In the late 1800s, a visionary early band of Sisters FCJ worked alongside William Wardell, an eminent colonial architect, to establish a boarding school for girls, on fertile pastoral land, in Kew.
Battling primitive conditions and an economic depression, they oversaw the construction of the Wardell Building, which began in 1889 and reached completion two years later. Wardell’s original proposal was for a late Victorian Gothic asymmetrical three-storey brick building designed to integrate a convent, school, chapel and dormitories. On completion, the building constituted approximately half of Wardell’s original design, excluding the chapel.
In April 1891, the nuns and their pupils took possession of their new building. Although many changes have taken place in the intervening years, the Wardell Building, as it stands at the heart of Genazzano FCJ College, is still largely intact. Over the years it has been loved, cared for, maintained, repaired and adapted to new uses. It holds its past within it – it has acquired a patina of age and we can admire its survival.
Genazzano’s Wardell Building no longer stands alone. In 1948, the Victorian manor, Grange Hill, was purchased to provide a dedicated primary campus.
Subsequent construction and refurbishment programs have seen the addition of new classrooms, a modern sporting and swimming centre, a new information and resource centre, and a new centre for Music and the Performing Arts.
All Hallows, our other campus in Balwyn, currently houses our Year 9 students.
Find out more about our campuses or visit our heritage room.
The insignia on our College crest, fidelis, means ‘faithful’: faithful to ourselves, faithful to others and faithful to God. It is the cornerstone of Genazzano life.