St Mary’s Cathedral College is a Years 3-12 Catholic boys College in the heart of the City of Sydney. The College in some ways is a microcosm of the development of Catholic Education in Australia. It was established in 1824 by one of the early pioneers of education in Australia, Fr John Therry, who set out to provide an education for mostly poor children in an emerging colony. Since 1828, secondary education has been conducted on the same site by four different religious orders. The Christian Brothers’ education of young men and stewardship of the College began in 1911 and concluded in 2015 after 105 years of outstanding service and educational leadership, the majority of it with no government funding until the 1960s.
The current staff and myself are the custodians of this legacy. There is a strong commitment in the community to maintain and enliven the charism of the Christian Brothers in the spirit of Blessed Edmund Rice.
The music program at the College is unique with over 300 boys receiving weekly tuition. The younger boys in Years 3-6 are gifted musically with the majority involved in the Cathedral choir. The College showcases its musical achievements throughout the year. The concert in June is a highlight, with all the young men of the College involved on the evening. The College has an excellent reputation academically and is among the top performing boys’ Colleges in New South Wales. In the 2017 HSC, from a cohort of 96 students, 34 candidates appeared at least once on the Premier’s Distinguished Achievers list, which requires students to achieve a Band 6 (a mark above 90) in an individual subject. Students from the College recorded a total of 70 appearances on the list, with a further four notional Band 6 results. When expressed as a percentage of courses examined, this result placed the College in 118th position in the state, and among the state’s best performing non-selective boys’ schools. Most graduates of the College achieve beyond expectation when they leave Year 12, which is a testament to their work ethic and the positive relationships with staff, who are highly motivated and industrious.
The College has a strong commitment in responding to the needy with staff and students volunteering regularly to assist at The Matthew Talbot Hostel at Darlinghurst. The College is involved in the Christian Brothers Sports Association, competing weekly in a range of sports each term. The College participates in the CSDA Public Speaking and Debating competitions and excels in both of these extracurricular fields of endeavour.
The College provides a holistic education based on the principles of boys’ education. The young men are encouraged to have positive and healthy relationships with all in the community, and the staff are committed to providing excellent learning and teaching in the formal curriculum, and a diverse range of opportunities in the sporting and cultural fields.
Mr Michael Kelleher