Our Story

The Diocese of Parramatta is located in one of the fastest growing areas of New South Wales. The diocese is west of Sydney and reaches from Dundas Valley, west to Katoomba, south to Luddenham, and north to Richmond.

There are 78 Catholic systemic schools in the diocese (56 primary and 22 secondary) and four Catholic Early Learning Centres with a total student population of over 43,000 students. There are also six congregational (independent Catholic) schools in the diocese.


Historical connections

The Diocese of Parramatta has some of the oldest schools in Australia. St Patrick’s at Parramatta and Parramatta Marist College both have links to the very first Catholic school in the colony, established by Fr John Therry in Hunter Street in 1820. St Matthew’s at Windsor, established in 1835, still serves its community. It is the oldest existing Catholic school in Australia.


Early expansion

A growing population saw many schools open in the years before the Second World War. Built and staffed with absolutely no government financial assistance, the schools served Catholic communities in Blacktown, East Granville, Guildford, Katoomba and Castle Hill.


The ‘Baby Boom’ years

Australia’s population grew rapidly in the 1950s and 60s. An ambitious school building program was successfully pursued to cater for new families in many developing areas, including Lalor Park, Seven Hills, Westmead and Kingswood.


Government support

Some financial relief came to Catholic schools in the 1960s with the funding of science and library facilities. However it was the 1970s that brought a new era of Commonwealth funding for all Australian schools, based on the principles of equality and diversity.

Many new schools opened in the decades that followed. These served numerous parishes, including Winston Hills, North Rocks, Kenthurst, Cranebrook and St Clair.


Our newest schools

Tremendous consolidation and growth continued through the 1990s and into the 21st century with new schools being opened at Marayong, Hassall Grove, Glenwood, Schofields, Castle Hill, Glenmore Park, Bligh Park and Kemps Creek. Our newest primary and secondary schools are located at Rouse Hill, Stanhope Gardens and Westmead.

 
   
  
 

News

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  • Season of new growth

    18/7/2017
    Term 3 reflects the seasonal change from July to September, from winter to spring.
  • Santa Sophia school to focus on developing skills key for careers

    13/7/2017
    In keeping with an ever-changing technology-savvy generation, the plan for Catholic Education’s newest school Santa Sophia Catholic College in Box Hill is set to make children ready for the workforce of the future, according to foundation principal Mark De Vries.
  • Life-changing power of education

    6/7/2017
    Stacey Dellow is a big believer in the life-changing power of education, and sees it is a way out for too many Aboriginal people caught in what she describes as the “buffer” zone.
  • Kicking goals, Aboriginal style

    5/7/2017
    Xavier College students celebrated NAIDOC Week by playing a traditional Aboriginal football game that once involved a possum skin and dozens of players.
  • Aunty Marie’s Stolen Generation story touches teachers, students

    4/7/2017
    Aunty Marie shared her emotional Stolen Generation story with St Clare's Catholic High School students in the lead up to NAIDOC week and not only touched the hearts of young people, but teachers, too.
  • Students celebrate NAIDOC week

    3/7/2017
    Students across the Parramatta Diocese celebrated Aboriginal culture by hearing stories from Aboriginal elders, and taking part in special art projects.
  • Ridgy Didge launch to NAIDOC week

    29/6/2017
    Students and teachers in Catholic schools in Sydney’s west launched NAIDOC week by celebrating the rich and dynamic cultures of Aboriginal people.
  • Helping the homeless

    29/6/2017
    More than 100 Catherine McAuley Westmead students recently braved the cold weather and slept outside in effort to highlight the plight of the homeless.
 
   
  
 

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