St Augustine's College (New South Wales)

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For other schools/colleges of the named for St. Augustine, see St. Augustine High School (disambiguation).
St Augustine's College
Coordinates33°45′33″S 151°16′17″E / 33.75929°S 151.271337°E / -33.75929; 151.271337Coordinates: 33°45′33″S 151°16′17″E / 33.75929°S 151.271337°E / -33.75929; 151.271337
TypeIndependent all-male secondary
MottoVincit Veritas
'Truth Conquers'
FounderFr David Brimson OSA
PrincipalMr Jonathan Byrne
ChaplainFr Senan Ward OSA,
Enrolment1200 (as of 2006)[1]
Campus12 acres (4.9 ha)
Colour(s)Green and Yellow (with Red)             
AffiliationsRoman Catholic,
Order of Saint Augustine,

St Augustine's College is an Independent Roman Catholic School for approximately 1200 boys in Years 5 to Year 12. The distinctive ethos of the College is Augustinian. It was founded by the Order of St. Augustine.[1] It is located in Brookvale, New South Wales, Australia and is situated directly opposite Brookvale Oval.

In 2016, the College celebrated its 60th Anniversary Year.[1][2] On February 25, over 1200 students, Old Boys, past and present staff and members of our College community attended the 60th Anniversary Commemorative Mass at St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney. The Mass was celebrated by the Most Rev Peter A Comensoli Bishop of Broken Bay who officiated the Mass with the Most Rev Christopher Saunders, Bishop of Broome and Old Boy of the College, Class of 1967, Fr Dave Austin OSA, Prior Provincial. Augustinian Fathers concelebrated the Eucharist with Bishop Peter. Students were presented with a new 60 Years tie and lapel pin to wear at the Mass and for the rest of the year.

The College continues an Augustinian approach to learning among its students. It also aims to encourage the development of individual strengths and to prepare students for their adult lives, whether they go on to tertiary education or seek another path in life. The school places emphasis on community spirit as articulated in the Gospels and the writings of Augustine; and over its history students have been required to take part in community-based volunteer work during their time at the school.

The school is a member of the Independent Schools Association (ISA), a collection of independent Sydney schools grouped primarily for the purpose of sporting competition. Its brother school is Villanova College, located in Brisbane, Queensland.

Patron Saint[edit]

St. Augustine of Hippo as pictured during the Renaissance

The College is named in honour of the 4th century saint, St. Augustine of Hippo, and its motto "Vincit Veritas" (Truth Conquers) is taken from his writings.[3]

Augustine was a key figure in the doctrinal development of Western Christianity and is often referred to as a "Doctor of the Church" by Roman Catholics. Two of his many surviving works, namely "The Confessions" (his autobiography) and "The City of God" are Western Classics, and are read and studied by Christians of many denominations around the world. Augustine is also considered to be one of the theological fountainheads of Reformation, because of his teaching on salvation and grace; Martin Luther himself also having been an Augustinian friar. Augustine was not a Biblical fundamentalist.

Other English speaking Augustinian Schools with the same patron include those in Reading (Massachusetts), Richland (New Jersey) and San Diego (California) - all in the United States; three schools in the Philippines; a school in Malta, and schools in Dungarvan and New Ross, Ireland.


The school is located in the Northern Beaches Council area. Most students are Roman Catholic, drawn from the Eastern part of Northern suburbs of Sydney.

Over recent years the College has offered the opportunity for international students (usually from Asian countries such as China) to study at the school; usually with the hope of progressing on to an Australian University and then returning to their homeland, being educated in both Australian and Augustinian culture. The fees are often significantly higher for a student coming from overseas compared to a local student because the Australian Government does not subsidise their tuition fees.[4] The college usually accepts entrants from overseas in Years 10-12, so that an appropriate ratio of local to overseas students is maintained.[4]


Five Olympians have been produced from the school as of 2006, and since the foundation of the school sport has had considerable emphasis placed on it within the college curriculum as a means of promoting teamwork, sportsmanship and fair play. The College also produces numerous sporting professionals and state and national selected players in rugby union, rugby league, football (soccer), basketball, Swimming, athletics, cricket, AFL and water polo.


