St Mary’s Cathedral College

The heritage of St Mary’s Cathedral College is among the most rich and diverse of any school in Australia.

The College is one of the few which can boast a tradition based on almost 180 years of excellence in education.

St Mary’s Cathedral College is a Year 3-12 Catholic boys College in the heart of Sydney. Its campus is adjacent to St Mary’s Cathedral. 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. Since 1828, secondary education has been conducted on the same site by four different religious orders. The Christian Brothers’ education of young men 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.

Now as a leading Catholic Systemic College for boys in Years 3 to 12 with choir students also attending in Years 3-6, it offers:

  • A commitment to the wellbeing of the whole person through academic and pastoral care.
  • Academic excellence.
  • A strong emphasis on religious education and Christian service; leading to the fullest possible development of each student.

Unique music program

Of special importance is the music program at the College with more than 300 boys receiving weekly tuition. The younger boys in Years 3-6 are gifted musically with the majority involved in the St Mary’s Cathedral choir.

The Choristers of St Mary’s Cathedral are boys aged 8-14 from different backgrounds and from across the Sydney region who sing the principal services in St Mary’s Cathedral.

Before joining the choir, they have shown an aptitude for and interest in music and singing.

St Mary’s Cathedral College is the only Catholic Cathedral in the southern hemisphere with an on-site choir school and the Choristers play a full part in the College’s many academic, sporting, and extra-curricular activities.

The two Primary classes (Stage 2 Year 3/4 and Stage 3 Year 5/6) learn with an interdisciplinary approach to education where music is interwoven into every aspect of the day-to-day curriculum, nurturing students’ innate talents and deepening their learning experience. Research shows early engagement in musical literacy can have a significant impact on wellbeing and academic growth and achievement. Places are available for all primary students in Years 3 to 6. Students who are gifted at vocal and performing have the opportunity to be a part of one of Sydney’s oldest and most prestigious choirs, the St Mary’s Cathedral Choir. Full academic scholarships are available for those students who successfully audition for the choir.

Boys who join the school as Choristers have an assured place in the Cathedral College until Year 12.

What do Choristers’ parents pay? In return for singing at the Cathedral’s regular services during the week and on Sundays, the Choristers receive full tuition scholarships to the Cathedral’s choir school – St Mary’s Cathedral College.

In addition to the tuition scholarship, Choristers receive weekly individual singing lessons paid for by the Cathedral.

Principal Kerrie McDiarmid says there is a strong commitment in the school community to maintain and enliven the traditions and beliefs of the Christian Brothers in the spirit of the order’s founder, Blessed Edmund Rice.

She says the College has an excellent reputation academically and is among the top performing boys’ Colleges in New South Wales and is among the state’s best performing non-selective boys’ schools.

The College also 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 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.

For further information, visit

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