Southern Cross Catholic Vocational College in Burwood is a unique cross between a school and a TAFE college. The college was founded in 2010 on the site of the former Christian Brothers College Burwood, which catered for boys from Years 7-10.
In 2010 the Rudd government was offering funding for schools to set up trade training centres.
Schools in the Sydney diocese had the ground breaking idea of applying for funding en masse. The successful bid resulted in an $11 million federal grant to set up a unique trade centre catering for senior students seeking an applied learning pathway.
The Sydney CEO had done research which showed it was losing a lot of students to TAFE colleges at the end of Year 10. Southern Cross takes students from the catchment post Year 10. It also provides external studies for students from other colleges that come in once a week. All up about 500 students attend the college.
Principal Patrick O’Reilly said the initial $11 million grant, backed with money from the Sydney CEO, enabled the college to be set up to offer its vast range of courses, including automotive, hairdressing, construction, retail services, fitness, IDT, business, music industry, entertainment, hospitality, health and many more.
Charles Sturt University partnered with the college in its early years and advised how to deliver vocational education.