Skip to main content

Please be advised: this website contains the names, images and voices of people who are now deceased.

Collections WA has a responsibility to preserve and make accessible the history and culture of Western Australia in all its various forms. The intention of Collections WA is to support research, and to reveal actions of the past that have impacted upon communities, families, and individuals.

In doing so, Collections WA acknowledges the need to respond sensitively and appropriately in cases when accessing this material may be confronting to Aboriginal visitors and clients.

Please also note: Some historical materials within this portal may include language or opinions that today are considered inappropriate or even offensive. Collections WA does not endorse this language and apologises for any distress caused.

Continue showing cultural advice
Stop showing cultural advice
CWA Logo Collections WA brings together collections from libraries, galleries, museums, archives, historical societies, cultural organisations, community groups and other collecting organisations across Western Australia.



A faded coloured photo of a two storied Flemish bond brick boys' college building within the grounds of the Catholic Convent Complex in Stirling Tce, Toodyay.
A cross is atop the peaked roof at the front with a chimney to the left rear.
The balcony surrounds are painted white.
Three oblong windows are at the front of the building at 2nd level height under which is a small portico with a door into the building.

Historical information

This building is a part of the complex built by the Sisters of Mercy to provide accommodation and a school. This is a two-storey building and was constructed for school rooms and boys dormitories upstairs. It was known as the St Aloysius Convent of Mercy School Classrooms and Boys Boarding House. A Grand Ball was held on 11 August 1921 to mark the opening of the new college building. The function was attended by 200 people and was held on the first floor.
On 3 December 1971 Lancelot Goody, Archbishop of Perth, wrote to the Sisters of Mercy in Toodyay advising of St Aloysius Convent School's imminent closure. In early 1972 the Sisters of Mercy Avondown Complex in Toodyay, of which this building was a part, was duly closed. The Sisters carried on their pastoral work (bush schools, motor missions and town parishioner work) until 1974. From 1973 to 1983 the Sisters ran educational camps in the Avondown Centre.
In 1985 the Catholic Education Commission took over the site.
In January 1999 Avondown became a friary for the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate Marian Friary of Our Lady Help of Christians. In June 2003 the Sisters of Mercy left Toodyay, having had a presence there for 119 years. The Friars left in 2017 and in 2018 the entire site, including this building, was added to the State Register of Heritage Places.
In 2021 this building was sold into private ownership, along with the rest of the buildings on this site.



Registration number
Item type
9 cm
Height or length
13 cm
Inscriptions and markings

On back of image: in black ink 'No 27 trimmed'; On front of image: two black ink lines drawn parallel across photo;

Primary significance criteria
Historic significance
Google Maps search term / URL!4v1662530744089!6m8!1m7!1sTzgSvnFuhbA8MsuY61axgQ!2m2!1d-31.55489365750264!2d116.4741890455425!3f69.40780792649504!4f2.424308018820213!5f1.800922887047835
Shire of Toodyay

Shire of Toodyay

Organisation Details
View Collection
Item Feedback

Scan this QR code to open this page on your phone ->

Full size unavailable (you're already seeing this image in its highest resolution available on Collections WA)