St Vincent’s College Ashfield will commence in 2023 as a K–12 coeducational Catholic systemic school in the Archdiocese of Sydney. This follows the amalgamation of three Ashfield schools – St Vincent’s Catholic Primary School, Bethlehem College and De La Salle College – providing over 400 years of combined service to Catholic education. The reinvigorated education offering will provide pre to post schooling opportunities to benefit the broader Ashfield community.
Our approach to education is embodied in the College motto ‘Ecclesia in Mundum’ which means ‘Church to the World’. Aligning with the teachings of St Vincent de Paul, the College will form the vision of students who thrive, influence and help create a just and equitable world. The culture, tradition and values of the Vincentians, the Sisters of Charity, and the De La Salle Brothers will continue as we become one faith-filled community. The St Vincent’s graduate will be a global citizen who embraces a Church to the world mission to make a difference in our world.
St Vincent’s College will continue the traditions of the past by placing a strong emphasis on academic achievement and seeking constant improvement in a safe and caring learning environment. The College will offer a broad curriculum and greater choice including areas of specialisation in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, entrepreneurship and global capabilities. It will provide students with opportunities for engaging in a range of learning pathways and partnerships with universities, the corporate sector and not-for-profits. The extensive co-curricular program provides students with opportunities in sport, arts, music, debating, public speaking and a vast range of cultural activities.
St Vincent’s College is first and foremost a Catholic school that has the Gospel at its heart, encouraging students to respond to it with the same faith and generosity expounded by St Vincent de Paul. We practise our faith and strive to live it daily in the way we treat each other, the way we learn and through our social justice programs and outreach service to the community.
St Vincent’s College is a place where all are welcome, valued, known and supported. Our pastoral care for each student is vital in ensuring the wellbeing essential for good learning. As a community, we support one another and nurture growth as we build on each student’s strengths. We aim to foster in our students an empathy with others as well as the self-confidence and drive to transform their world and the world of those around them.
In 2023, Kindergarten to Year 6 will remain unchanged and will operate from its current site. Year 11 and 12 students will continue to have co-educational as well as single-sex classes. Years 7 to 10 will continue in their current class group structure. From January 2024, Year 7 will commence as co-educational, with all K–12 year groups operating as co-educational by January 2027. The College will transition to operate in three sections: Early Years (Kindergarten to Year 4), Middle Years (Years 5 to 8) and Senior Years (Years 9 to 12). St Vincent’s College will be a unique educational model and lighthouse school in the Ashfield community. It will support the needs of the changing inner west community and meet the demand in the area for quality Catholic education for all ages.
We are looking forward to offering families a seamless co-educational experience with reduced transition points across the K–12 learning journey, together with strong partnerships and collaborations with local parish communities.
Let us share with you the lifelong difference that a St Vincent’s College Ashfield education can make to your daughter or son.
Our College St Vincent’s College Ashfield is a Catholic coeducational K-12 school governed by Sydney Catholic Schools. As a community we are called to ‘To Know and Love Christ’ through learning. We are formed by the history and heritage of three Catholic schools: Bethlehem College, De La Salle College and St Vincent’s Catholic Primary School. We draw strength from the spirituality and example of the College founders: Mother Mary Aikenhead (Sisters of Charity), St John Baptist de La Salle (De La Salle Brothers), and St Vincent de Paul (Congregation of the Mission).
Our Prayer We conclude each prayer by seeking the intercession of the College founders: Venerable Mary Aikenhead – Pray for us
St John Baptist de La Salle – Pray for us St Vincent de Paul – Pray for us.
St Vincent’s Parish The Parish of St Vincent de Paul was established in 1894 under the pastoral care of the Congregation of the Mission, known as The Vincentian Priests and Brothers. St Vincent’s is a multicultural parish with parishioners from over 70 countries. Together, the community worships God and experiences the joys of belonging to God’s family. The parish vision states: We the parish community of St Vincent’s, with a genuine sense of belonging, strive to follow the example of Christ and spread the Vincentian spirit throughout the Ashfield district.
