The House system is a structure that develops relational learning at Christian Brothers College (CBC) and is focused on student wellbeing. Avila, Callan, Nagle, Sion, Treacy, and Waterford Houses are named after significant people and places that are connected with the story of Edmund Rice.
Each House has a crest, colour, motto, and charity. They have House events, and formal and informal functions and are involved in intra and inter-house competitions. Healthy rivalry fuelled by loyalty to House colleagues builds traditions and rituals which support the four College values: Faith, Excellence, Community, and Compassion.
Building on an already strong Pastoral Care program, the House system enables students and Pastoral Care teachers to establish a relationship of trust, support, and friendship. Students remain with this same House for the duration of their time at CBC, ensuring a sense of belonging. A student’s Pastoral Care teacher will be the first and central link to many College activities, events, and communications.
The Pastoral Care teacher provides an environment that nurtures each student to grow into their full potential respecting individuality while at the same time providing a sense of belonging. There are two vertically grouped (Years 7–9) Pastoral Care groups per House in the Middle Years and three vertically grouped (Years 10–12) Pastoral Care groups per House in the Senior Years.
Each individual’s strengths will be valued and used to create bonds with peers of similar ages. The ability to establish cross-age support provides opportunities for students to develop leadership skills and put College policy into action e.g., Anti-bullying, Restorative Justice and Personal Responsibility Policies reinforce a collegiate approach to mutual trust and support between staff, parents, and students by forging lasting and authentic professional relationships. The House system continues to spread the responsibility of building community.
Avila House (Red)
Inspired by Faith
Saint Teresa of Avila was a 16th Century Spanish Carmelite nun. At the age of 20 she fell seriously ill and underwent a religious awakening, and, despite her frail health, initiated the Carmelite Reform, leading the Order’s return to its original austere practices, including poverty and seclusion from the world. She founded a reformed convent of enclosed nuns that focused on encountering God in prayer, and her spiritual writings are still widely read today, among them The Interior Castle (1588). Saint Teresa of Avila is the patron saint of writers. She reminds us of the importance of knowledge in education and faith. Through her teachings, we can learn to strive toward success.
Edmund Rice was inspired in his own spiritual awakening by the practical nature of Teresa’s writing and the manner in which she expressed her spirituality in plain writing. She inspired in Edmund a life of service and love of others for the love of God and neighbour.
The book represents her role as the Patron Saint of Writers, and how she influenced Edmund Rice through her own works.
Callan House (White)
Justice with Courage
The township of Callan is the birthplace of Blessed Edmund Rice. In his early life in the family home, Westcourt, Edmund learned the importance of loving relationships, and growing up in a happy and comfortable home.
As a man of faith, Edmund developed a passion for helping others, as modelled by his mother Margaret Rice, who was also Edmund’s first teacher. She taught him prayers, especially the Rosary. Priests always welcome visitors to the home and anyone who came to the door looking for a meal was brought into the kitchen and fed. It was through this upbringing that Edmund could not help but see the great contrast between the wealth of the rich and the utter destitution of the poor and became committed to putting his faith into action in all that he did.
The set of scales represents justice and a desire to act so that the pillars of injustice crumble.
Nagle House (Yellow)
Shine your Light
Nano Nagle was a role model for the mission of Blessed Edmund Rice and the Christian Brothers. As foundress of the Presentation Sisters, she was from a wealthy Irish family who used her wealth to fund the education of the poor and destitute girls of Cork. Nagle was famous for carrying a lantern through the dark streets which became a symbol of God’s love and provision of hope for all.
Edmund significantly modelled his mission to liberate the poverty-stricken young boys of Waterford on the work of Nagle. When Edmund established his Congregation, he adopted the rules laid down by Nano for the Presentation Sisters.
The lantern represents the light that Nagle carried as a symbol of God’s love and hope.
Sion House (Green)
Faith into Action
Mt Sion was the name of the first school built by Edmund in Waterford. It was opened in 1802 and still stands today on the original site.
As well as classrooms, Edmund constructed space for a baker, cobbler, and tailor, thus ensuring the underprivileged boys of Waterford were provided with food, clothing, and shoes before aiming to educate them. He wanted them to feel valued, welcomed, and as worthy as wealthier children attending the other schools.
The Celtic Triskelion was used by early Christians in Ireland to represent the Holy Trinity. The Celts also used it to represent personal growth and spiritual progress (past-present-future).
Through Wisdom and Strength
Br Patrick Ambrose Treacy was born on 31 August 1834 in Tipperary before starting his teaching in Waterford. Due to his good business and financial sense, he was sent to Melbourne by Edmund Rice and appointed leader of the Australian Mission. He opened 9 schools in 10 years before arriving in Adelaide and purchasing some vacant land on Wakefield Street, where CBC was built through his hard work collecting donations from the community throughout all of South Australia.
Br Treacy was able to set up schools for Catholics, regardless of wealth or standing, which closely aligns with Liberating Education. He arrived penniless from Ireland and through hard work, donations, and financial acumen gave all young men an opportunity to receive an education.
The compass represents Br Treacy’s travel across the world and then within Australia as he established schools.
Waterford House (Blue)
Answer the Call
Waterford House is named in honour of the city of Waterford, Ireland where Edmund Rice was a prominent businessman, arriving in 1779 to be an apprentice in his uncle’s shipping business. Edmund faced tragedy in 1789 with the death of his wife, leaving him to raise his daughter Mary alone. Edmund’s love for his daughter was one of the most significant factors which brought about an entire change in the orientation of his life. He became even more sensitive to the plight of the poor and joined a spiritual association of men in Waterford, and he grew increasingly uneasy with the wealth he was acquiring through his business.
He recognised that education was the key to improving the lives of the poor and he set about using his considerable wealth to create an educational legacy that still exists today.
The ship represents a connection with the port of Waterford. It symbolises a journey where success is established by a unified crew that can achieve far more than the individual members.