Beyond the Classroom - Christian Brothers College

Beyond the Classroom

Vietnam Pilgrimage

‘We need the poor to evangelise us, to show us this new face of Christ’ – Br Philip Pinto cfc

The Year 11 students at Christian Brothers College (CBC) have the opportunity to participate annually in a pilgrimage to Vietnam with St Mary’s College. The pilgrimage challenges our students to live out the EREA touchstone ‘Justice and Solidarity’ where 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.

Since 2005, CBC and St. Mary’s College students have combined to participate in a Pilgrimage to Vietnam.

The primary focus of the Vietnam Pilgrimage is on giving service and working with orphaned, disabled children in the Phu My Orphanage in the Thi Nghe District, Saigon. The Orphanage was founded in 1875 and is operated by the Sisters of St Paul de Charters where they provide care for over 300 young people ranging from 2 to 21 years of age. The children have a range of physical and intellectual disabilities and over 160 of these children are bedridden. While at the Orphanage, students participate in a range of activities and are immersed in the day-to-day operation of the Orphanage.

The Pilgrimage Vision:

  • A journey of mission – where we provide service to those in need… a giving of one’s self to others.
  • A journey of immersion – where we immerse ourselves in the vibrant and diverse culture of Vietnam.
  • A journey of self-discovery – where we, as individuals and a group discover strengths, limitations, and goodwill.

Philippines Pilgrimage

‘Our first task in approaching another people, another culture, and another religion is to take off our shoes, as the place we are approaching is holy: else we may find ourselves treading on someone’s dreams. More serious still, we may forget that God was there before our arrival.’ – Max Warren, Maryknoll 1987


‘So I ask myself what is my role as a disciple of Jesus of Nazareth and a Leader in the tradition of Blessed Edmund, I come back to one key question.

What separates me from others?
When we are taught, and even worse, come to believe that safety lies always with sameness, then differences of any kind can appear as a threat. But when we choose to really love, we actually choose to move against fear, against alienation and against separation. Ultimately the choice to love is the choice to connect – to find parts of ourselves that also lie within the “other’.

‘The difference between the stranger and a friend is merely a story’. – Br Philip Pinto cfc, Congregational Leader, Brisbane 2008

The College provides an opportunity annually for students in Year 11 students to participate in immersion to the Philippines. The immersion supports the mission of the Christian Brothers in the Oceania Province through the Edmund Rice Foundation. The students work collaboratively with the Brothers in the Diocese of Kabankalan, on the island of Negros which is situated 500 kms south of Manila and with two parishes in Manila – Santo Nino Parish and St John of the Cross, Bagong Silang, Caloocan City.

This immersion commenced in 2008 and is a true immersion into the culture and spirit of the Filipino people. All students live in a local village and attend a local Catholic School which includes San Blas Academy – Payao and San Ramon Catholic School – Su-ay. They also engage with Christian Brother led initiatives including the Anawim Foundation, a centre for the hearing impaired.
Most schools were built by the Columban Fathers in the 1950s and money raised by the students assist in further development of the schools, purchasing resources and supporting students to attend further study at university.

Students have a ‘buddy’ in each school who looks after them and integrates them into the culture of local village life. Furthermore, while in Manila, the students engage with the street kids, three orphanages, families at margins, an aged care facility and the deaf students at Anawim. In addition, they live with their host Filipino parents who have affiliations to the parishes and do volunteer work in a feeding program at the parishes.

China Study Tour

‘If language is not correct, then what is said is not what is meant; if what is said is not what is meant, then what must be done remains undone; if this remains undone, morals and art will deteriorate; if justice goes astray, the people will stand about in helpless confusion. Hence there must be no arbitrariness in what is said. This matters above everything’ – Confucius

Students at CBC in Years 10, 11 and 12 will have the opportunity to participate in the College’s biennial study tour to China.
The study tour is a combination of school visits and cultural activities designed to further develop students’ awareness of Asia and promote Asia Literacy among our community.
The first 10-day tour was established in 2012 with the assistance of the Confucius Institute. During the 10-day in-country experience, students travelled to the most iconic locations: Shanghai, Qufu, Tai’an, Jinan and Beijing.

Highlights of the tour included:

  • Visits to Chinese schools;

  • Number 8 Middle School (Shanghai)

  • Number 1 Middle School (Licheng District)

  • Middle School, Shandong University (Shandong)

  • Guided tour of Ancient Town of Zhouzhuang (traditional water village)

  • Guided tour of World Heritage Cemetery of Confucius

  • Climb one of the five holy mountains-Tai Shan

  • Hand on experience at the traditional Cultural Research base at Shandong University

  • Shop in the friendly local markets

  • Visit to Tiananmen Square and guided tour of Temple of Heaven

  • Visit and guided tour of the Great Wall.

Italy Study Tour

‘If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.’ – Nelson Mandela

Students at CBC who choose to study Italian in Years 10 and 11 will have the opportunity to participate in the College’s biennial study tour to Italy.
The tour is a combination of formal Italian lessons and cultural activities designed to provide students with an authentic setting for which to learn Italian and essentially ‘bring the Italian classroom to life’.
Highlights of the tour included:
  • Two week home stay and attendance at the local school

  • Visit and guided tours in Venice, Milan, Florence, Siena and Rome

  • Visit to the Sforza Castle and ‘La Scala’, Milan’s world acclaimed Opera House

  • Entrance and panoramic views from the roof top of Milan’s Duomo

  • Visits to Piazza San Marco and La Basilica di San Marco, Venice

  • Visits to Piazza della Signoria and il Ponte Vecchio, Florence

  • Guided tour of Rome with visits to the Trevi Fountain and the Colosseum.

The Duke of Edinburgh

The Duke of Edinburgh Awards are an interdisciplinary program to gain status and recognition for the many activities CBC students do outside the classroom. The College is an exponent of the Online Record Book system and students are set up with a personalised website to record their activity to accomplish the Award.
This internationally recognised award is highly valued by employers and community agencies world wide and is comprised of four sections which are undertaken with the assistance of the College, Year Level Coordinators, Home Room Teachers and importantly Family and Community resources. It is to be completed over Years 9 & 10. The Award has three levels and time commitment increases as the Award Level progresses.
  3. GOLD
Which have differing lengths of time commitment but the same structure as the Bronze Award. Many students continue on to the higher levels on a voluntary basis, but the Bronze is regarded as necessary to be completed at the College. The Award also attracts SACE points at each level of completion so it is of even further value to the students, gaining academic reward for extracurricular effort which is normally not recognised.

Award Sections

Service: School Charity Activities (9) / Christian Service Learning (10)
  • 3 months commitment
Skill: Any skill but not a subject completed as part of regular classes.
  • Minimum 3 or 6 months with regular commitment
Physical Recreation: Any sport or recreational activity.
  • 3 or 6 months commitment
Note: For Skill and Physical Recreation, the participant must complete a 6 month commitment in either and 3 months in the other.
Expedition Journey
  • Year 9 Adventure Camp
  • Qualifying Year 10 Expedition
If you have any queries please contact Mr Scott McGregor, Duke of Edinburgh Coordinator at

Visit our community.

We warmly invite you to join us on our Principal's Tour, where our dedicated staff and Student Leaders will guide you in small groups. It's an excellent opportunity to witness our school in action and experience our vibrant community firsthand.