Principal’s Message

“Only by changing education can we change the world” ~ Message of Pope Francis to Educators

Welcome to St Mary’s Cathedral College Sydney, a dual campus coeducational Kindergarten to Year 12 school, located in the heart of the City. We are a high-performing school committed to ensuring that every student reaches their full potential. This commitment is realised through our contemporary Liberal Arts approach to learning.

Our innovative curriculum is designed to challenge and inspire our students, bringing joy to their learning experience.  We adopt a learning focus that allows students to apply their in-school learning to real and authentic situations as independent, creative and critical thinkers.

As a college in the heart of Sydney’s CBD, our students benefit from unparalleled learning opportunities afforded by a global city, regularly attending and exploring cultural institutions including local museums and art galleries, as part of their everyday lessons. 

As a world-class chorister school, we recognise the transformative power of music where our students are given the opportunity to develop both their musical talents and aesthetic appreciation of the Arts to the fullest.  The stunning backdrop of St Mary’s Cathedral serves as a constant source of inspiration, encouraging students to deepen and celebrate their Catholic faith through social outreach activities and a rich prayer life.

Our hope is that for all our students, from those in our Primary Years to those completing Year 12, the journey they undertake here at St Mary’s is one filled with a sense of happiness, hope and excitement. 

We eagerly anticipate welcoming your family to our dynamic community, where together, we’ll embrace the experiences and opportunities available within our vibrant educational environment.

Yours sincerely,

Mrs Kerrie McDiarmid, College Principal

Kerrie McDiarmid


A Catholic school has been a constant presence on the site of St Mary’s Cathedral since 1824. Several religious traditions have led faith and learning on this site. The school was staffed by Benedictine monks from 1824–1882; by Marist Brothers from 1883–1910, assisted by Sisters of Charity (1883–1967); and by the Christian Brothers from 1911 to 2015. Since 2016 the College has been part of Sydney Catholic Schools. 

One of the first priests to the NSW colony, Fr John Therry, established the initial school on the site as an elementary school accommodating both boys and girls. Lay teachers, paid from Government funding, worked alongside the Benedictine Monks until 1882 when Government funding was withdrawn and the Benedictines focused their mission elsewhere. Archbishop Vaughan invited other religious orders to run the school, and the Sisters of Charity and Marist Brothers answered the call, operating a girls and boys elementary schools respectively. In 1887 the initial secondary schools were opened alongside the primary schools. 

In 1910 Cardinal Moran requested of Br Barron, the Christian Brothers’ Provincial, that a group of Christian Brothers begin work at what was then St Mary’s Parochial Primary School. The Brothers expanded the size of the buildings and scope of education. 

The changing nature of education and the altered demography of the Sydney CBD in these decades had an important effect in shaping the school’s population. As the residential population of the CBD declined, enrolments needed to be drawn from a wider geographical area. Christian Brother Gygar (Principal, 1938–1942) established and registered the school as a ‘Cathedral Choir School’, which allowed students to travel free on public transport from outside the city’s centre. This not only solved the problem of declining enrolments but also helped develop the musical character of the education offered at the school. This music focus is best expressed in the annual Cathedral Concerts held in the Sydney Town Hall, and the extensive music programs offered to all students. While the school ceased to admit junior primary students from the mid-1970s, the College’s connection to the Cathedral Choir continued with Years 3-6 primary classes offered for choristers.

The growing population of the school and the challenges of meeting the needs of a diverse curriculum meant that by the 1980s the school’s 1912 building was no longer fit for purpose. Br Hoffman (Principal 1985–2000), supported by then-Archbishop Clancy, made the decision to demolish the existing building, and build a new school on the existing site. During the rebuilding phase (1987-1992), education of the boys continued at Waverton in the refurbished naval storage sheds. In 1992 students and staff returned under the new name of St Mary’s Cathedral College. Young men from Years 3-12 were educated under the stewardship of the Christian Brothers until 2015. In 2016 the College became part of Sydney Catholic Schools, and was led by its first lay Principal, Mr Michael Kelleher, and in 2023 by its first lay female Principal Mrs Kerrie McDiarmid.

The proximity to the Cathedral is more than a geographical significance. Students continue to serve as choristers and scholars, and many students are involved in altar serving and other aspects of the liturgy. The Catholic mission of caring for others is exemplified in the close relationship the College enjoys with the Matthew Talbot Hostel, Woolloomooloo, Plunkett Street Public School, and Vincentian Aged Care Service.


Continue to our history.


Our Mission 

St Mary’s Cathedral College is a community of faith, learning and leadership. We inspire our staff, students and their families through the virtues and values of the Gospels. We take forward over two hundred years of tradition in teaching and learning, centred on knowing and loving Christ on the site of the Cathedral and beyond. Our students actively participate and develop their unique character and sense of service. We achieve this through fostering their spiritual, academic and social values and nurturing their wellbeing. 

Our Vision

St Mary’s Cathedral College espouses the evangelising mission of the Church through collaboration between our parishes and community. The college fosters the spiritual, intellectual, physical and emotional development of the whole person, preparing students for the challenges of today, tomorrow and forever. We are a thriving Catholic Community through excellent teaching and learning.


St Mary’s Cathedral represents the aspirations and achievements of the Roman Catholic Church in Sydney and it provides a welcoming venue of reflection, a sanctuary and a place of worship for members of the diocese and visitors from throughout Australia and the world at large.

The Cathedral is the spiritual home of Sydney’s Catholic community and the seat of the Archbishop of Sydney. It stands on the site of the first Catholic Chapel in Australia.

At its heart the Cathedral Community is a broad gathering of groups that include the Friends of St Mary’s, the Embrace Youth Group, the Music Department, the Bell Ringers, the volunteers and the Cardinal Gilroy Society. Each is integral to the functioning of the church and each has a role to play in delivering an overwhelmingly positive experience for the congregation and visitors.

St Mary’s Cathedral Choir is acknowledged as the oldest musical ensemble in Australia still in operation. With a history dating from 1818, the choir specialises in singing plainchant, Renaissance polyphony by composers such as Palestrina and Victoria, and sacred music by contemporary composers.

The choir provides music at Vespers and Mass in the Cathedral every day except Fridays during term-time, making it one of only two Cathedral choirs in the world to continue such a rhythm of worship. When its busy liturgical schedule permits, St Mary’s Cathedral Choir continues to reach new audiences through recordings, broadcasts, concerts, and tours.

St Mary’s Cathedral
2 St Mary’s Road, Sydney 2000
02 9220 0400

Mass Times

Day Time
Monday to Friday,  1.10pm, 5.30pm / Reconciliation times 12.00pm-1pm, 4.30pm-5.25pm, except public holidays
Saturday 9.00am, 12.00pm, Vigil 6.00pm / Reconciliation times 11.00am-11.55am, 4.30pm-5.30pm
Sunday 7.00am, 9.00am, Solemn Choral Mass 10.30am, 6pm
Public Holidays 9.00am

Evening Vespers

Day Time
Monday to Friday 5.00pm
Saturday 5.30pm
Sunday Choral Vespers and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament 5.00pm

Note: No weekday Vespers and Sunday Benediction during school, public holidays and the month of January.

Proudly Part of the Community of Sydney Catholic Schools

Our school is part of a system of 147 low-fee Catholic schools in the Sydney Archdiocese.

Sydney Catholic Schools are thriving Catholic communities that ignite a love of Christ through excellent teaching and learning to empower students to reach their full potential.