The House system was introduced at Mater Dei in 1997, the fifth year of the College’s operation. For the first part of 1997 Houses were known by numbers ie. House One, Two, Three, Four. However, during this time students and teachers were asked to research suitable names for each house. Criteria for the names included:

  • demonstrated commitment to Faith and spiritual development. 
  • service of fellow humans 
  • courageous living out of Faith in line with Mater Dei’s motto, FAITH WITH COURAGE. 
  • gender balance 
  • local and international significance.


The purpose of the House System is to provide a vehicle and a focus for students to:

  • have an additional sense of belonging within a large population.
  • have the opportunity to mix with different age levels.
  • become involved in a variety of College activities.
  • give such involvement a little more meaning or excitement by means of friendly rivalry and competition. 


The Champion House for each calendar year will be announced at the first Full School Assembly of the following year. The championship is awarded to that House which accrues the greatest number points during the year. All students have abundant opportunities to contribute to the performance of their House. House point scoring activities are grouped under the headings of Sport, Academic, Cultural & Social Justice. Points are awarded to each activity based on the time commitment required by students and the impact the activity has on College life.Students who accumulate certain minimum levels of House points are recognised for their contribution by being awarded relevant House Merit Certificates. After accumulating these House certificates, students may apply to be awarded higher status within their house.



St Benedict was born in Nursia, Italy, around 480. It is believed that Benedict spent his young life becoming a scholar but, in his late teens, he made the decision to carry out his desire to serve God. The name, Benedict, was chosen because of the association of the Benedictine Order with Perth, and because Benedict is the patron of students.


Born in Western Australia, Sister Irene McCormack (1938-1991), a Josephite nun, was killed in Peru. She was among the missionaries who focused upon the living conditions and the learning opportunities for the rural children and their families of Huasahuasi. These people were disadvantaged in terms of material benefits and without access to the opportunities of learning about God. Sister Irene’s work was condemned by the Shining Path terrorists.


The Sisters of Mercy were established in Dublin, Ireland in 1831, by Catherine McAuley. In 1846, they arrived in Perth with Bishop Brady and the Benedictines, Doms Serra and Salvado. The name of this House has particular significance because the Sisters established a number of primary schools in this area and the land where our campus is located was provided by the generosity of the Sisters of Mercy.


At 6.30 pm on 24 March 1980 Archbishop Oscar Romero, the man who lends his name to this House, was shot dead while offering Mass in San Salvador, capital of El Salvador. Archbishop Romero faced opposition with characteristic fearless faith and uncompromising courage. He was a tireless worker for basic human rights and justice for the peasants. 


In 1846 the Spanish Benedictine monks Rosendo Salvado and Joseph Serra led the founding party of the New Norcia Mission. As a Bishop and a missionary, Salvado was to become a pivotal figure in colonial Western Australia and gave great leadership to the local faith community until his death in 1901. 


St Catherine of Siena, a Dominican nun, is a Doctor of the Church as well as the Patron Saint of Italy. Catherine was born on the Feast of the Annunciation in 1347 in Siena, Italy. From her teenage years, she knew that she wanted to devote her life to God and soon formed a close association with a number of Dominican friars. The name, Siena, was chosen because of the involvement of the Dominican Sisters in the College in its formative years.