Our History

The brief history of OLA parish begins when Our Lady of the Assumption School commenced operation in February 1952 on the present site, staffed by the Brigidine sisters.


Mass had been said in halls in the area by priests who travelled from St Agnes’ in Highett. Archbishop Mannix laid the foundation stone of the original church on 15 July 1951. The parish was formally established on Feb 2, 1958, when Fr Max Day, the first parish priest, arrived.

A second church was built in the time of Fr Bracken which was blessed and opened by Bishop Laurie Moran on 20 Dec 1964. Fr Frank Martin built the third church which was blessed and opened by Archbishop Frank Little on 8 July 1990. An extensive renovation of the entrance to the church and development of a new parish office occurred between October 2011 and April 2012.

There have been five parish priests of OLA Cheltenham over the history of the parish – Fr Max Day (1958-61), Fr John Bracken (1961–74, Fr William Pietzsch (1974–87), Fr Frank Martin (1987–2007), and Fr Peter Matheson (from Jan 2007-Sept 2019). Fr Alan Fox has joined the parish, (October 2019). A number of assistant priests have also worked at OLA.

The two original churces are now part of the school complex, which has grown over the years. The original enrolment at the school was 84 in 1952. Currently nearly 400 students are enrolled. There have been 9 principals over the years. The current principal (since 2001) is Leonie Young. Different school facilities have been built, knocked down, rebuilt, or renovated, over the years. Two recent major developments were the building of Brigid Hall and eight new learning areas between August 2009 and August 2010, and the building of the new administration block and school toilets between July 2015 and January 2016.

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