Fr Joti Bilowalu CM | Parish Priest
History of the College The College draws upon the rich charisms and traditions of the Sisters of Charity, De La Salle Brothers and Vincentian Fathers. In partnership with lay communities these charisms and traditions have shaped our past and provided a quality Catholic education to the families of Ashfield for more than a century. This proud history provides the foundation and impetus for a shared mission in bringing the message of the Gospel to the St Vincent’s community and beyond.
St Vincent’s Primary School – Vincentian Fathers and Sisters of Charity St Vincent’s school was founded in 1881 by the Sisters of Charity as was known as St Charles’ Primary School. In 1894, the school continued to be administered by the Sisters of Charity but became St Vincent’s Catholic Primary School when the parish was placed in the care of the Vincentian Fathers. This occurred after the original school buildings were destroyed by fire and a new school building was built. This building now serves as the school and parish hall.
The Congregation of the Mission founded in 1625 by St Vincent de Paul was inspired by the love of Jesus Christ for all. Vincentians seek to be compassionate, kind and deeply reverent to all those they serve. With trust in God’s help, they see their work as a continuation of Christ’s own work. Vincentians express their love for God, and for all God’s people, by their hard work seeking to provide those in need with a hand up not a handout. They seek to do this with gentleness and humility, striving to be selfless and genuine, yet passionate about the needs of the poor.
Bethlehem College – Sisters of Charity Bethlehem College was founded on 26 January 1881 by the Sisters of Charity in Goswell Cottage, located at what is now 125-127 Elizabeth Street, Ashfield. In 1882, the high school moved to two cottages in Bland Street and a convent was established.
The charism of the Sisters of Charity is to bring to each person the love, tenderness and concern of Christ for the poor, seeing Christ in everyone we meet. Both the fourth vow and the charism played a central role in the life of Mother Mary Aikenhead. The legacy of her spirit and commitment to the poor has inspired generations of Sisters of Charity as well as many lay people. It has also inspired generations of staff and students from the college as we strive to live out the motto of the college “Este Fideles,” which means “Be Faithful”. At the end of 1991, the Sisters of Charity ended their 110 years of leadership of the school. What was then the Catholic Education System Sydney, appointed the first lay Principal.
De La Salle College – De La Salle Brothers In 1916, the foundation stones were laid for a small school consisting of three classrooms and six De La Salle Brothers, who began their task of educating Catholic boys from the Ashfield parish. By mid-1917, there were one hundred boys enrolled at the college in primary classes, as well as in the first years of secondary school.
Saint John Baptist de La Salle was canonised in 1900 and proclaimed the Patron Saint of Teachers in 1950. Lasallians continue to be inspired by the founder through his innovative pedagogy and spirituality. In the words of our founder, ‘To touch the hearts of the children entrusted to your care is the greatest miracle you can perform and one that God asks of you since this is the purpose of your work.’ The five core principles of Lasallian schools are; faith in the presence of God, a quality education, respect for all persons, concern for the poor, belief in social justice and an inclusive community. At the beginning of 1973 the first lay Principal was appointed at Da La Salle, Ashfield.
OUR MISSION To know and love Christ through Learning.
OUR VISION Forming students who thrive, influence and help create a just and equitable world.
VALUES Truth – seeking to know and live the truth. Curiosity – nurturing the search for meaning. Collaboration – engaging respectfully and meaningfully with others. Excellence – striving to achieve one’s potential. Empathy – appreciating and responding to the views and needs of others.
St Vincent’s College works in partnership with St Vincent’s parish to develop our student’s knowledge and understanding of the Catholic faith. St Vincent’s church is the centre of significant celebrations of the Catholic Church and for our College through participation in the Eucharist for Feast Days and special occasions such as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Regular Mass is held each term where the schools of the Ashfield precinct come together as one community to celebrate their faith.