Headmaster's Welcome

Thank you for taking the time to view our website. We have created these pages, not only to provide you with information, but more importantly, to give you an insight into what life at the College would be like for you and your son. I hope that you are able to get a sense of the rich and vibrant learning environment offered here at Marist College Canberra.

There are few responsibilities as central to society as the preparation of young people for a life in today’s world. Two hundred years ago, the founder of the Marist Brothers set that as his core work – in his words, “to produce good Christians and good citizens.”

This remains the goal we set ourselves at Marist College Canberra, a Catholic school for boys from Years 4 to 12. We are proud of our boys’ successes. However, we are interested in much more than worldly success and activities. A Marist education provides boys with a spiritual compass for life. Here, we also strive to form hearts, so boys will know how to seek God, and know how to work in the service of others. We aim to place a certain Marian stamp on the hearts of our boys, so they will know they belong to something much bigger than a school.

With this central focus, the boys’ hearts are naturally at the heart of everything we do. Your son’s time here with us is a journey, based on Catholic values, in the traditions of Marcellin Champagnat.


I invite you to browse our website and Prospectus to get a feel for the diversity of academic, spiritual, cultural and personal development opportunities that our College provides. We are proud of our Marist tradition of hospitality and I extend a warm invitation to you to come and visit us, so we may show you our College and how proud we are to be part of its community.

Matthew Hutchison
Headmaster

Core Values

Faith

As we follow in the footsteps of Saint Marcellin, we strive to give practical expression to our Catholic faith in the evangelisation of young people.

Love

We acknowledge that our love of God calls us to love of self, love of neighbour, love of work, love of learning, and love of our College in the way we take pride in all that we do.

Justice

We strive to see each person as equal in dignity and worthy of respect. We are honest in our relationships with one another, remembering always to act with a spirit of forgiveness and listen carefully to all voices before making decisions. This attitude leads us to reach out to the wider community to those who suffer injustice.

Compassion

We seek to live in solidarity with others, letting our presence be a good example to our students and those with whom we work. We strive to be aware of the suffering of others and respond with sensitivity and respect in times of need. Compassion is a sign of our mateship with those in need.

Hospitality

We seek to be a welcoming school community which is open to others and embraces diversity. Our service to others is an expression of this hospitality.

Mission

We are a Catholic school in the tradition of St Marcellin Champagnat that strives to make Jesus known and loved through forming young men of strong minds and gentle hearts.

Vision

Underpinned by the knowledge we are deeply loved by God, and with Mary as our inspiration and guide, we endeavour to be authentic witnesses to the Gospel who:

  • dare to engage in the spiritual and intellectual adventure before us
  • safeguard all in our care
  • are anchored in authentic presence through communion, Sacrament and prayer
  • are transformative in educating for truth, depth and choice
  • cherish human dignity.


We live this for the Marist graduate who we hope:

  • is restless for God and alert to the Spirit
  • embraces mystery and seeks a deep relationship with Christ is nurtured by contemplation is
  • committed to intellectual rigour, learning and achievement
  • aspires to live in gratitude with joy
  • encounters the daily company of empathy and forgiveness
  • moves towards and accompanies the least, the lost and the lonely
  • is a steward of creation
  • looks to the future with audacity and hope.


"I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly" (John 10:10)

We enable positive learning and well-being environments to ensure boys feel comfortable and are functioning to their potential.

History

The particular flavour and character of Marist schools spring from the Founder of Marist education and of the Marist Brothers, St Marcellin Champagnat.

During his short life (1789-1840) he established 47 schools, and the work he began was continued by his Brothers, who spread to over 50 countries. The first Marist school in Australia began in Sydney in 1872 and others were founded in quick succession in all the mainland States.

The origins of Marist College Canberra are to be found at the Rocks in Sydney.

There in 1875, only three years after the foundation of the first Marist school in Australia, the Brothers began a Select School or High School with Brother Augustine McDonald as its first Principal. Such a school was quite an innovation for those days, when having even primary schooling made one well educated.

In 1887 the secondary school transferred to the eastern side of St Mary’s Cathedral, since this was a more central location and provided more space. By 1910 however, the school premises were run down and this fact and other difficulties led the Brothers to construct new buildings on the heights of Darlinghurst, and “The High School” as it was commonly known, transferred there.

Both at the Cathedral and at Darlinghurst the school flourished. Its students often gained brilliant results in the public examinations and its Old Boys were distinguished in many walks of life. By the 1960s however, demographics threatened the future of the school at Darlinghurst, while at the same time the National Capital was burgeoning and in need of Catholic schools.

So the decision was taken to sell the property and to use the proceeds to transfer the school to Canberra.

Marist College Canberra began in 1968 with primary classes

By 1973 the main secondary building and gymnasium had been completed and the first Marist senior class to complete the full secondary course at the College graduated in 1975. Since that time, the College has grown to be one of the largest schools in the ACT. Not only is it large – it is also one of the most highly regarded and sought after.

With a history of over 120 years, and a local history of 50 years, the College continues to maintain good things from the past, while ever anxious to embrace the new and contemporary.

The College enjoys strong support from its parent body and this support has enabled it to keep abreast of educational developments.

For the first century or so of its existence, most of the teachers were Brothers. The remaining Brothers were farewelled from Marist Canberra by the College community in June 2015 after 47 years presence.

These days, the teaching and care of the students is carried out by dedicated lay people who identify with the educational charism of Marcellin Champagnat and wish to see it preserved and enhanced.

Historical Sexual Abuse at the College

In addition to its many successes, the College has faced substantial challenges over the years, namely the instances of sexual abuse that were revealed through both individual cases and the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. This abuse and the subsequent inadequate response from the Marist Brothers had tragic consequences for victims and their families. Formal apologies on behalf of the Marist Brothers and the College have been made and the strength of our contemporary Child Safeguarding Framework is unrecognisable from those of days gone by. However, our thoughts and our prayers should always remain with those men and their families who were victims, coupled with a fierce determination that failures of the past will never occur again. 

Click here to view more information about the Liturgy of Lament which was held at the College on 10 November 2016. 

Community Principles

As a Catholic learning community illumined by the gospel of Jesus Christ and founded in the Marist traditions of St Marcellin Champagnat, Marist College Canberra strives to bring the Gospels to life through our core values of faith, love, justice, compassion and hospitality. 

As a member of our College community, we expect that in all communications and interactions with, on behalf of or in relation to the College, you will always support our Catholic and Marist ethos. You will uphold these values while treating others with respect, demonstrating and modelling behaviour that promotes and supports positive relationships and wellbeing in our College. Together, we create fine young men.