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History of Stella Maris

square historyAfter Shellharbour Parish was formed in 1953, Father Smyth sought permission to commence a Catholic School. In 1958, Bishop McCabe of Wollongong approached the Superior General of the Sisters of Charity and the Sisters came to Shellharbour to open a new school. Father Ekerick, appointed Parish Priest on the death of Father Smyth, opened Stella Maris School as a memorial to Father Smyth, in May 1958.

When the school began there were two sisters on the staff and forty six students from kindergarten to fourth grade. The first principal was Sister Regina Munce. School enrolments grew to 200 in 1961, with the introduction of a bus that brought children from Warilla. In 1961, the Mother's Club was formed and their main work was fund raising for the development of the school playground and to maintain the upkeep of the school and its facilities. 

Seven Sisters of Charity have guided Stella Maris in faith, hope and love as educational leaders since the school's foundation. Sr Colleen Mills, who retired in 2009, was the last Sister of Charity Principal in all of Australia.


1958 - 1959 Sr Kathleen Munce
1959 - 1964 Sr Aloysia Weston (dec)
1965 - 1970 Sr Kathleen Munce
1971 - 1976 Sr Virginia Wilkinson
1977 - 1978 Sr Judith Garvey
1979 - 1982 Sr Margaret Guy
1983 - 1989 Sr Patricia Walker
1990 - 1999 Sr Edith King
2000 - 2009 Sr Colleen Mills
2010 - 2013 Mr Paul Brady
2014 - 2015 Mr Frank Wafer
2015 - 2015 Mrs Jan Hutton
2016 - Present Mr Danny Sykes

Today Stella Maris School has an enrolment of 374 students and 30 staff members.