Catholic Education in Mortlake dates back to 1951, when Fr. Martin Gleeson, Parish Priest at the time, coordinated the development of a School to meet the needs of the families who settled in and around Mortlake following the Second World War. Fr. Gleeson also made arrangements for the school to be staffed by the Sisters of Mercy from Ballarat East. The commitment of the Mortlake Catholic community in erecting both a School and Convent placed an enormous financial strain on the parishioners who responded through organising and supporting working bees, street stalls and race meetings.
The school opened in 1951 with 54 students from Grade Prep to Form 2 and grew by year’s end to 74 and in subsequent years saw the school educate children through to Form 4. The first Principal was Mother M. Carmel and her staff comprised; Sr. Rose, Sr. Christina and Sr. Celine.
St Colman's was lead by the Sisters of Mercy from its beginning until 1989 with Sr. Geraldine Mugavin being the last Sister of Mercy Principal. Since 1990 lay teachers have staffed St. Colman's although the "Mercy" philosophy of reaching out to those in need with care and compassion is something that is still a feature of St Colman’s School.
The original School building which incorporates the present day Art Room and Administration area was added to in 1959 when the classrooms to the east of the original building were added. In 1994 St Colman’s School underwent a comprehensive refurbishment to modernise its facilities. In 2007 a BBQ Shelter and Storage Shed were constructed with the assistance of a Commonwealth Government Grant. In 2008 a $75,000 playground complete with shade structures was erected, through the “Investing in our Schools Program.”
In 2009 St Colman’s received further Commonwealth Government assistance through the BER (Building the Education Revolution) Program to allow for a complete modernisation of the East Wing of the School with the children now enjoying modern, bright classrooms and a fabulous library all viewed through our wonderful feature windows. In 2010/2011 through the Victorian Government Needs Based Capital Assistance Program the school entry, art, staff and toilet facilities are to be refurbished. This will ensure St Colman’s can continue to meet the challenges of Catholic Education well into the 21st Century.
Our school farm was created in 2014 and continues to grow and develop as we undertake new environmental initiatives. The disused tennis courts have been converted to host a chicken coop, vegetable gardens, a paddock for stock and fruit trees. The project was supported with a generous grant from Origin Energy.