1st XV after winning game against Villanova College in Brisbane

Rugby Union was the code adopted by the school as this was considered the "sport of gentlemen" at the time of the College's founding,[citation needed] and the code favoured by GPS Schools which the founders of St Augustine's admired,[citation needed] the CAS (in which St Augustine's competed on occasion), and the Independent Sports Association to which St Augustine's belonged.[citation needed]

As at 21 January 2019, St Augustine's have won the Waratah Shield, the premier rugby union knock-out competition for high school teams in New South Wales, nine times, in 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.[5]

During the 2007 season, the College saw great success among its rugby union teams by winning a record five premierships in the Independent Schools Association.[citation needed] Included in these premiership wins was the 1st XV premiership; where the St Augustine's 1st XV went undefeated during the season, gaining a bonus point in every game. The side also broke the record for most points scored by a single team in the ISA's history. As well as the 1st XV premiership, the college also won the Under-13, Under-13C, Under-14 and Under-15 premierships. On 24 May 2009 St. Augustine's beat St Joseph's College, Hunters Hill 26-20 in the 1st XV despite being 17-0 at half time.

Adding to these accolades was the selection of many of the school's players into representative teams. St. Augustine's had four players represent NSW; Kotoni Ale, Tevita Haliafonua, Salesi Ma'afu and Mitchell Greenway. The College also had one player, Kotoni Ale, earn himself a place in the Australian Schoolboys side; making 2007 the first time the school has had an Australian Schoolboy in its history. The 1st XV is coached by John Papahatzis, former coach of the Australian Schoolboys rugby side, and currently is the Assistant Principal - Sport and Co-curricular at the College.[6]

Despite the College campus being immediately adjacent to Brookvale Oval, the home of the Manly Sea Eagles, rugby league is not currently played in an organised schools' competition at the school. The College has produced several first grade players, some of whom transferred to rugby league after playing rugby union at the school. Included in the rugby league sporting alumnus are brothers Phil and Michael Blake, Phil Daley, Steve Hegarty, Jason King, and Glenn Ryan. During the rectorship of Kevin Burman, the school fielded rugby league teams in the local Manly-Warringah Junior Rugby League competitions and mid-week inter-school competitions winning some premierships, Sea Eagle Shields and Cameron Cups.[citation needed]

The College is successful in many of their sporting and also Co-curricular codes.

Sporting Houses[edit]

The 'houses' divide students of the school into six different groups which compete against each other during the College's many sport events and (in the past) other co-curricular contests such as debating, performing arts and music. The yearly sporting events include an Athletics Carnival, where students compete in many track and field events, a Swimming Carnival, where students compete in swimming races and the Easter Road Race, a race relay run at Brookvale Oval where each house has a representative from each House Group. The school aims to honour Augustinian heritage and history within its customs and traditions; and all houses are named after former Augustinian Bishops of Australia:

  • Murray (red), named after James Murray, former Bishop of Cooktown, 1898-1914.
  • Goold (blue), named after James Alipius Goold, first Bishop and Archbishop of Melbourne, 1848-188
  • Crane (green), named after Martin Crane, first Bishop of Sandhurst,1874-1901.
  • Reville (yellow), named after Stephen Reville, second Bishop of Sandhurst,1901- 1916.
  • Hutchinson(purple), named after John Hutchinson, OSA.
  • Heavey (light blue), named after John Heavey, OSA



Co-curricular sports and clubs at St Augustines each are designated points depending on time required to participate. a certain amount of points are required of students at the College every year. The most popular choice among current students is to take part in two medium-high point score sports (usually one sport in Summer and one in Winter). Music, art, design, drama, chess and debating as well as Tae Kwon Do, ceramics, public speaking and tennis are also popular student choices.

