About OLSH

Our history

The vision of French priest, Fr Jules Chevalier, Missionary of the Sacred Heart (MSC) was that all people would know that God loved them.

In 1874, in Issoudun, France, he founded the religious congregation of the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart. Together with Sr Marie Louise Hartzer (fdnsc), the first Superior General of the congregation they grew this religious order and encouraged the sisters to embrace the risk of ‘mission without limits’ – so that the love of the Heart of Christ would be known throughout the world. 

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart College Bentleigh is one of many OLSH Colleges throughout the world that was established in response to the Sisters carrying on that ‘mission without limits’. It was in 1938, that the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart opened the College in order to educate young women in south-east Melbourne.

In that first year, the College had five students who were educated in one room of St Paul’s School. As numbers grew, the College moved to the cottage in Robert Street which had been the original convent.

The 1950s was a period of significant growth for OLSH College, which saw investment to build the school for the future and foreword thinking to expand the education offered. Four students completed their Matriculation in 1951, the first year that it was offered by the College. Just two years later, enrolments at the College hit triple figures for the first time and the girls were given a cupcake at recess to mark the occasion.

As enrolments increased, buildings were extended to include Domestic Science, Dress Design and Cutting facilities, and nearby homes were purchased was made so that additional buildings could be planned. In 1953, St Joseph’s Park across the road from the school was purchased by Mr James Kennedy for the OLSH Sisters, for one thousand pounds.

Over the next five decades the College grew with new science labs, a library and new classrooms. In the fiftieth year of the College, a new hall was built and in our sixtieth year, a Performing Arts Centre was added to the campus.

During our 80th year, the new OLSH Centre, Performing Arts Centre and Administration building were opened as our enrolments climbed to 700 for the first time. These new facilities and size of the College has enabled us to broaden the academic and co-curricular offering, including the unique Issoudun program for Year 9 students, introduced in 2012.