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, 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.
In the 2007 Higher School Certificate (HSC), the College was ranked in the top 126 schools in New South Wales, and is ranked in the Top 12 Catholic Schools in Sydney and in the Top 3 Catholic Schools in the Southern Region.
In August 1951, the Brothers received a letter from Archbishop
O'Brien on behalf of His Eminence 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.
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 - 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.
In 2003, Patrician Brothers' College celebrated it's 50th Golden jubilee year. The celebrations included a Golden Jubilee 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.
In 1993 the Primary section of the College moved across the creek to take up residence at the site then occupied by Our Lady of the Rosary, Primary School. A Brother remained Principal
there until 2003.
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. In 2002 Michael Krawec, a person with many years of association with the Brothers, became Principal.
Finally, at the end of 2006, Patrician Brothers' Primary, consisting of Years 5 and 6 was closed down and the grounds handed over to the local parish primary - Our Lady of The Rosary, Fairfield to use. Patrician Brothers' Primary was the last primary school to close which was affiliated with the Patrician Brothers.
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
(officially, a geographical region in South-West Sydney that comprises 16 Sydney Archdiocese parishes) with the WYD Cross and Icon for the day of 2 July 2007
. The WYD Cross and Icon was present at Patrician Brothers College for three hours that day for public veneration, which was attended by 5,000 people.
Patrician Bicentenary Celebrations
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 the 17th of 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 at Acer Arena with musical performances from all the patrician colleges.
||Brother Peter Johnson f.s.p. |
||Brother Alyosius Delany f.s.p. |
||Brother Baptist Stenning |
||Brother Charles Barry f.s.p. |
||Brother Angeus Kavanagh f.s.p. |
||Brother Christopher Finucane f.s.p. |
||Brother Mark Ryan f.s.p. |
||Brother Bernard Bulfin f.s.p. |
||Mr Michael Krawec |
||Mr Wayne Marshall (Acting) |
||Mr John Killeen |
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.
During 2007, Mr. Michael Krawec, was appointed to the Catholic Education Office, leaving Mr. Wayne Marshall and Mr. Daniel McInerny to take over - until Mr. John Killeen was appointed as principal for 2008.
Patrician Brothers' College spent six years and $14m redeveloping and rebuilding classrooms, Jubilee Hall, music, IT, visual arts, science, administration, technology and applied studies centres and the college chapel.
Brother Richard Doheny stand
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Brother Richard Doheny's service to the College, the students walk-a-thon donations have been committed to the construction of the Brother Richard Doheny Grand Stand which will be located on the ovals. Construction for the stand begins in October 2007 and is due for completion by February 2008.
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.
As part of new principal Mr John Killeen's vision for the future, 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 Governments 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. 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 throughout their remaining time at the College.
To facilitate this rollout scheme, the College's wireless WiFi network is currently undergoing development with a $40 000 project seeing new wireless access points being installed and Intranet capabilities being expanded. Electrical infrastructure in the Colleges Year 9 and 10 block has also been upgraded.
Gifted and talented
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)
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.
The 2007 Mock trial
team was the most successful in the Patrician Brothers' College, Fairfield history. The team won the Sydney regional competition, against schools such as The King's School
and Penrith High School
. The team managed to reach the final four only to be controversially beaten by Sacred Heart Cootamundra
by a one point deficit.
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.
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.
Some notable Patrician Brothers' College Old Boys include: