Historical Context - All Saints, Portland
All Saints Primary School is a Catholic Parish Primary School situated in the Parish of Portland, on the far south-west coast.
Through the school motto; ‘He teaches; We nurture; Together we inspire’, All Saints is centred in Christ and as partners in Catholic education; we pursue fullness of life for all. The school is committed to the evangelising mission of the Church, through prayer, liturgy experiences and social justice teachings.
The school actively seeks partnerships with parents, caregivers, parish and the wider community to enhance student learning and wellbeing. The staff reflect on their practises and implement actions that lead to strategic improvement to ensure a viable curriculum for all students. The school provides high quality, planned, contemporary learning and actively engages in professional learning. An inclusive environment of mutual trust, respect and support of the whole school community, ensures a culture of child safety.
Rev Michael Stevens PP. established All Saints’ School in May 1849. It was at the time the second catholic school to be opened in the Colony (District of Port Philip, as the Victorian Colony was known). Its first teacher is listed as being Miss Rosanna Phillipina Quinn, who received the Government Salary of £25.00 per annum. The school was initially located in the Parish Chapel (this chapel was always intended to double as a school building) in Bentinck Street and by the end of the first year of operation it had an average attendance of 25-30 pupils. The school fee for each child being six pence per week.
A report of Denominational Schools Inspector Hugh C E Childers on a visit to the school in 1851 reported the school to be now housed in rented premises (@ £12 per annum) “a small wooden house in Gawler Street”, Portland. Between 1849 & 1854, four Lay Teachers in succession, staffed the school. By October of 1854 the School had a Master appointed with an assistant teacher. In 1863 Mr Cusack is listed as School Master, with Mary and Annie MacKillop as his assistants. With the opening of the new All Saints’ Church in 1862, the school was subsequently moved into the old chapel, where it remained as the principal school building for many years.
In 1883-4 Mother Gonzaga Barry IBVM visited Portland for health reasons, was petitioned by locals to send Sisters to teach at the school. Under the patronage of Rev John O’Donoghue PP, the Sisters of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Loreto Sisters) took over responsibility for education at All Saints’ in January 1885 after moving to Portland in late1884. In 1934 a brick school room was built and in 1963 a double storey building was built. The original chapel/school building was demolished in 1977.
 Ref, The Portland Catholic School, pg. 36. “The Catholic Church in Portland Bay”, Rev. J.F. Coughlin PP, Horsham Parish. Published 1943, in limited Private Edition numbers.  IBID.  IBID.
In the 1980’s, with the building of the Aluminium Smelter development and in light of the then demographic predictions, the All Saints’ Parish Steering Committee made the decision to establish a second Catholic school in Portland, which was officially opened in 1984. They were successful in acquiring a grant to the sum of $380,000. In 1983, building of a second catholic school began in South Portland. The new school was named MacKillop, after Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop, in recognition of her commitment to education and her dedication to the Church and to the poor. Mary MacKillop RSJ, along with Mother Barry IBVM and the Loreto Sisters, still stand as models of faith and educational innovation for all members of the All Saint’s community. The original MacKillop school building consisted of four general-purpose learning areas, a multi-purpose area, a staffroom and toilet amenity blocks.
Due to her commitment to education and her dedication to the Church and to the poor, Mary MacKillop stands as a model for all members of the All Saints community. St. Mary MacKillop remains a our patron saint and we are strongly influenced by her words..."Never see a need without doing something about it."
MacKillop opened with 52 children ranging from Prep to Grade 5. The first Principal was Sister Teresa Lowery, assisted by two full time staff members, Miss Cathy Balfour and Mr. John Yurisic. Mr. Michael McCrickard was Principal from 1985 to 1987 and Mrs. Gloria Council followed in 1988 until 2014.
The school population steadily increased, and in 1997 a second building stage was completed which consisted of a Principal’s office, staff room and sick-bay.
In 1999 due to the changing demographics of Portland, the feasibility of continuing to fund and resource 2 Catholic schools in Portland began to be questioned. After a lengthy process the decision was made that the 2 Catholic schools in Portland would be amalgamated. The amalgamated school would be known as All Saints’ Parish School and would be located at the MacKillop site.
In the year 2001, after many years of applying for a Capital Grant for a new building, which would include permanent classrooms, a 1.7 million dollar grant was received. This enabled the Parish to begin a major redevelopment of the MacKillop site and consolidate the process of amalgamation of the two Catholic Schools, to be completed by the year 2003.
The 1st stage of the building began in 2002 and included 4 classrooms, administration area, offices and staffroom, multi-purpose room, library, computer room and art room (This building was the current Library/Science/Music/Foundation area). The building was completed by mid-year 2003. A further 8 classrooms were planned for a second building stage in the future. The All Saints school in Bentinck Street and the MacKillop schools officially closed at the end of 2002.
Despite the new buildings not being completed, 2003 saw the beginning of All Saints’ Parish School in Fawthrop Street, with an enrolment of 295 students. We continued this new phase of Catholic Education in Portland with a buoyant confidence in our ability to meet the challenges of modern Catholic education.
In 2010, as a result of the Government Building Education Revolution (BER) funding, the planned second building stage was able to go ahead. This saw the construction of 8 more classrooms and a large roof built over the pre-existing courtyard.
In 2014 Mrs. Olga Lyons took over as Principal of All Saints' Parish School. In 2021 Mr. Jamie Walsh was appointed to the role of Principal, with an enrolment of 264 students at the beginning of the school year.
All Saints Parish School serves a community of mixed socio-economic background, drawing children from both city and rural environments. The School is characterized by its warm and friendly atmosphere, where each member of the community is made welcome. We are proud of our family orientation, and are rewarded by parents who are respectful and supportive of the school’s leadership and who have become actively involved in a variety of activities.
Our teaching staff collaborate professionally and are conversant with current philosophies and practices. Their dedication and professionalism combined with a broad, comprehensive and flexible curriculum promotes an educational environment where children are encouraged to strive for, and achieve their personal best.
Our students are encouraged to show courtesy and respect, and to be tolerant and inclusive of the differences of others, reflecting the importance of the Gospel Values, which are promoted within our School and the wider Community
We are blessed with staff members and families united in their philosophy and commitment to the All Saints Parish School vision.