The need for a Catholic Secondary school on the Eastern Shore of Hobart was first recognised in the Preddle Report, published in 1996.
The disruptions to Hobart’s Eastern Shore communities caused by the collapse of the Tasman Bridge in 1975 highlighted the difficulties posed by reliance on services only available on the Western Shore. The opening of John Paul II school at Rokeby in 1981, which brought the total number Eastern Shore Catholic Primary schools to four, once again raised the issue of having no option for Catholic secondary education on the Eastern Shore. During 1993 the Catholic Church purchased the site and buildings of Mornington Primary School to be the location of a new Catholic Co-educational Secondary College.
Although discussions about the possibility of establishing a Catholic Secondary College on the Eastern Shore of the River Derwent had taken place as early as 1962 and the issue was on the first agenda for the newly formed Catholic Education Commission in 1978, it was not until a re-structuring of Catholic secondary education in the Hobart region commenced in 1994 that the vision became a reality.
MacKillop Catholic College opened on 9 February 1994, with 59 students in Year 7. By 1997 student numbers had risen to 340 in Years 7 to 10. The College has now been operating for over 25 years and has seen steady growth in enrolments with the College reaching record enrolment numbers of over 570 students in 2019.
MacKillop Catholic College has also undergone major facility upgrades since its opening and now offers modern general learning areas, as well as providing specialist areas catering for subjects such as Food Technology, Drama, Music, Fine Arts, Information Technology, Building and Construction, Design and Technology, Applied Technology.
At MacKillop Catholic College we still have the same aim to educate the whole person – spiritually, intellectually, physically, socially, emotionally and morally. We believe in the importance of a broad curriculum suited to the needs, abilities and interests of the students. We aim to provide encouragement and opportunity for each student to reach excellence and to achieve to the best of his or her God-given talents.