Coeducation prepares students for the real world

Principal Brian Hanley with students at St Monica's Epping.

Initially established as a girls’ school in 1964, St Monica’s College in Epping has flourished since it became a coeducational school.

In the 1970s, the Sisters of the Good Samaritan, as well as local clergy and parishioners, saw a need for boys’ Catholic education in the local area. To better meet community needs, St Monica’s College became a coeducational school in 1978.

Brian Hanley OAM, the college principal at St Monica’s College, celebrated his 30th anniversary as principal in 2020. Mr Hanley was awarded an Order of Australia medal in June 2021 for his continued and exceptional contribution to education across a period of over 45 years.

Having seen more than 40,000 students pass through the college, Mr Hanley believes that students benefit greatly from a coeducational

schooling experience and that it better prepares students for the real world.

“There are myths associated with coeducation just as there are with single-sex education. These should all be dispelled as we come down to the one, most critical reality – humans live in a coeducational world and consequently enjoying a coeducation experience in school years should form a holistic person; confident and wise,” says

Mr Hanley.

Government and Catholic primary schools, as well as all tertiary institutions, represent a cross section of society in that they are coeducational.

Mr Hanley contends that this assists in improving respect, understanding, and positive attitudes among students while also breaking down sexist

attitudes, harassment and bullying among genders.

“Being together throughout the day, feelings of comradeship and friendship develop in a natural way between girls and boys. These mutual

feelings and uplifting experiences are inherently valuable to the fully rounded person,” Mr Hanley says.

“Accordingly, students are better prepared to enter the workforce, more capable of coping in post-secondary educational institutions, and

more confident to involve themselves in discussions and activities with the opposite sex.”

At St Monica’s College, Epping, every student matters, every moment counts.