St Mary's Cathedral College, Sydney

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St Mary's Cathedral College
St Mary's Cathedral College, Sydney logo.jpg
Latin: Facere Et Docere
("To Do and To Teach")
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia Australia
Coordinates 33°52′17″S 151°12′50″E / 33.87139°S 151.21389°E / -33.87139; 151.21389Coordinates: 33°52′17″S 151°12′50″E / 33.87139°S 151.21389°E / -33.87139; 151.21389
Type Private, Single-sex, Secondary, Day school
Denomination Roman Catholic, Christian Brothers
Established 1824
Headmaster Br Christopher Peel
Staff ~56[1]
Enrolment ~770 (5-12)[1]
Colour(s) Indigo, Cerulean & White             

St Mary's Cathedral College (SMCC) is a private, Catholic, secondary day school for boys, located in the Central Business District of Sydney, Australia. Founded in 1824, it is the oldest Catholic school in Australia and among the oldest schools in the country, currently catering for approximately 750 students from Years 5 to 12.[2] It is owned by the Archbishop of Sydney and operates as a systemic school. It is attached to St Mary's Cathedral. The school is currently the responsibility of the Congregation of Christian Brothers and was the last school in Sydney to be served by Christian Brothers as both Principal and Deputy Principal.


St Mary's Cathedral College was established in 1824 as an elementary school by Reverend John Therry. The high school was established in 1828. It is the oldest Catholic school in Australia.

St Mary's Cathedral College is conducted by the Christian Brothers and administered by the Catholic Education Office, Eastern Region. The Christian Brothers association with the school dates back to 1911.

Catholic education on the same site as St Mary's Cathedral has been continuous since 1824, except during the construction of the existing College buildings and the associated Bishops quarters (1987–1991). Schools on the site have been provided with staff by the Benedictine Monks (1824–1882), the Marist Brothers (1883–1910), Sisters of Charity (1883–1967) and the Christian Brothers from 1910. The staff is now composed of Christian Brothers and lay staff.[3]

The replacement of the Marist order by the Christian Brothers in 1911 was controversial. The Marist Brothers had complained to the Archbishop of Sydney Cardinal Patrick Francis Moran about their working and living conditions. The Cardinal ordered them to leave the college. He directed the Christian Brothers (under threat of interdict) to take over the college in their place, which they did. The Cardinal then granted to the Christian Brothers the requests that the Marist Brothers had been denied.[4] The college celebrated 100 years of Christian Brothers administration in 2011.

Br. Christopher Peel, CFC is the current College Headmaster alongside the First Assistant, Mrs. Natalie Devenish.


The College from the Domain car park roof

The College supports a musical tradition, with close ties to the St Mary's Cathedral Choir, Sydney and the Cathedral Liturgies.

The College also supports sporting sides in all CBSA sports and carnivals. Other extra curricular activities students at the college have option to participate in include: Debating, Public Speaking, Mock Trial, Duke of Edinburgh, Soup Kitchen at the Vincentian Village and helping at the Matt Talbot homeless hostel. More recently, the College implemented the Fairtrade program through Year 10, 2008 students and is led by Brother Peter Hancock of the Congregation of Christian Brothers

Being located next to St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney the mother church of Australia, is a significant boon to the Catholic spirituality taught to all students at the College. Year 10 students are encouraged to participate in altar serving at the lunchtime mass on a daily basis.

Student leadership is of high regard at the Cathedral College with 13 Prefects from Year 12, including a Captain and two Vice-Captains, that are allocated to Social Justice, Culture and Identity, Youth Ministries and other areas. Additionally, each year group nominates four Class Captains to represent the form throughout the College.

St Mary's Cathedral College also celebrates the life and spirit of Edmund Ignatius Rice, the founder of the Congregation of Christian Brothers.

General Events[edit]

  • School Concert at Sydney Town Hall
  • College Swimming Carnival
  • College Athletics Carnival
  • Edmund Rice Day
  • CBSA Sports and Carnivals (Christian Brothers Sporting Association)
  • CCC Carnivals (Combined Catholic Colleges)


Annually, the College has a Concert at the Sydney Town Hall. It has always been based around a theme: At The Movies, for example. During the Concert all of the School Bands perform; Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, Junior Band, Intermediate Band, Senior Band, String Ensemble etc. The Concert is also a night consisting of dramatic performances and other on-stage routines. The 2011 annual concert theme was Viva Italia. Due to repairs in the town hall, several of these concerts have been located at the school hall, but the tradition of the location being the town hall was revived in 2010, after the renovations were completed.

Notable alumni and staff[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "2006 Annual Report" (PDF). Annual Reports. St Mary's Cathedral College. 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-28. 
  2. ^
  3. ^, on the menu, go to "Our College" and click "College History".
  4. ^ Paul Malcolm Robertson, Nga Parata Karaitiana, The Christian Brothers: A Comparative Study of the Indian and New Zealand Provinces, a thesis for the degree of MA in Anthropology, University of Auckland, 1996, p. 41: Robertson stated this in describing opposition by the Marist Brothers to the establishment of a Christian Brothers school in Auckland, St Peter's College, Auckland,
  5. ^ Anthony Albanese MP (Retrieved 27 March 2014)
  6. ^ McIntyre, Brian. "Thomas George Brock (1929-1997)". Tom Brock Biography. Australian Society for Sports History. Retrieved 2008-01-23. 
  7. ^ Brief Biographies: Famous Authors

External links[edit]