St Mary's Cathedral College, Sydney

St Mary's Cathedral College

Latin: Facere Et Docere
("To Do and To Teach")
Sydney, New South Wales
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 Independent, Day school
Denomination Roman Catholic, Christian Brothers
Established 1824
Headmaster Michael Kelleher
Staff ~56[1]
Years 3-12[1]
Gender Boys
Enrolment ~770 (2007[1])
Colour(s) Indigo, Cerulean & White             

St Mary's Cathedral College (SMCC) is a private Roman Catholic secondary day school for boys located in the central business district of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Founded in 1824, it is the oldest Catholic school in Australia and among the oldest schools in the country, currently catering for approximately 770 students from Years 3 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 the Rev. John Therry. The high school was established in 1828. It is the oldest Roman 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 bishop's 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. Beginning in 2016, Michael Kelleher is the school principal alongside the assistant principal, Natalie Devenish.[3]


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. It also supports sporting sides in all CBSA sports and carnivals. Students at the college have the option to participate in debating, public speaking, mock trial, Duke of Edinburgh Award, and assisting at the Matthew Talbot Hostel in Woolloomooloo.[3]

The school has a Fairtrade program through to Year 10. Year 10 students are encouraged to participate in altar serving at the lunchtime and Wednesday morning Mass on a daily basis. Student leadership is of high regard at the college with 13 prefects from Year 12, including a captain and two vice-captains, who are allocated to social justice, culture and identity, youth ministries and other areas. Additionally, each year group nominates four class captains from each different homeroom to represent the form throughout the college.

Annual events

Notable alumni

See also


  1. 1 2 3 "2006 Annual Report" (PDF). Annual Reports. St Mary's Cathedral College. 2007. Retrieved 28 December 2007.
  3. 1 2 3 St Mary's Cathedral College homepage; accessed 18 September 2014.
  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,
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