The Red Land Society named from Australia's "red centre", and uniquely Australian and Indigenous in its focus, the "Red Land" society was another early co-curricular organisation at St. Augustine's.[8] This was a student group founded and run from the 1970s by friar Rod Cameron OSA during his long teaching tenure at St. Augustine's College, Brookvale (1964–84). Rod Cameron had long established extensive personal relationships with Indigenous Elders throughout Australia. The Red Land group specifically fostered a sense of connection and understanding with Indigenous Australians. It did this through poetry, drama, music, performance, meetings, seminars, regular Aboriginal elder guest speakers such as Mum (Shirl) Smith, as well as travel into indigenous communities and Dreaming sites through Australia.[citation needed]

Choral and sacred music[edit]

A choral tradition was established at the Brookvale college from the 1950s.[9] The treble/ alto/ tenor/ bass boys' choir was founded under the direction of musician and liturgist the Rev. Patrick Fahey OSA (on staff 1959-72). Affiliated to the Little Singers of the Wooden Cross (Pueri Cantores) and the Royal School of Church Music, its boys' choir was nationally famous for its liturgies, Eisteddfod wins, interstate tours and concerts. It toured Queensland in 1968, 1970 and 1972. After its success at the NSW Conservatorium of Music in the 1966 "Mirror" Choral Championships for Boys, it became the official Festival Records Boys choir and cut commercial recordings.[9] It sang for the first visit of a pope to Australia, Pope Paul VI, in 1970.[9] It likewise assisted in the Australian premiere of Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki's St. Luke Passion at the Sydney Opera House under the direction of Australian conductor Patrick Thomas in 1974. The performance was held in the presence of the composer. The school's liturgical choral tradition was continued vigorously through the 1970s and 1980s (by daily rehearsal and the annual choir camp) through a regular programme of Masses, Compline and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament and public concerts. The choral repertoire and general musicianship of students were extended and promoted by musicians including the Rev. Ronald Bopf OSA (on staff 1957-74), Madge Wilson (sight singing and classroom music), the Rev. Senan Ward OSA (on staff 1975-82, 87-89), Peter Bohrsmann (on staff 1968-74, 77-81, and Choirmaster 1973-74, and member of St Mary's Cathedral Choir, Sydney), Errol Lea-Scarlett (on staff 1963-76, also then Organist of St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney), and Ann Sutcliffe (on staff 1972-80, Choirmaster 1975-80). Since the 1990s, the college's choral and sacred music has had a lesser priority among the college's many co-curricular activities.

Instrumental and secular music[edit]

Band and Instrumental music was fostered through the music department's many peripatetic teachers, including players and principals from the internationally acclaimed Sydney Symphony such as Walter Suttcliffe (Double Bass) and Edwin Lorentzen (French Horn, band). The full-time music staff included Ronald Bopf O.S.A. (Recorders and classroom music, on staff 1957-72), Paul Whelan O.S.A. (flute and piccolo, on staff 1962-66, 68-79), Lynne Leak, Gareth Jude (band) and Graham Press (band). Under Ann Sutcliffe, the college taught Early Music through its madrigal group, and its brace of recorders in the recorder group. It also played and sang in Benjamin Britten's Noye's Fludde together with St Andrew's Cathedral School in St Andrew's Anglican Cathedral in 1977. In conjunction with the drama department, the school also produced musicals such as Gilbert and Sullivan operettas including Trial by Jury in 1978 collaboration with Monte Sant' Angelo and Stella Maris Girls College at Manly.


