St Bernard's College, Essendon

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St Bernard's College, Essendon

Principal:  Dr Michael Davies

E No.  E1157

Year Levels:  7 to 12

Phone Number:  9289 1000

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The Christian Brothers Congregation founded St Bernard’s College in 1940. The Brothers had administered St Monica’s Parish Boys’ School from the time St Monica’s, Moonee Ponds, had been separated into boys’ and girls’ streams in 1918. By 1939, the Boys' School offered classes to 350 pupils in Grades 3–10, though numbers tended to reduce after Year 8 when the boys could legally leave school and learn a trade. So St Bernard’s was founded, on the original school site, to provide a Catholic Boys’ School for the region with a deliberate focus on secondary education. Its catchment area stretched from Coburg to Footscray, and from Flemington to Keilor. St Monica’s reverted to being purely a local primary school. The cramped Moonee Ponds site eventually prompted the purchase of the present West Essendon campus in 1953, mainly to allow development of the College’s sporting facilities. By 1963, however, the senior classes moved permanently into a new building at the West Essendon site. The drift to West Essendon continued, and by 1994 all year levels were located at the present site.


St Bernard’s College is a single-gender Catholic secondary school offering a wide range of formal classes, and also a comprehensive informal curriculum, to approximately 1400 young men from Year 7 to Year 12. Students are expected to be personally enthusiastic about involving themselves in the broad spectrum of educational offerings at the school. This applies especially to the students' growth in an informed appreciation of their faith as an integral and essential part of that broad education. Though the student population is drawn mostly from those who have attended local Catholic primary schools, and whose families have been actively supportive of their sons’ ongoing education in the Catholic faith through consistent involvement in their parish communities, consideration is always given to students who can demonstrate special circumstances. There is no selective academic entrance exam. Set in extensive grounds on the side of Steele Creek Valley in West Essendon, the College is administered as two separate campuses – Years 7 to 9 and Years 10 to 12. Both share the same site. This fosters a closer sense of community on each campus.


The school prides itself on:
• Academic excellence as evidenced by the VCE results where St Bernard's students rank among the best of the Catholic Boys colleges.
• A broad curriculum that serves the varying needs of its students, providing apprenticeship and TAFE courses right through to tertiary entrance. This varied curriculum is available at all levels from Year 7 to Year 12.
• Excellence in a broad range of sports. This is supported by an extensive range of facilities including ovals and a new pavilion; all-weather hockey and tennis courts; an indoor heated pool; a double indoor gym; a modern weights room.
• An enviable reputation for Performing Arts based on a series of very successful productions staged in the state-of-the-art College Auditorium.
• A broad range of music bands and ensembles which perform at a very high level.
• An emerging involvement in online education, which is set to include all areas of the curriculum over the coming years.

School location

Address:  41 Rosehill Road
Essendon VIC 3040

Diocese:  Archdiocese of Melbourne

Region:  Northern

Parish:  St John Bosco's