Patrician Brothers' College, Fairfield

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For the Patrician School in Blacktown, see Patrician Brothers' College Blacktown.
Patrician Brothers' College, Fairfield
Patrician brothers college crest.png
Latin: Maria Duce
Mary Leads Us[1]
Fairfield, New South Wales
Australia Australia
Coordinates 33°52′19″S 150°57′43″E / 33.87194°S 150.96194°E / -33.87194; 150.96194Coordinates: 33°52′19″S 150°57′43″E / 33.87194°S 150.96194°E / -33.87194; 150.96194
Type Catholic Systemic, All Boys, Day school
Denomination Roman Catholic, Patrician Brothers
Established 1953[2]
Principal Peter Wade
Employees ~73[3]
Enrolment ~1,089 (7–12), formerly 1446 (5–12)[3][4]
Colour(s) Royal Blue and Sky Blue         

Patrician Brothers' College, Fairfield is a systemic Roman Catholic, secondary, day school for boys, located in Fairfield, a western suburb of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Founded by the Patrician Brothers in 1953,[2] the college formerly catered for students in Years 5 to 12, however the primary section was merged into the local parish primary school and closed in 2006. Today the school enrolls approximately 1,089 high school aged students from the parishes of Villawood, Fairfield, Cabramatta and Smithfield. 85% of the student population are from non-English speaking backgrounds.[3]

In the 2009 Higher School Certificate (HSC), the College was ranked in the top 57 schools in New South Wales,[5] and is ranked in the Top 12 Catholic Schools in Sydney and in the Top 3 Catholic Schools in the Southern Region.[6]



In August 1948, the Brothers received a letter from Archbishop O'Brien on behalf of Norman Cardinal Gilroy, requesting staff for a new boys' school planned for Fairfield. At this time, Fairfield was an outer and rapidly expanding suburb of Sydney with a large concentration of post war migrants from Europe. While there was a primary convent school at nearby Cabramatta, Smithfield and Villawood, there was no opportunities for senior primary and secondary Catholic Education for boys in Fairfield.

Provincial, Brother Norbert and his Council agreed to the Cardinal's request and Brother Kevin Samuel, Brother Eugene Kelly and Brother Peter Johnson (Superior and Principal) formed the first Patrician Community at Fairfield. The Brothers took up residence in an old weatherboard cottage which was on the 10 hectare property, which had recently been acquired by the Archdiocese as a site for the school.

When Cardinal Gilroy blessed the monastery and officially opened the school on 13 March 1953, there were 170 pupils enrolled in Years 4, 5 and 6, in a year, this number almost doubled. The original classrooms were in brick, and separated by concrete quadrangles with trees everywhere. That pattern of building was retained and was repeated regularly to cope with the expanding enrolment which ten years later had reached almost one thousand. The grounds in which the school was situated were a disused orchard and vineyard - uneven and ungrassed and abounding in powdery surface soil. In the early sixties, the Brothers, supported by parents and students, embarked on a levelling, grass-planting and tree-planting campaign which was the foundation of the environment in which today's large complex is situated.

From six classrooms in 1953, the pupil accommodation has grown to over forty classrooms in 1982, as well as a library and assembly hall, science laboratories, a modern manual arts block and various other specialist facilities. The college is the largest single campus enrolment of any Boys' Catholic School in New South Wales.[7]

Early developments[edit]

In the early days, the students were mainly of established Australian background with a strong representation of children of East European parents as well as Maltese and Italians of fairly significant but there is a very large second generation Italian and Maltese group of students now, as well as many students of East European, Middle East, South American and Indo-Chinese background.

1956 was the year in which the students sat for the first public examination - the Intermediate Certificate - for candidates of present Year 9 age. The Intermediate level was the terminating year in the school until 1961, when the first group of students sat for the Leaving Certificate. This development marked a significant event in the life of the school as the first Leaving Certificate class contained students from Patrician Brothers' Schools at Blacktown, Granville and Liverpool. This intake of students from other Patrician Schools for their final years of secondary schooling continued until these areas gained their own senior secondary school.

Golden Jubilee[edit]

In 2003, Patrician Brothers' College celebrated its 50th Golden Jubilee year. The celebrations included a Golden Jubilee Opening Mass at St. Mary's Cathedral, Sydney, presided by Cardinal George Pell and concelebrated by priests from Fairfield, Cabramatta, Smithfield and Villawood parishes, as well as priests who are old boys of the college. Other celebrations included an Old Boys' Reunion Dinner and a staff reunion, a golden jubilee ball and a concert, plus closing ceremony in December.[7]

21st Century[edit]

Patrician Brothers' College Classrooms

On 25 June 2000, several years of construction on the campus came to an end with the official opening and blessing of the new College facilities and classrooms. The old Year 8, 9, 10, and Primary blocks made way for an entirely new complex of buildings including a new library, Science wing, College hall and gymnasium, and Music and Creative Arts centre. The old senior block was completely renovated, what was once the College hall and library became the administration and staff areas. These facilities have continually been improved, with the refurbishment of the Science Centre, the introduction of lifts and WiFi within the College.

Primary Department Closure[edit]

In 1993 the Primary section of the College moved across the creek to take up residence at the Weston Street Campus then occupied by Our Lady of the Rosary, Primary School. A Brother remained Principal there until 2003.

The Catholic Education Office decided that the Weston Street campus was unsustainable for the growing primary school. There were proposals to remerge the Primary School with the Secondary College. However, the Catholic Education Office decided that the most viable option was to allow students in Years 5 & 6 to continue their education with their feeder primary schools.

At the end of 2006, Patrician Brothers' College Primary School closed, and the grounds were returned to the Our Lady of the Rosary Parish to use. Patrician Brothers' College Primary School Fairfield was the last primary school to close which was affiliated with the Patrician Brothers. However, Our Lady of the Rosary Primary School Fairfield is currently under Patrician Leadership.

WYD Cross and icon[edit]

Patrician Brothers' College hosting the WYD cross and icon

Patrician Brothers' College was chosen to be the first school in Australia to host the World Youth Day (WYD) Cross and Icon upon its arrival in Australia for the Sydney 2008 World Youth Day celebrations. The Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney entrusted the Western Deanery [1] (officially, a geographical region in South-West Sydney that comprises 16 Sydney Archdiocese parishes[8]) with the WYD Cross and Icon for the day of 2 July 2007. The WYD Cross and Icon was hosted Patrician Brothers College, Fairfield for three hours that day for public veneration, which was attended by 5,000 people.[9]

Patrician Bicentenary celebrations[edit]

The Patrician Brothers were established by Bishop Daniel Delany in 1808 in the Name of St Patrick and in 2008, the Patrician Brothers celebrate their 200th anniversary. The following Patrician linked schools joined in and celebrated the Patrician Bicentenary:

The college has had two major bicentenary celebrations:

  • St. Patrick’s Day – a mass was held at the State’s Sport Centre on 17 March, with over 5000 people attending – celebrated by Bishop David Cremin and guests included the Superior General of the Patrician Order, Brother Jerome, the entire Patrician Brothers Congregation of NSW and abroad and members of parliament.
  • Patrician Bicentenary Concert – this was celebrated on 30 April, at Acer Arena with musical performances from all the patrician colleges.[10]
  • Concluding Mass - The concluding Mass was held in Tullow Ireland (the birthplace of the Patrician Order) and was attended by various Brothers of the Patrician Order and Principals of Patrician schools from across the globe


Patrician Principals[edit]

Period Headmaster
1953–1958 Brother Peter Johnson f.s.p.
1959–1962 Brother Alyosius Delany f.s.p.
1963–1964 Brother Baptist Stenning
1965–1967 Brother Charles Barry f.s.p.
1968–1980 Brother Angeus Kavanagh f.s.p.
1981–1986 Brother Christopher Finucane f.s.p.
1987–1990 Brother Mark Ryan f.s.p.
1991–2001 Brother Bernard Bulfin f.s.p.

Lay Principals[edit]

Period Headmaster
2002–2006 Mr Michael Krawec
2007 Mr Wayne Marshall (Acting)
2008–2015 Mr John Killeen
2016–present Mr Peter Wade

In 2001, the last Patrician Principal of the college, Br. Bernard Bulfin, retired, and was replaced by the college's first lay principal, Mr. Michael Krawec, ending 48 years of leadership by the Brothers of St. Patrick. However, Br. Nicholas Harsas remained as principal of Patrician Brothers' Primary, until 2003 when he was replaced by Mr. Warren Loy. The primary closed at the end of 2006.

During 2007, Mr. Michael Krawec, was appointed to the Catholic Education Office and the governors elected Mr. Wayne Marshall as the temporary Principal. At the end of 2007 the CEO appointed Mr. John Killeen to principalship. In 2016 Mr Peter Wade, once a student at the college, became Principal.


Learning Facilities[edit]

Patrician Brothers' College spent six years and $14m redeveloping and rebuilding [11] classrooms, Jubilee Hall, music, IT, visual arts, science, administration, technology and applied studies centres and the college chapel.


The College is currently undertaking a five-year technology roll over period. The College recently purchased and installed new computers in the Information and Technology Centre, new laptops and light probe projectors, 5 portable projection systems which are used for student presentations in the ITC, TAS and science blocks, a new computer lab in the science block, and several touch sensitive SmartBoards. Technology is being incorporated in all lessons and is utilised as a teaching aid in the senior school. Additional fixed SmartBoard and Data Projector units have been installed in over 90% of the student learning areas and classrooms.

With the provision of the Rudd Government's "Digital Education Revolution" Patrician Brothers College Fairfield will be one of the first schools to provide specially customized Apple MacBook's to over 400 Years 9 and 10 students in 2009.[12] In commitment to this scheme, all students who enter Year 9 at the College will be provided with their own personal laptop computer to be used through their remaining time at the College. In 2011, Year 7 and 8 students are to purchase their own Apple MacBooks due to a policy change within the current Gillard Government.