Shakespeare's plays were among dramas performed by students at the College during the 1970s, under drama head Barry Hayes (on staff 1969-75). Then from 1977-80 under the direction of Les Solomon (now well known in Australia and New York as a theatrical manager and agent), in 1977 the school produced The Pirates of Penzance[10] (in collaboration with Monte and Stella Maris), 1978 Frank and Eleanor Perry's David and Lisa, Bob Babalan and Gary Burghoff's You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, 1979 James Hilton's Goodbye, Mr. Chips, The Crucible by Arthur Miller and in 1980 Harvey Schmidt's The Fantasticks. Most recently the school produced "The Musical, The Musical",written by college staff, in the 1990s and again in 2006. In 2008 the school produced the musical Little Shop of Horrors. The school is also involved in the production of short films by students. In March 2016 the College launched a co-production with Stella Maris College of In The Heights under the musical direction of Joe Montz with Owen Vale and Geoff Cartwright directing.


The College was founded in 1956 as an all-boys school by the local Provincial of the Augustinians, Fr Thomas Alphonsus Hunt OSA, at the request of the then Archbishop of Sydney Norman Cardinal Gilroy.[1] The Augustinians already had a school in Brisbane (Villanova), and wanted one in Sydney. A disused tram terminus in the northern suburbs of Sydney was picked. In accordance with Augustinian tradition, the friar who was head of the school was styled "Rector". Its first Rector was Fr David John Brimson OSA (1916–2004). The title "Principal" is now used for the lay headmaster.

New school emblem incorporating 50th year celebration

From its founding, like many Australian Catholic schools of its time, a significant proportion of its staff were professed religious - in this case Augustinian friars - until the order withdrew professed teaching staff in the 1990s, and the school moved to a fully lay Catholic (cf. laity) staff in co-operation with the Augustinian order and ethos. The school taught the curriculum of the NSW Board of Studies as well as traditional Catholic values and the Catholic approach to ethics and the moral life.

2006 was the 50th year of the school's operation, with 1956 having been the founding year. All students of the school in 2006 were given a "Jubilee Medallion" to commemorate this occasion.[11] Also, the official school tie was changed to celebrate this anniversary; the new "50 Year Jubilee Tie"[11] is yellow with green and red stripes as opposed to the older tie, which was green with yellow and red stripes. There was also the creation of a new occasional school emblem/logo which incorporates this celebration.


The school's main classrooms and facilities are set out in six interconnected buildings. In addition to these interconnected establishments there are three other buildings which house more of the school's facilities. In recent years the College has undertaken further refurbishments and expansion meaning many facilities located within the buildings have been moved multiple times. in 2016 two new buildings were constructed and many offices and classrooms have been renovated. The main buildings in the school are as follows:

  • Augustine Wing

The Augustine Wing is the oldest of the buildings at the College. It was initially built as a single story building, but as the years went on was expanded and refurbished and is now a double story building used to hold the main office and several classrooms. It was officially blessed and opened by Norman Cardinal Gilroy on 17 March 1957, despite already being used for almost a year before.[12] The building, like the school, is named after St. Augustine of Hippo.

  • Clancy Wing (formerly known as the Mendel Wing)[13]

The Clancy Block was built in 1971 and was specifically designed to hold the school's science classrooms and laboratories.[12] It also holds many offices, an open learning centre and a computer room located on the ground floor. It is three stories high and was initially named the medel wing after the Augustinian geneticist, Gregor Mendel. Mendel was Abbot of the Abbey of St. Thomas in Brno in the Czech Republic, and the Brno Augustinian community is unique in having an Abbot rather than a Prior to lead it. it was recently upgraded and the science classrooms moved to a new Mendel block located opposite. the tech rooms moved to lecceto arts centre. new offices and senior common rooms along with some new smaller classrooms have been installed.

  • Tolentine Wing

The Tolentine Wing was initially constructed in 1972 as a building to hold the school's expanding library.[12] However, over time, like the A Block, the building was greatly expanded and has now become a three-story building used to hold the bulk of the school's classrooms. The building also holds offices and (formally) senior commonrooms. It is named after the Augustinian Saint, Nicholas of Tolentino. The commonrooms have refurbished to become extra classrooms as the senior commonrooms have been moved to the Old School Chapel, later to be moved to Clancy following 2016 upgrades. the Tolentine wing also joins to Clancy with a stairwell and a lift which is used only by students at the College who are injured. the wing also joins to the Goold wing allowing indoor travel throughout most of the College.

  • Goold Wing

The Goold Wing was added to the school in 1987.[12] It was built to contain classrooms, music rooms, an auditorium, and (on the lower floor) staff facilities. In 2005 the second and third floors of the building underwent refurbishment, aimed to coincide with the construction of the new "Lecceto Arts Centre". due to the upgrades, the building has no Auditorium (moved to Lecceto) and features only classrooms and workshops, but has retained the staff facilities. The building is used primarily for Languages and Design and Technology. The wing is named after James Alipius Goold, the first ever Augustinian to come to Australia and the first Archbishop of Melbourne.

  • Brimson Centre

The Brimson Centre was constructed in 2003 to provide the school with excellent gymnasium facilities.[12] It was designed to be able to a hold a basketball court as well as many other indoor sports that require a hard-floor surface (such as badminton and volleyball). The gymnasium, because of its large stage area and internal size, is also used as a place to hold school assemblies and productions. Underneath the gymnasium is the "Augustine Resource Centre" (nicknamed ARC). This area of the Brimson Centre was designed to be the new library (the old library was located in the "T-Block"). The ARC is also home to many computer/technology areas and two seminar rooms. The Brimson Centre is also home to many offices, a weights room and a large industrial-sized kitchen. a room under the Principal's office was previously a small gymnasium that was used primarily for weights. The room has been reformed into the Monica Chapel, named after the mother of St Augustine. The building was named after The Rev'd David Brimson OSA, first Rector of the College.

  • Lecceto Arts Centre

The Lecceto Arts Centre, one of the school's newer buildings, was constructed in 2005 as a modern creative arts centre.[12] It holds many music facilities, two more computer rooms and a brand-new auditorium (the old auditorium was located in the "G-Block"). The building has a large landing which is often used by the school to hold casual lunches and presentations as well as classrooms adjoining to the Goold Wing that are primarily used for software and engineering classes. It was named after Lecceto Monastery, in Rosia, Tuscany, an Augustinian monastery which dates back to the "Grand Union" of the Augustinian Order in 1256.

  • Good Counsel Wing

The Good Counsel Wing was a u-shaped building located to the back of the College behind the Mendel Wing. This area of the school was used primarily and exclusively by the juniors of the college (years 5-6) and consisted of six classrooms. These facilities were opened in 1995.[12] recent upgrades of this primary school area and the addition of a new science wing attached (Mendel), have removed the u shaped building and raised the building allowing for a staff carpark to be built below.

  • Old School Chapel

The Old School Chapel is a building located at the front of the school, alongside the main driveway. It was one of the first buildings constructed by the College. It was refurbished into classrooms primarily for the teaching of religion but has further been refurbished with a small stage for drama and the remainign classrooms used primarily for English/Drama due to this also being the location of the English and Drama staff offices. It also houses the only teacher toilet not located inside a building.

  • Moran and Cameron Offices (Previously Senior Study Centres)

Moran House and Cameron House (religion/history/geography) are at the back of the Tolentine wing. The two study centres were built for our Yr 11 & 12 boys to study in. The two individual free standing houses called 'Cameron House' and 'Moran House' named after past rectors Fr Ralph Cameron OSA and Fr Joseph Moran OSA, back on to the College grounds, creating a special domain for the boys to focus on both study and exam preparation techniques. The study rooms also contained a kitchen area for the students to use fitted with microwaves, fridges and ovens but has been refitted for staff uses. 'Tolentine Park', a beautiful outdoor areas has also been built which includes Three cricket practice nets and a rarely used automatic bowling machine. These buildings have become staff offices with new study/common rooms in Clancy.

  • Chalets (P Block)

2013 brought the introduction of four new demountable classrooms located behind the current Tolentine wing. The four classrooms can be accessed through Tolentine Park and the back doors of the metal/wood work rooms, and contain smart boards and air conditioning for an enhanced learning environment. As two of the class rooms are located more than 1.5 metres off the ground, a permanent concrete ramp allows for disabled access.

