Southern Cross Catholic College Burwood is an innovative Catholic co-educational secondary college with a difference.
Students attending the college combine rigorous campus-based learning with real-life, work-based learning – we like to think of as the ‘Southern Cross Advantage’.
The ‘Southern Cross Advantage’ allows students to combine studies for senior school qualifications with higher level national qualifications at Certificate II and Certificate III level. Southern Cross students graduate work-ready and with dual qualifications.
The college provides quality applied learning pathways in first class facilities. The focus on applied learning – allowing students to learn by doing – is supported by the college’s enterprise department and extensive affiliations with business and industry partners. Our college graduates have been regular finalists and winners of Australian and NSW Training Awards.
The integration of campus-based and work-based learning provides an ideal opportunity for students to flourish and develop valuable employability skills, whilst also encouraging an individual’s creativity and passion for Music, Dance, Drama or Musical Theatre through the Performing Arts specialisation.
Southern Cross is a unique and special place for young adults to learn and grow. Learning is personalised and supported by mentors, expert performing arts professionals and specialist learning facilitators.
The Innovation and Enterprise specialisation provides a special focus on employability by providing a wide range of available traineeships and apprenticeships where students are able to fast-track their training into a career.
Most importantly, as the name suggests, Southern Cross is a Catholic college. It seeks to educate young men and young women in a respectful Catholic environment. This is the dimension of the Southern Cross advantage that ensures graduates are not only well-qualified, but encourages them to be the very best young men and women that they can be.
If you would like to know more about the Southern Cross advantage or you’re ready to take the first step in an innovative pathway for applied learning, do not hesitate to contact the college.
History Although Southern Cross Catholic College Burwood (SCCC) is newly formed, it is situated on historically rich ground. In 1888, Michael Sheppard built and named his home, Kassala. Born in Limerick, Ireland, he was educated in Dublin and came to Australia in 1880. Kassala became a busy home for the growing family hosting many social events. In 1914, his daughter Elsie Sheppard married Lieutenant Sydney Cook, the eldest son of Joseph Cook, who had been the sixth Prime Minister of Australia in 1913.
To the west of Kassala were three acres of land on the corner of Comer Street and Britannia Avenue, owned by Dean McCarthy. Upon his death, he left the land to St Mary’s Concord Parish to build a school for boys. Opened in August 1909, the Christian Brothers took up the work of teaching in 1910.
St Mary’s Parish acquired Kassala in 1924, and it became the home for the Christian Brothers who taught at the school. Christian Brothers’ College Burwood continued until closing in 2010, its centenary year.
In 2008, the Sydney Catholic Schools were successful in receiving The Australian Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) funding. With this funding, the first round of Trade Training Centres (TTC) in schools came about, starting with a vocationally focused senior secondary college at Burwood.
With the appointment of its inaugural principal, Mr Patrick O’Reilly (2010 – 2019) Southern Cross Catholic College was founded in 2010 for this purpose.
While the college is a beacon of all that is innovative and forward thinking, we appreciate the intrinsic heritage in the bricks and mortar of Kassala for what it represents: a strong and evocative link with Burwood’s and Christian Brothers’ college’s past.
Mary Help of Christians is the patron saint of SCCC. Catholics have always had a strong devotion to Mary. It is recorded that when there were no priests in colonial Australia, Catholics prayed to Mary to nurture their faith. One of the first priests, Father Therry, dedicated the Australian Church to Mary under the title “Help of Christians”. In his teachings, Pope Francis sums up Mary’s attitude to life with three words: listening, decision and action when recalling that Mary faced her life’s journey with great realism, humanity and practicality.