Our Story – History and Heritage
Bunbury Catholic College (BCC ) is a learning community in the Marist tradition with a rich heritage dating back to 1894.
The Sisters of Mercy arrived from Ireland in 1883 with the resolve to bring Catholic education to girls in the coastal community of Bunbury. The Marist Brothers arrived in Bunbury in 1954 and established St Francis Xavier’s boys’ school. By 1973, the two schools amalgamated to form what is known today as Bunbury Catholic College. To cater for growth in population in the community , the School established a second campus in Australind in 2015. In 2019, the Australind Mercy campus become a standalone college known today as Our Lady of Mercy College with a strong identity linked to the Mercy tradition.
Irish born Catherine McAuley founded the Sisters of Mercy order in 1831. Her simple works of extending help to the poor and needy of Dublin spread rapidly throughout the world with the growth of the Mercy Sisters o rder. In 1883, three Mercy Sisters arrived in Bunbury to pioneer Catholic education and St Joseph’s School was established.
Bunbury Catholic College is part of the Marist Brothers story, which began with our College Patron St Marcellin Champagnat (1788-1840). Ordained as a priest in France in 1816, Marcellin then founded the Marist Brothers to teach and help others, especially the poor.
The Marist Brothers officially opened St Francis Xavier’s College on January 31 1954 under the directorship of Brother Valentine Flynn who was assisted by Brother Martin Munroe. A total of 84 boys were enrolled at the Rodsted Street campus.
Bunbury Catholic College today
In 1972, with the encouragement of the Catholic Community of Bunbury, the then Bishop of Bunbury, Bishop Myles McKeon, took decisive action to amalgamate the Marist Brothers’ St Francis Xavier’s College and the Mercy Sisters’ St Joseph’s School into a co-educational Catholic College.
With a staff of ten religious and nine lay teachers, Bunbury Catholic College opened in February 1973 to cater for the needs of Catholic high school students of Bunbury and environs. To this day, Bunbury Catholic College encourages a love of learning, service to others, a sense of family spirit and personal excellence to guide students on their lifelong journey.
Our College Crest is designed to convey the central place of Christ and the Church in our College Community, with the cross symbolising our challenge to live according to the Gospel. The rising red and green spires reflect the presence of the church and our own aspiration for the higher Good in Life. The ‘M’s making the spires bear witness to our founding teaching orders, the Marist Brothers and the Sisters of Mercy. These symbols are contained within a circle that represents the College’s commitment to educating the whole person .