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.
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.
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.
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.