Our Catholic Identity

Our Catholic Identity


Edmund Rice College is part of Edmund Rice Education Australia (EREA), a network of schools and centres offering Catholic education in the Edmund Rice tradition. EREA schools strive to offer a liberating education, based on gospel spirituality, within an inclusive community committed to justice and solidarity.

Liberating Education

We open hearts and minds, through quality teaching and learning experiences, so that through critical reflection and engagement, each person is hope-filled and free to build a better world for all.

Gospel Spirituality

We invite all people into the story of Jesus and strive to make his message of compassion, justice and peace a living reality within our community.

Inclusive Community

Our community is accepting and welcoming, fostering right relationships and committed to the common good.

Justice & Solidarity

We are committed to justice and peace for all, grounded in a spirituality of action and reflection that calls us to stand in solidarity with those who are marginalised and the Earth itself.

Peace “entails a conversion of heart and soul; and it has three inseparable aspects: Peace with oneself, peace with others, and peace with all creation…” (Pope Francis, 2019)

House System

The House Crests tell the story of the school from our Founder Edmund Rice to our present community.

Fortius quo fidelius: Strength through loyalty

Edmund took the religious profession name of Ignatius after his Patron, St Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits. Edmund founded a religious community called the ‘Society of the Presentation’ – later founding the Congregation of Christian Brothers and the Irish Christian Brothers. Our symbols include the Scales, Rope and Pentecost Flame. The colour red symbolizes energy, strength and passion. It signifies a pioneering spirit and leadership qualities, promoting ambition, determination and confidence – to act in truth and love. Ignatius is a House that calls us to contemplation and fidelity to the Gospel.

Deus Lux Mea Est: God is my light

Waterford, Ireland was the economic centre where Edmund Rice began his early adult life. After Edmund’s wife died, he came to rely on family support to care for his daughter. He found his life going in a very different direction: out to help those marginalised in his society. This reminds us that we must look to the signs of the times and follow the light of Christ in our lives wherever we find it. Our symbols include the Lighthouse, Anchor and Celtic Cross. The colour blue symbolizes truth and loyalty. It is also a symbol of the ocean that surrounds both Waterford and Wollongong –important to travel and to ‘finding your way’. Waterford is a House of hope and service.

Vita, Veritas, Victoria: Life, truth, victory

In 1926, the College opened at the top of Crown Lane, Wollongong. With 105 pupils (aged from seven to sixteen years) the school flourished at Crown Lane for almost five decades. Formerly known as Christian Brothers College, the last class at Crown Lane was held in 1974. Our symbols include the Train Track, Crown, Crossed Keys and Open Book. Gold is the colour of success, achievement and triumph. Crown House is guided by the truth, a commitment to liberation and the common good, especially considering the poor.

Semper Fidelis: Always faithful

Br T.A. McMahon was the first Headmaster of Christian Brothers’ College in 1926. This House represents tradition and, above all, faithful service to God’s plan – putting others before self so that we can become men for others. Our symbols include the Celtic Triquetra, Chevron & Lozenges and the Lion. Purple symbolises royalty; it calls us to our most noble ideals. McMahon house is founded on love and a desire to make the world a place where all people can become all that God intends them to be.

Audere est Facere: To dare is to do

Edmund Rice College has been on the site at the base of Mt Keira since 1962, with Br Davy as the first Headmaster. Our symbols include the Mountain, Five Islands & Rainbow Serpent, Cross and Hand. Green is the colour of growth, spring, renewal and rebirth; it represents the natural world, reminding us that all God’s creation flourishes when we become peacemakers and stewards of God’s gifts. Keira is a House of solidarity, seeking to be steadfast and sure so that others can depend on them.

Officium ante Commodum: Service before self

Edmund was the 4th of seven sons of Margaret and Robert Rice who farmed 200 acres called ‘Westcourt’ in Ireland. They hired a religious brother to teach them in secret. The example of the founder of the Presentation Sisters, Nano Nagle, led Edmund to consider the religious life. Our symbols include the Shamrock, Chevron, Sword, Word of God and the Alpha & Omega. The colour white represents purity and peace, characteristics we endeavour to make central in our lives. Rice is a House of faith and inclusion, daring to be open to the calling of the spirit, following the Gospel, wherever it may lead.

Spiritual Formation

“The Church exists to keep alive in people’s heart the memory that God loves them” – Pope Francis, via Twitter Dec 1, 2019

Formation opportunities focus on an ever-deepening understanding of each person as a child of God. Recognising that spiritual and religious formation are critical elements of educating for justice and peace, formation opportunities reflect the EREA Charter and touchstones. Inspired by the Gospel and the tradition of Edmund Rice, our College revolves around a lived experience of practical spirituality enabling our community to live out their faith and beliefs.

Students participate in Reflection Days linked to the Religious Education Curriculum that challenge them to apply what they are learning to life.

Year 7 Cultivating the seeds of goodness
Year 8 Living Respectful Relationships
Year 9 Connecting with the wisdom of Indigenous Cultures
Year 10 Edmund Rice Advocacy (ERA) for Change – Living Solidarity
Year 11 & 12 Becoming a man for others (includes a three-day retreat at the beginning of the HSC Year)

Students light candles in chapel

Communal Worship

Religious Education classes and year groups attend special celebrations, masses and liturgies through the College year. As in the Church, our lives are marked by communal celebrations that are centred around liturgy. As well as the fortnightly Tuesday Assemblies, parents, carers and the wider community are welcome at all community events.

  • Commencement Mass (to mark the start of the school year)
  • Ash Wednesday
  • Easter
  • Anzac Day
  • Founder’s Day
  • NAIDOC Day
  • Year 12 Graduation
  • Year 11 Transition to Leadership
  • Thanksgiving & Advent (at the end of the school year).
  • Diocese of Wollongong