The six Houses are named after women who have made a difference in the lives of others and are seen as role models.
Arena House is named after Franca Arena who came to Australia as a young girl. She showed great determination and courage to emigrate alone from Italy and to not only begin a new life in a foreign country, but to embark on a path of service for others in the community. She worked as a Member of Parliament for many years, advocating the voice of migrant women.
Our College encourages students to take the courage to make decisions for their own lives and to take action in practising the values of service and justice.
Crosio House is named after Janice Crosio. Janice is well known in the Fairfield area. Since the first year of its foundation, and even before that, Janice has been a wonderful friend and supporter of Mary MacKillop Catholic College. Janice was the Government’s representative in establishing the College and was the person to hand over the cheque signifying the Government’s commitment to Mary MacKillop College. Janice has welcomed the students to Canberra many, many times. She is a great role model because of the service she has offered the community over the past thirty years. Janice is the first woman in Australia to serve in Local, State and Federal government. We admire her spirit of service to the community. She has a strong identity with the people of Fairfield area and has truly been a champion of the people.
Goolagong House is named after Evonne Goolagong. Evonne is a person with whom many students are able to identify. As a young girl Evonne was taken away from her family and her cultural experiences and brought up in an environment that would help her to become a world tennis champion. Like many of our students who have come from overseas, Evonne had to adapt to being in another culture and cope with all the insecurities that are part of that experience. She quickly became an Australian hero and achieved fame. However, Evonne never forgot her roots, her family and her aboriginality. For all students who are bridging the gap between cultures and within their own family, Evonne Goolagong is a wonderful role model.
Henderson House is named after Sarah Henderson. Sarah was a writer. She was a person who exhibited great resilience in the face of adversity. After experiencing a marriage breakdown and left financially ruined, with the help of her daughter, Sarah managed to slowly get her life in order. She discovered a strength within herself that enabled her to make a success of managing the property of Bullo River. Sarah was the first woman to be named Australian Business Woman of the Year and was able to help many women to fight the odds and get their lives together after going through loss or trauma. Sarah wrote books about her life experiences and these are very inspirational. As a role model her life is a lesson about never giving up. All women can be very resourceful in times of difficulties; there is an amazing strength in us all.
McCormack House is named after Irene McCormack. Irene McCormack is called a modern day saint. There are many newspaper articles that acknowledge her work and her death in Peru on the 21st May, 1991 at the hands of terrorists. As a Sister of St Joseph she volunteered to go to Peru to work with the poor. As the world becomes more focused on justice, commitment to the underprivileged and the need to care for our world environmentally, we look up to Irene as a model of giving. Irene knew that words alone count for little if concern was not matched with a generous giving. She gave up the comforts of life in Australia, she gave her time, she gave her talents and finally she was called upon to give her life for others. When we are asked to contribute to the poor, the needy or to some particular cause, we can look to Irene as a role model and give generously.
O’Shane House is named after Pat O’Shane. Pat O’Shane is Aboriginal. She was a Magistrate and the Vice Chancellor of New England University. History tells us how the Aborigines of this country have been disadvantaged in many ways. For them it has been a struggle to achieve recognition for their culture, their spirituality and their way of life. Many of us from ethnic backgrounds are faced with similar struggles and the road to achievement may seem long and hard. Pat O’Shane is a person whose life speaks to us of overcoming difficulties and not giving up. In her success Pat has become a champion of the oppressed. She has used her achievements and her status to help those less fortunate. She has a great spirit of service to the community. Her life tells us that achievement is possible and worthwhile especially when we use our influence to serve others.