Welcome to the St Patrick’s College Sutherland’s website and welcome to our college.
St Patrick’s College has an established reputation for providing a dynamic educational foundation for life, in addition to maintaining our commitment to a Christ-centred approach to learning. We are proud of our Catholic heritage and proud of the transformation of the college into a 21st century co-educational school meeting the demands of academic and vocational expectations.
Our Catholic ethos of service, compassion and faithfulness connects our mission of instilling and supporting student passion and integrity. We create a safe environment that helps all our students learn and succeed.
St Patrick’s College is blessed by the exceptional quality of staff, creating a genuine sense of community amongst teachers, students and parents. The broad range of opportunities offered in the college, including university and vocational pathways, cater for the diverse interests, needs and abilities of our students.
We value our families and encourage parents to become an integral part of our college community so as to contribute to the development of their son’s or daughter’s individual goals in supporting them to fulfil their academic and co-curricular aspirations. We encourage all our students to develop high expectations in regard to themselves, their work and their behaviour.
In a modern society that rewards perseverance and initiative our students leave well prepared for tertiary education, vocational training or employment. We are proud of the significant accomplishments and the results our college achieves.
I warmly welcome you and I am sure that you will appreciate the dynamic and caring culture that is so much a part of our wonderful college.
St Patrick’s College Sutherland is a Catholic co-educational secondary school, operated by Sydney Catholic Schools, that has a long and interesting history in the Shire reaching back to 1924.
It was then that the Three Sisters of Mercy opened a church-school, known as St Patrick’s School, in Robertson Street with 26 primary students.
In 1928 the school moved to Belmont Street where the present church hall is located, and the Mercy Sisters reluctantly withdrew in 1950 because of expanded commitments in the Sutherland Shire. The Presentation Sisters from Wagga replaced them, and in 1953 St Patrick’s expanded with a secondary department for girls. The school was renamed to Mary Immaculate College in 1959.
On the other side of Belmont Street in 1956, the Christian Brothers founded St Patrick’s Christian Brothers’ College, a school for boys in Years 7 to 12.
Both schools expanded rapidly in the 1960s, and by 1975 Years 11 and 12 began to operate as a fully co-educational group in order to extend the curriculum opportunities for senior classes. Pressure at Mary Immaculate College was relieved when primary classes were finally phased out in 1977.
The year 1985 saw the first step towards the amalgamation of the two colleges, under the name of St Patrick’s College, which was one of the first to be attempted in the Archdiocese of Sydney, and was a long, challenging process which took until 1992 to complete.
Mrs Dianne Kennedy was appointed the first lay principal in 1994.
A long tradition of education has been fostered and there has always been the promotion of quality learning, fidelity to the Gospel, academic excellence and an orientation to the service of young people and their families.
St Patrick’s College Sutherland is influenced by the charism of both Nano Nagle and Edmund Rice, the founders of the Presentation Sisters and the Christian Brothers.
Nano Nagle, Foundress of the Presentation Sisters
Nano Nagle (1718–1784) was educated in Europe, but on returning to her native Ireland, she was confronted by people deprived of culture, religion, education and livelihood because of the penal laws imposed by England in 18th century Ireland.
Nagle’s life of prayer, concern for her people, and courage and perseverance inspired her to establish schools and support other works of charity, and at the age of 57 she established the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (the Presentation Sisters), insisting that the sisters serve those who were poor in their own community.
In 1874 the Presentation Sisters answered the call from the town of Wagga Wagga to meet the needs of the Catholic Church in Australia which was struggling to provide its people with an education while at the same time nurturing their faith in a secular society. From Wagga Wagga, the sisters established other foundations including convents in Sydney.
Blessed Edmund Ignatius Rice, Founder of the Christian Brothers
Edmund Rice (1762–1844) was also born in Ireland during ‘penal times’, but was fortunate as a Catholic to be educated. In 1789 his wife died after giving birth to a disabled daughter, which led to the deepening of his spirituality and his concern and care for the poor of those around him.
Rice established a night school for local uneducated boys, and soon a religious order was established. By 1825 Rice and 30 Christian Brothers were educating, free of charge 5500 boys in 12 different towns and cities.
The first group of Christian Brothers to arrive in Australia came in 1843 but, as they were unwilling to separate from their Superior General in Ireland, they returned in 1847. The Christian Brothers, however, came back to Australia in 1868, the year of cessation of transportation of convicts and commenced a school in Fitzroy in 1869. From here there was an extraordinary growth across Australia as the Brothers adapted to conditions in the colonies.
Our motto, ‘Seek Wisdom in Christ’ was inspired by a student in 1987 when the school first became ‘St Patrick’s College’. It captures the philosophy that has always directed and encouraged the students and staff of St Patrick’s College Sutherland.
Inspired by the commitment of Nano Nagle and Blessed Edmund Rice to justice, compassion and hope, we ‘Seek Wisdom in Christ’ through:
engaging and challenging students in a dynamic educational process that recognises their uniqueness and inspires in them a love of lifelong learning
respecting the dignity and worth of each student within a caring and supportive environment
developing an open and inclusive college community that values and sustains all relationships between its members and with the wider community
deepening students’ understanding of Jesus and his message.
As a school community we value:
the dignity and sacredness of the human person
an education in faith and spiritual growth of our students
the call to an active and compassionate role in social justice
the provision of opportunities for students in all aspects of learning
our history and tradition.
The wellbeing of our students is our highest priority at St Patrick’s College Sutherland. We pride ourselves on our nurturing a learning environment where each student’s academic, spiritual, physical and social potential may be realised. The college is fortunate to be a part of the St Patrick’s Sutherland Parish and is blessed to share the same grounds as the Parish and the Primary School’ which allows us to build a strong faith community.
Liturgies held within St Patrick’s Church, provide wonderful occasions to celebrate and reflect on God’s great love for us. We celebrate Mass every Thursday morning for nominated classes, students and staff and join students from the Primary school to give authentic Witness to this great Eucharistic community.