Kirribilli was named after the First People's word kiarabilli, which means 'good fishing spot'.
We acknowledge and extend our gratitude to the Cammeraygal people of the Eora nation, the original and ongoing custodians of the land upon which Loreto Kirribilli is built. In the spirit of reconciliation, we honour and respect Elders past, present and emerging and their deep connection to the land, waterways and skies.
‘The women skimmed the waters in their simple bark canoes with fires lit on clay pads for warmth and cooking. The officers were fascinated; they wondered how on earth the women could manage … fishing tackle, onboard fire, small children and babies … in surf that would terrify their toughest sailors’
Historian Grace Karskens describing Eora fisherwomen, 2014
Until only recently, Eora women dominated the waterways of Sydney. Their formidable skills in canoeing, fishing, diving and swimming provided most of the food for their families and communities, and were much commented on by the early colonists. Here along the harbour’s northern shores, women of the Cammeraygal clan would have sung together as they pushed out in their bark nowie (canoes) to fish, keeping time with their paddles as they rowed.
Their knowledge, care and management of Country, its land, waterways and skies, underpinned Eora culture and daily life, and today underpins their descendants’ continuing custodianship of this suburb and city.
The brightly-coloured painting Wandana, which hangs in the Centenary Hall, was painted by the students in 2019. It represents the Kirribilli headland and the communities of Loreto Kirribilli, past and present. Combining traditional Aboriginal symbols with the symbols of our school heritage, the painting shows the community flowing out in spiritual connection with the land.