To facilitate this rollout scheme, the College has implemented wireless WiFi network in 2009-2010. This $40 000 project seeing new wireless access points being installed across campus and Intranet capabilities being expanded to cover 95% of the school grounds including the school oval. Electrical infrastructure such as digital projectors have also been installed on the entire college campus.


Gifted and talented[edit]

The curriculum incorporates enrichment and the opportunity of extension in all courses. Acceleration is possible in individual courses (such as Mathematics and Mathematics Extension 1 and 2).[13] Acceleration has proven successful for the College, with many of its students achieving Band 6s in their accelerated courses.[14]


The college is involved in the Metropolitan Catholic Schools (MCS) Competitions and it competes against other Catholic Schools in Sydney. Patrician Brothers' is also involved in the Combined Catholic Colleges, State Competitions and other competitions including the Parramatta Knockout and the Arrive Alive Cup.

Mock trial[edit]

The 2007 Mock trial team was the most successful in the Patrician Brothers' College, Fairfield history, winning the Sydney regional competition, against schools such as The King's School and other private and selective schools.[15]


The 2008 Debating Senior Debating team completed another first for the College, becoming the first side to take the NSW Catholic State Title for Patrician Brothers' College.

Tournament of Minds[edit]

The College has had a multitude of success with its involvement in the nationwide 'Tournament of the Minds' competition held annually for selected Yr 7-10 students, testing both intellectual wit and creative thinking across a range of disciplines ranging from Maths and Engineering, Language and Literature, Applied Technology and Social Science.

In 2006, for the first time in the school's history, it won the regional finals, becoming State Finalists in the Maths and Engineering category. Then, the college achieved another first, again making it into the State Finals in 2008, however this time in the Applied Technology category. The College's success had however only just begun, with the same team taking out Tournament Honours and coming 2nd in the State Final in 2009 for Applied Technology. Remarkably, in 2010, the College would again achieve unprecedented success with the Maths and Engineering team taking Tournament Honours and coming 2nd in the State Final. Being the College's greatest success in the competition so far, it has inspired a new wave of students to pit their skills against the top students in the State.

House system[edit]

In 2004 Patrician Brothers' College Fairfield implemented its new house system. The new houses are:

Students are each assigned to a house upon their commencement at the College. Students are divided into house groups for morning and afternoon homeroom and participate in carnivals in their house group. Students of all grades are offered chances to win points for their respective Houses through participation in various sporting and extracurricular activities. As of 2007 the College sports uniform now includes House colour polo shirts which are to be worn during sporting lessons and at swimming carnivals.

Notable alumni[edit]

Alumni of Patrician Brothers' College are known as 'Old Boys' and may elect to join the schools alumni association, the Old Boys' Union. The goal of the Old Boys' Union is to foster and maintain friendships made at the College, and contribute to tradition by donating resources and prizes for special events.[16] [17] Some notable Patrician Brothers' College Old Boys include:

Entertainment, media and the arts
Politics, public service and the law

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "College Motto". The College. Patrician Brothers' College, Fairfield. 2005. Archived from the original on 12 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-04. 
  2. ^ a b "Patrician Brothers College Fairfield". Colleges. Our Lady of the Rosary, Catholic Parish, Fairfield. Retrieved 2008-02-04. 
  3. ^ a b c "Annual School Report to the Community 2006" (PDF). Annual Report. Patrician Brothers' College, Fairfield. 2007. Retrieved 2008-02-04. 
  4. ^ "Public School Enrolments Increasing". Daily Telegraph. 7 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-09. 
  5. ^ "2009 School Ranking - All Rounders". HSC 2009. Better Education Australia. Retrieved 2010-05-08. 
  6. ^ "Curriculum - HSC 2007". Curriculum. Patrician Brothers' College, Fairfield. 2005. Retrieved 2008-05-13. 
  7. ^ a b "Mass, flags set celebrations in train". Sydney: Catholic Weekly. 2003-03-02. p. 1. Retrieved 2008-03-24. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "School first to welcome World Youth Day Cross". Sydney: Catholic Education Office, Sydney. 2007-07-04. p. 1. Retrieved 2008-03-09. 
  10. ^ "18/03/2008 - Bicentenary Bonanza". Article. CEO Sydney. 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-03. 
  11. ^ "Curriculum - Facilities". Curriculum. Patrician Brothers' College, Fairfield. 2007. Retrieved 2008-05-24. 
  12. ^ "Dump the laptops, says school head". Fairfield Champion. 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-09. 
  13. ^ "Curriculum - Gifted & Talented". Curriculum. Patrician Brothers' College, Fairfield. 2005. Retrieved 2008-03-09. 
  14. ^ "Merit List - 2008". Curriculum. Patrician Brothers' College, Fairfield. 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-08. 
  15. ^ "Law Society of New South Wales". Law Society of New South Wales. 2007. Retrieved 2009-08-08. 
  16. ^ "Old Boys' Union". Wider Community Links. Patrician Brothers' College, Fairfield. 2005. Archived from the original on 12 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-04. 
  17. ^ n

External links[edit]