Catholic College Bendigo

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Catholic College Bendigo
Bendigo, Victoria
Type Catholic secondary college
Motto "Live The Good News"
Established 1876
Principal Mr Brian Turner
Staff 250
Number of students 1800
Campus Coolock Campus (senior) and La Valla Campus (junior).
Houses Backhaus (purple), Champagnat (maroon), Jaara (orange), MacKillop (green), McAuley (blue), Vincent (yellow)

Catholic College Bendigo is a Catholic secondary school in the city of Bendigo in Victoria, Australia. About 1800 students attend the college's two Bendigo campuses and around 250 staff work at the college.

The La Valla campus is located in Junortoun and provides education for Years 7–9, while the Coolock campus in the Bendigo CBD provides education for Years 10-12, including the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE), Vocational Eductaion and Training (VET) and Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL).

The current principal is Mr Brian Turner. The Deputy Principal at La Valla is Mr Len Watson, and at Coolock Mr Michael Chalkley.

In 2018 the school will change it's name to Catherine McAuley College.

Catholic College Bendigo is governed by the Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea.


There are two central founders of Catholic College Bendigo. The Sisters of Mercy arrived in Bendigo in 1876 and set up a day and boarding school for girls - St Mary's Convent - on Wright Street (now the Coolock site). The Marist Brothers arrived in Bendigo in 1893 and established their own college for boys. The founders of these orders, Marcellin Champagnat and Catherine McAuley, are considered the founders of Catholic College Bendigo.

In 1955, the site at La Valla was opened for boarding boys as St Vincent's College. Due to declining boarders the school opened to day pupils in 1972.

In 1983, the two schools run by the Mercy Sisters and the Marist brothers combined, to make a co-educational school. It was also renamed Catholic College Bendigo. By 1988, the school had two sites - La Valla and Coolock, which are the current two sites.

A process of refurbishment has been running since the late 1990s—in 1998, the Junortoun quadrangle was refurbished. In 2004, Wright Street, which runs through Coolock was bought by the school and closed, which led to a large refurbishment of the area to face the road. In 2005, the Coolock arts building was refurbished. In 2006, work on a new technology building at La Valla began. It was completed in 2007.

In 2008, the Marian Centre at Coolock was opened. It features a new music block and theatre, as well as a large gym with two basketball courts. This gym is the venue for whole school assemblies—a 2008 initiative to bring the two sites closer together.

There was a major transition to a vertical pastoral care system in 2009. Prior to 2009, Catholic College Bendigo had four houses - Marcellin (blue), Backhaus (yellow), McAuley (green) and Crane (red). The new system comprises six houses, with homegroups now aligned into houses. The new houses of the college are Vincent (yellow), Backhaus (purple), McAuley (blue), MacKillop (green), Jaara (orange) and Champagnat (maroon).

Coolock also changed their homeroom model to a vertical housegroup system. At Coolock, each house now has six Years 10 to 12 housegroups. At La Valla, each house has two Year 7 housegroups, two Year 8 housegroups and two Year 9 housegroups. The total number of housegroups across the college is 64. There are also two further housegroups, bringing the total to 66. In 2017 the La Valla site changed it's homeroom to vertical, so it could bring the year 7, 8, and 9 together

CCB is a member of the Catholic All Schools Sports Association (CAS).

Each year the college puts on a production, displaying the theatrical talents of Year 9 students.



Mercy Building - three floors. On the ground floor is general reception, staff room, office of Senior Leader and office of the deputy principal of Coolock. On the first floor, there are staff offices, the finance office, the office of the Director of Catholic Identity and the principal's office. On the second floor, there is the publications office, alumni office and the office of the Director of Teaching and Learning.

Kelly Building - two floors. On the ground floor, there are four general classrooms. On the first floor, there are three computer rooms and IT staff offices. All Vincent homegroups are held in this building.

Ursula Frayne Building - science block, two floors. All McAuley homegroups are held in this building.

Champagnat Arts Building - arts block, with general classrooms, language classrooms and, on the first floor, art, media, visual communication, textiles and photography rooms, as well as art offices reside. Champagnat and MacKillop homegroups are held here.

Library - general library, with two research areas, an information lab, a non-fiction section, a fiction section and a reading area, as well as a silent study room and library offices.

Backhaus Building - two floors, classrooms on both floors and two staff offices on the first floor. All Backhaus homegroups are held here.

Coolock House - two floors, with careers office, staff offices and general classrooms. Jaara homegroups are held here.

Marian Centre - music room, stage, theatre, music and PE offices, practice rooms, foyer. Gym with two basketball courts, a weights room, and two classrooms. Four portable classrooms are also installed.

College prayer[edit]

Loving God,

we at Catholic College Bendigo

believe that life is your gift to us,

and that every person is worthy of our greatest respect, care and support.

May the spirit of Catherine McAuley

challenge us to live the Good News,

the Gospel message of Jesus Christ.


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°46′S 144°20′E / 36.767°S 144.333°E / -36.767; 144.333