It gives me great pleasure to introduce you to St John Bosco College Engadine. As the principal of St John Bosco, I want to see all students develop the confidence to grow. I want them to feel a sense of belonging and feel known. We are grounded in the Catholic traditions and values of the Salesians, underpinned by a belief that ‘education is a matter of the heart’.
St John Bosco College is one of eleven secondary Salesian schools across the Australia-Pacific region that celebrate our Salesian heritage. Joining a network that expands around the world, we are part of a global community that provides support and opportunity to our students and teachers.
Every Salesian school strives to be:
A home that welcomes
A parish that evangelises
A school that prepares for life
A playground where friends meet and enjoy themselves.
The college exists to provide a coeducational learning environment for Year 7 to Year 12 students. We strive to animate our delivery of learning, teaching and wellbeing, as one which is innovative and creative, underpinned by contemporary and relevant pedagogy.
The college has a reputation for excellence. During your time at St John Bosco your daughter or son will experience a range of spiritual, pastoral, curricular, and co-curricular programs designed to meet their learning needs.
Our role as a school community is to work in partnership in the formation of resilient and confident young women and men of faith, who have the courage to be themselves and are equipped to be discerning and caring members of the wider community. We aim to be a college ‘that prepares for life’.
I am delighted you are considering St John Bosco College as the school for your child.
St John Bosco College is a coeducational secondary school which operates in the traditions of Don Bosco. Today, we have a student population of over 900 students from Years 7–12 being educated in the Salesian Tradition from the nearby Engadine, Heathcote and Helensburgh areas.
Founded in 1978 as St John Bosco High School for Years 7–10, the school changed its name to St John Bosco College and extended its enrolment to incorporate Years 11–12 students in 1998.
As the college has grown, building projects in 2002, 2006 and, most recently, the addition of a new TAS block, Multipurpose Hall and Fitness Centre in 2016, have helped to maintain the modern aesthetic and the positive community environment.
In 2010, after 31 years of Salesian principal-priests, Mr Damien Carlton, the first lay principal of St John Bosco College, was appointed, and served in the role between 2010–2020. Jenny Fowler, the college’s current principal began her stewardship in 2021.
For the majority of its history, the college has been a five stream school. In more recent years, the college’s strong reputation in the community has seen demand for enrolments increase the college size to six streams and, in years of high demand, seven streams. Throughout the years. the college has diversified its curriculum to include a wide range of innovative programs for its students.
St John Bosco College was founded by the Salesians of St John Bosco and is imbued with the spirit of his teachings and practices. Don Bosco believed that “it is not enough to love the young; they must know that they are loved.” This practical expression of love was demonstrated in the ability to understand young people, to communicate with them and enter into their world to better know their values and to appreciate them. Don Bosco believed in a Preventive System of Education based on three pillars: Reason, Religion, and Loving–Kindness.
Reason emphasises the basic human values of freedom and dignity of the individual, the primacy of conscience, the goodness of creation and culture, and the worth of work and social living. The whole human person is enhanced and brought to life through the education that they receive, where the educator leads them to a greater and more mature appreciation of human and Christian values.
Religion indicates that Don Bosco’s pedagogical approach emerges from, and is oriented towards, a relationship with God. He believed that humans could not reach their fulfilment without a lived and lively faith in the God of Jesus Christ. For Don Bosco, this was through a living faith rooted in the reality of the presence of God in the world. His educational activities were not restricted to religious education classes and active moral formation. He believed holiness was an ordinary part of life and the pursuit of holiness was carried out as part of one’s normal activities.
Loving-kindness is a daily attitude of love that has the good of the other at heart and which works so that the students realise their potential with growing independence. This is not just an attitude of shallow niceness. Real love challenges. It calls for a genuine availability to the young, a deep empathy with them, the openness to enter into relationship with them, the ability to dialogue with them and the willingness to share their lives. Loving-kindness also implies much about the atmosphere in which education occurs. It is an environment of love, where human values are genuinely respected and promoted and where there is an openness to the spiritual dimension of life. It is an atmosphere marked by a “family spirit” in which there is mutuality in human relationships and a full range of joyful and stimulating educational activities. It requires a deep knowledge and understanding of young people – on an individual and personal level as well as collectively. It implies being attentive to their ideals, hopes and aspirations, their fears and anxieties. It means being able to discern their needs and the means by which they can make a meaningful contribution to the school and wider community.
Our college is a proud and important component of the parish of St John Bosco, Engadine. The college was established through the vision and dedication of the Salesian Religious and parishioners in Engadine.
The Rector of the Salesian Community, Fr Peter Hoang, is also our college chaplain. He provides ongoing sacramental opportunities, including the weekly Wednesday morning Mass, for staff and students, and contributes significantly to the delivery of Religious Education and Retreat programs.
The parish priest, Fr Michael Court, works closely with the college to ensure that all members of the community have access to faith formation opportunities, and that the strong bond between parish and college is maintained and enhanced.
The parish pastoral associate, Mr Matt Humphreys, is an integral component of the relationship between college and parish. He supports student evangelisation programs and contributes to the organisation of college events and joint parish/college events.
The Salesian charism provides an indelible link between the college and the parish.
Further information about the parish of St John Bosco can be found at www.bosco.org.au
The college is also part of the wider Salesian Community of Engadine, with close links to: