure students were well prepared for the introduction of the new two-year Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) which they would complete in Year 11 and 12 at CRC Sydenham from 1990. In 1994 a new Education Resource Centre, science laboratory and technology centre were opened along with an indoor sporting complex and assembly hall.

Refurbishment and extension of the College continued as student numbers rose and Mr Paul Daffey was appointed Principal in 1996. In 1998, student numbers peaked at 565 with five streams of classes in all year levels. A new larger administration building was added and the following year all learning areas were upgraded. In 2001, the College’s iconic Chapel was opened. Placed at the front of the school, the Chapel was designed to make a statement about the College’s Catholic identity and provide a sacred place in which students could pray and formal liturgies could be held.

In 2005 it was decided that CRC Melton would become a Year 7 to 12 campus from 2011. The development of CRC Caroline Springs as a Year 7 to 10 campus meant there would not be enough space at CRC Sydenham to cater for senior students from four junior campuses.

In 2006 a master plan for new buildings to equip the school to provide VCE was developed and in 2007, Year 7 students enrolled at CRC Melton would become the first to complete their entire secondary education at the College. The transition to becoming a Year 7 to 12 college led to an increase in enrolments and a major building program that saw the addition of a Visual Communication and ICT Wing, new science and general classrooms and a Careers and VET area.

In 2009, Mr Mark Sheehan was appointed Principal, in what was a time of extraordinary growth. In 2011 CRC Melton saw its first Year 11 students begin their VCE studies. Another VCE building, Padua, with six new classrooms was opened in the same year and along with new food technology rooms. Between 2008 and 2012 student enrolment grew from 555 to 908.

The College introduced a four-period timetable in 2012. The 75-minute classes help limit movement around the school and provide for the needs of senior students. In the same year, the Year 7 learning area Clairvaux was opened.

Between 2014 and 2019 the new Year 9 learning centre Gadal was completed along with the Mary MacKillop Performing Arts Centre and most recently Sheehan Stadium. The stadium includes two full-sized basketball courts, retractable seating and a gym and can cater for College assemblies and other formal occasions.

Currently leading the College’s students and staff is Principal Marlene Jorgensen who began in 2020 and has overseen one of the biggest developments of the College - its new campus in Cobblebank.

In 2023, the College launched its new name, St Francis Catholic College, a new uniform and began operating independently from the CRC Federation.