The Brigidine Sisters are members of a global congregation refounded by Bishop Daniel Delany, in Ireland, in 1807. In reestablishing the congregation, Bishop Delany linked the Brigidine Sisters to the ancient monastic order founded by Saint Brigid in the fifth century and which survived, in Ireland, until Reformation times. Saint Brigid's first monastery was founded in Kildare, Ireland.
Clonard named the "Kildare Performing Arts Centre" in recognition of the many myths and legends associated with Saint Brigid that focus on her creativity and vibrant energy. Saint Brigid was a champion of the impoverished and inspired others to value culture, education, and faith.
A great traveller, at the invitation of the bishops, Saint Brigid set up convents all over Ireland. The Brigidine Sisters came to Australia in 1883 and currently sponsor seven secondary schools in Victoria and South Australia and are also committed to work in the areas of primary education, social justice, the environment and pastoral support within parishes.
Clonard College was founded in 1956 and occupies a site in Geelong West with buildings dating back to the 1850s. The Brigidine motto and, therefore, Clonard's is "Fortiter et Suaviter" - "Strength and Kindliness".