College History - Christian Brothers College

College History

Our boys share a deep sense of purpose and belonging, excitement for what is possible, and are advocates for a compassionate and caring community.
Painting of Blessed Edmund Ignatius Rice

Blessed Edmund Ignatius Rice


As men of the Purple and White, students of Christian Brothers College (CBC) enjoy remarkable opportunities with many alumni achieving significant success in all areas of endeavour. Our students share a legacy that can be traced back to the vision of Blessed Edmund Ignatius Rice, founder of the Christian Brothers in Waterford, Ireland in 1802.

Edmund was a successful merchant and a man of deep faith. Unsettled by the desperate situation of marginalised children in Ireland, Edmund used this wealth to establish his first school in a stable in New Street, Waterford and dedicated himself to providing opportunities to these children through education. Edmund believed through education came liberation and hope – a vision that is lived today through our College’s driving belief: ‘The World Before Us.’ From Edmund’s humble beginnings in the New Street stable, the mission of Edmund Rice has spread to around 560 schools in 25 countries, with 3,000 Brothers working with 7,000 other teachers to educate over 200,000 students. In Australia, this network of schools forms Edmund Rice Education Australia (EREA) of which the College is a proud member.

One of these Christian Brothers, Brother Ambrose Treacy, later was instrumental in the establishment of CBC Wakefield Street in 1878. Through his tireless fundraising efforts for a school to cater for country children, Brother Ambrose and his many passionate supporters laid the foundation for the creation of CBC Wakefield Street. The College has since flourished into three campuses within the beautiful landscape that is the City of Adelaide, educating over 20,000 students during the school’s 140-plus years. Our boys proudly wear their purple – the colour previously reserved for royalty. Purple was chosen for the college by the founders to let our students know that no matter their circumstances, they can wear the colour of kings.

The College has remained at the forefront of providing innovative education for boys with a focus on offering tuition that is meaningful and liberating. Inspired by the EREA Touchstones of Liberating Education, Gospel Spirituality, Inclusive Community, and Justice and Solidarity, CBC delivers a broad curriculum within our supportive environment that is designed to help your son to achieve success both inside and outside the classroom. We celebrate the individual and seek to nurture each child in his pursuit of personal achievement, which looks different in the eyes of each boy, and to find opportunities to develop the confidence he needs for the future.