  • Mendel wing (2017)

2016 brought the introduction of two new builds of which Mendel was one. The Clancy block was previously called the Mendel wing. The new Mendel wing contains 6 science classrooms, 6 Laboratories, has 2 seminar rooms and features a large storage facility for scientific equipment as well as a staff room. The building is organised so that staff car park is on the ground floor and there are two levels of classrooms and an outdoor area above. The classrooms open out onto a paved area that is located directly above the carpark. this joins the wing to the primary school (Years 5-6). The building is joined to the Clancy wing via a two-storey bridge.

Rectors of the College[edit]

  1. The Rev'd David Brimson OSA (1956–1964)
  2. The Rev'd Steve Moran OSA (1965–1967)
  3. The Rev'd Ralph Cameron OSA (1968–1974)
  4. The Rev'd Kevin Burman OSA (1975–1982)
  5. The Rev'd David Austin OSA (1983–1993)

Principals of the College[edit]

  1. Mr John O'Brien (1994–2001)
  2. Mr Tim Cleary (2001–2016)
  3. Mr Jonathan Byrne (2017–present)

Augustinian friars at the College[edit]

The 40 Augustinian friars at St. Augustine's College over its history include:

Notable alumni[edit]

Media, entertainment and the arts

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d - Augustinian Communities & Ministries - St Augustine 's College, Brookvale (retrieved 13 September 2006)
  2. ^ St. Augustine's College, Sydney - School Diary, 2006 - Jubilee Celebrations letter by Principal Tim Cleary
  3. ^ Augustine of Hippo Sermons 358,1 "Nothing conquers except truth and the victory of truth is love" (Victoria veritatis est caritas)
  4. ^ a b Augustine's College Website - Information For International Students (retrieved 8 September 2006)
  5. ^ "Waratah Shield Premiers" (PDF). 2011 Waratah Shield & Cup Handbook. NSW Rugby Union. 2011. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
  6. ^ "Sports: Rugby Union". St. Augustine's College. Retrieved 13 September 2006.
  7. ^
  8. ^ College Year book 1976 pp 40
  9. ^ a b c St Augustine's College Year book 1976 pp 34 & 35
  10. ^ St Augustine's College Year book 1977 pp 27-29
  11. ^ a b St. Augustine's College Website - Tolle Lege (School Newsletter) - Volume 1 (retrieved 15 September 2006)
  12. ^ a b c d e f g St. Augustine's College, Sydney - School Diary, 2006 - Milestones in the 50 year history of St. Augustine's College
  13. ^ Jenkins, Joe (2016). "St Augustines college". The Great Book Of Nawledge.
  14. ^ "NSW Rhodes Scholars" Archived 15 September 2007 at the Wayback MachineUniversity of Sydney list, (retrieved 13 September 2006)
  15. ^ Internet Movie Database - Biography for James Mathison (retrieved 13 September 2006)
  16. ^ "Phil Blake". Soaring Sea Eagles players. Unofficial Manly Sea Eagles History Website. 2002. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
  17. ^ "Australian Schoolboys Representatives from 1972 - 2010". Australian Secondary Schools Rugby League. SportingPulse. January 2011. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
  18. ^ "Phil Daley". Soaring Sea Eagles players. Unofficial Manly Sea Eagles History Website. 2002. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
  19. ^ "Manly quick back after two back stress fractures". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 29 January 2018.


  • Arneil, Stan (1992). Out Where the Dead Men Lie: The Augustinians in Australia 1838–1992. Brookvale: Augustinian Press. ISBN 0-949826-03-0.
  • Brown, Peter (1967). Augustine of Hippo. University of California Press.
  • School Diary. St. Augustine's College. 2006.
  • Yearbooks. St. Augustine's College. 1975–1980.

External links[edit]