top of page
WhatsApp Image 2024-04-08 at 15.29.05.jpg


About Australia


Australia is a vast island continent with a rich and diverse history spanning over 60,000 years. The first inhabitants were the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, whose ancient cultures and traditions are among the oldest surviving in the world. European exploration and colonisation began in the 17th century, with the first British penal colony established in 1788 at Sydney. Over the next two centuries, Australia transformed from a harsh penal outpost to a prosperous nation through waves of immigration, the gold rushes, and the federation of its six colonies into the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901. Australia has played a significant role in major global conflicts, including WW II, and has emerged as a multicultural society built on immigration from all corners of the world.





Main Religions

52% Christianity (22% Catholic); No Religion 30%; Non-Christian 8% ; Not stated 9.7%


Time Zone

UTC +12; Summer

(DST) UTC +13



English, 20 First Nations languages, Auslan (sign language)



26 million



7.688 million km²

Arrival of Marists


Number of Marist Brothers Communities  

26 Communities 

Number of Brothers


Marist Schools & location

54 total - First school in1872, St Patrick’s Church Hill in The Rocks area in Sydney.  

The Marist Legacy: From St Patrick's in 1872 to celebrated Australian Colleges Today


The first Marist Brothers to set foot in Australia were Brothers Ludovic Laboureyras, Jarlath Finand, Augustinus McDonald, and Peter Fitzgerald. They came from France to Sydney at the invitation of Archbishop John Bede Polding. On 8 April, 1872, they opened their first school, St Patrick's, at The Rocks in Sydney. 

From these humble beginnings, the Marist Brothers' presence rapidly expanded across the Australian continent. They established schools, retreat houses, camps, and outreach programs, becoming an integral part of Catholic education in Australia. Some of the most well-known Marist schools include Marist College Canberra, Sacred Heart College in Adelaide, and St Joseph's College in Sydney.


Over the past 150 years, the Marists have worked in 20 of the 28 Australian Dioceses, and in every State and Territory, save Tasmania. During this period, administration and governance arrangements have varied. In 1948 the communities and ministries were divided into two Provinces, one based in Melbourne and one in Sydney. In 2012, these were joined to form the second iteration of the Australian Province. 


Currently there are 230 Brothers living in 26 different communities in Australia, with some working in overseas ministries including the General House in Rome, in initial formation of the Brothers’ in Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Timor-Leste or in the special mission in Cambodia established in 1998.




The  leader of the Province is the Provincial, who is appointed by the Superior General, after the Brothers of the Province have been consulted through a ballot called a sondage.


Every three years a special gathering of elected representatives is held. This gathering, called a Provincial Chapter, has the responsibility for reviewing the past three years and setting priorities for the next period. The Chapter also elects the group that assists the Provincial with leadership, called the Provincial Council.


The Marists of Champagnat Star of the Sea Province came into existence on 8 December 2022. It was formed by the reconfiguration of three previous Administrative Units: The District of the Pacific, the District of Melanesia and the Province of Australia.


It is now the newest of the 26 Provinces or Districts that comprise the Marist Brothers. 

















Marist Association of St Marcellin Champagnat


In 2015, the Province established the Marist Association of Marcellin Champagnat. As the name indicates, it is an association of people who share commitment to the Marist tradition of Marcellin and who seek to deepen their spirituality by common endeavour.

The Association provides Marists in particular, with a way of self-identifying and formally belonging as Marists of Champagnat. There are currently over 800 members who meet in nearly 50 Local Groups spread across Australia. The Association is led by a Council selected by Members.


When it was established, the Provincial Council delegated its administrative responsibilities for institutional ministries, particularly Marist Schools Australia, to the Association Council. In January 2022, the Association was incorporated. Every three years the Association convenes a National Assembly to give direction and vision to the life of the movement. The most recent one was held in August 2022.


Australian Marist Ministries


1. Marist Schools Australia (MSA) - was established in 2010 by the Provinces of Melbourne and Sydney to manage and govern Province owned schools and provide direction and formation for all schools in the Marist Tradition. The National Director, three Regional Directors and the Director of Formation oversee the educational mission of 56 Marist Schools across Australia, including 13 Governed Schools. In January 2022, MSA was incorporated, with its own Constitution, Board and Chair. MSA Limited is a subsidiary of the Marist Association.


2. Marist Youth Ministry (MYM) – a National Director and two Regional Coordinators oversee school-based and post-school youth and young adults programs in schools.


3. Marist180 - is another incorporated entity with its own Board and Chair. It grew out of the work at St Vincent’s Boys Home and now provides residential care for young people and a suite of programmes for disadvantaged youth. It operates predominantly within NSW.


4. Australian Marist Solidarity (AMS) - is yet another independent Company. Its primary goal is to financially support Marist overseas development programmes and projects in the Asia-Pacific area.



The Marist Mission and Life Formation (MLF) Team consists of a team of nine, including three Brothers, who provide annual formation programs nationally, including Induction of new staff and leaders, leadership development, spirituality days and live-in retreats at The Hermitage Retreat Centre in Mittagong, NSW, about 1.5 hours south of Sydney.

Marist Presence in Australia

bottom of page