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 School History

front_school.jpgIn November 1948 Archbishop Duhig purchased the land where our school, the church and the priory now stand. This land was being used as a poultry farm. With the original parish known as “Our Lady of Graces and Blessed Martin de Porres, Belmont”, it was clear that the original vision included a church community and a parish school. St Martin’s primary school continues to be an important part of Our Lady of Graces Parish community serving Carina, Carindale and surrounding areas.

It has been almost sixty years since the first Dominican priests came to Belmont. January 25th, 1954, saw the first students enrol at St Martin’s. The numbers were far beyond expectations! Initially the Sisters were responsible for the majority of teaching, including Art, Music, and Instrumental Music. Today we have specialist teachers for these areas, as well as teacher assistants, other teachers and various specialist staff, committed to quality education. Sadly, in 1993 we farewelled the last of the Dominican Sisters. However, we retain strong ties with the Dominican Order and the Dominican heritage continues to be a strong foundation for our community.
 
Over the years St Martin’s has seen many physical changes. The present Art centre was actually built as the first permanent Church! This replaced the marquee where the early Masses were held. It was known as the Dominic Centre. The original two storey brick building, with the entrance off Broadway Street, was initially used as both Church and School. The lower floor was the school and the upper was the school during the week and the church on the weekends.
 
In 1979 more classrooms, an Administration block and a Library, were added. The next twenty years saw numbers swell. The facilities changed to include another new Administration block, a demountable and a modern brick Library. The old staffroom was converted to more classrooms.
 
The De Porres Centre was built in 1999. Named after the school patron saint, Martin de Porres, the two-story brick building accommodated the Pre-school classes until the new Prep facilities were built. It is now used for our specialist areas of Music, LOTE and Instrumental Music.
 
The ten hectares of land have been enhanced over the years with the planting of trees, the addition of netball courts, covered eating and seating areas, outdoor play areas and water tanks. Throughout all of these changes the school has managed to keep much of its beloved playing area, affectionately known as ‘the valley’, which is also the home of our Wishing Tree.
 
We continue to grow and change! 2009 saw the original St Martin’s building replaced with ten Early Years classrooms. As well as the continued refurbishment of classrooms, extensions to other rooms, and significant changes to the Resource Centre layout, 2011 saw the latest building project, our new Assembly / Indoor Sports Hall, completed.  The school takes every opportunity of utilising this fabulous facility, The Dominic Centre, and enjoy yet another milestone in the history of St Martin’s.
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Being Dominican is loving to learn.
Being Dominican is being prayerful.
Being Dominican means being fair and just to all.
Being Dominican is being yourself – an individual.
Being Dominican means being a protector of our environment.
Being Dominican is being a veritas or truthful person.

St Martin’s strives in each and every day to aim towards the Dominican motto:     “Live the truth”