A RICH HISTORY
Victoria’s second largest city was first established as a town in 1838, not long after Melbourne. A number of industries settled in Geelong, including Victoria’s first woollen mill, and the town experienced a population boom during the 1850s Gold Rush. Once railway lines and the Hopetoun shipping channel were constructed, Geelong emerged as the shipping and rail hub for Western Victoria.
The Italianite mansion was built in 1848 and was one of the earliest mansion houses in Geelong. Originally known as St Helens, it was first a private bayside residence for a wealthy gentleman, G.F. Read Jr. By 1923, the property was purchased by the Sisters of Mercy and renamed Stella Maris — “star of the sea” — to be used as a convent and school.