St Mary's Catholic School originated as a result of the 1850's gold rush and the ensuing permanent settlement of the Ararat district.
In 1889 the Brigidine Sisters took over the running of the school from lay teacher, Thomas Williams, thus securing for Ararat's Catholic community a firm basis for their educational and religious development.
The current school was built in 1963 with additions and refurbishments completed in the 1990's. A multi purpose room and a large stadium named The Davey Hub, was built with the Building Education Revolution money from the Federal Government in 2010/2011.
The Cross in the top section of the crest is that of St Brigid. This cross is based on the simple cross of reeds which tradition says St Brigid used when teaching the truths of the Catholic faith. The small lamp in the lower section of the crest represents the light of the Christian faith and the light of learning.
The motto "Strength and Gentleness" (Fortiter et Suaviter), was the motto of the Founder of the Brigidine Sisters, Bishop Daniel Delaney. The motto sets before us the virtues of strength and gentleness, so characteristic of St Brigid, and challenges us all to be ‘people of strength' and ‘people of gentleness'. This motto is used by St Mary's and many other Brigidine Schools throughout the world.