Our Mission

The Mission of Oakhill College is founded in the Mission of the Institute of the De La Salle Brothers and is most clearly realised in the five core Lasallian Principles which guide every aspect of education at the College - Faith; Quality Education; Respect for all Persons; Inclusive Community; and Concern for the Poor and Social Justice.

Enriched by the core values of Lasallian education, Oakhill College supports students to understand, appreciate and celebrate the Catholic faith and traditions. As a school community, we endeavour to mirror the teachings and principles of Jesus –  honesty, respect, compassion, forgiveness and generosity. They are at the heart of everything we do.

A personal relationship with God, with self, with others and with creation, are central to a Lasallian education. We encourage all students to devote time to reflection and prayer through Tutor Groups, Homeroom and Assemblies and as part of the College’s ceremonial life.

We strive to deepen the spiritual journey at every level of our College community and we offer parents and alumni opportunities to engage in our liturgical program.

The extraordinary story of the Brothers began with the founder John Baptist de La Salle. Born into a life of privilege in Rheims, France, in 1651, the life of this young priest took a series of unexpected turns when he began helping a local teacher run a charity school for the poor. 

He gathered a group of young men to help him provide poor children with a Christian education. He renounced his title and considerable wealth and moved in with these men, to form the community that became known as the Brothers of the Christian Schools. These schoolmasters came to be known as Brothers because they were ‘brotherly’ not only to each other but also older ‘brothers’ to the students whom they taught.

De La Salle’s ‘Christian schools’ were free and open to all, especially the poor. The school’s atmosphere of firmness and kindness instilled a sense of purpose into the lives of young people used to roaming the streets. De La Salle emphasised discipline and order, civility, civics and citizenship in the Lasallian schools both for employment in early industrial France but also for salvation.

De La Salle and his Brothers succeeded in creating a network of quality schools throughout France. In addition, De La Salle developed programs for training lay teachers, Sunday courses for working young men, and one of the first institutions in France for the care of troubled youths. He died on Good Friday at Saint Yon near Rouen on April 7, 1719, only weeks before his sixty-eighth birthday. At the time of his death, there were 100 Brothers in 22 schools, teaching 5,000 students throughout France. Today globally there are over 5,000 Brothers and thousands of Partners in 81 countries in a diverse range of roles. They minister to more than 900,000 young people. Source: www.delasalle.org.au

LA SALLE DISTRICT ANZPPNG

La Salle District of Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan and Papua New Guinea Oakhill College was established by the De La Salle Brothers in 1936.  Oakhill is in the District of the De La Salle Brothers in Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan and Papua New Guinea (ANZPPNG) and forms part of the Pacific Asia Regional Council (PARC) along with the Districts of East Asia, Sri Lanka, India and Vietnam. The International Institute of the De La Salle Brothers (also known as the Brothers of the Christian Schools) is administered by a Superior General and his Central Council in Rome. Countries are formed into administrative Districts and Districts are clustered into Regions.

The De La Salle Brothers have a great history and reputation for quality education in Australia and the Asia Pacific Region. The De La Salle Brother’s first school in Australia was De La Salle College Armidale, NSW, established in 1906. Today there are 18 schools across Australia and over 26 schools, Teacher Training College’s, and various welfare initiatives such as Yourtown and Kids Helpline, in the District of ANZPPNG.

The Lasallian Mission Council is now the incorporated entity that is responsible for conducting and sustaining the District’s mission. The Head of the District is called the Provincial or Brother Visitor. The present Provincial is Br David Hawke fsc. www.delasalle.org.au

Oakhill College History Through the Era's

The purpose of the Institute is to provide a human and Christian education to the young, especially the poor.  

In 1933 the De La Salle Brothers purchased the property on which Oakhill College stands, as a Training College for the Brothers.

Construction began on 20th October 1935 and on Sunday 17th May 1936, the Brothers’ Training College was blessed and opened. Refurbished nearly 70 years later, it now is a heritage-listed building and is called the De La Salle Building. Oakhill College unofficially opened for one term in August 1936 with one teaching Brother (Br Stephen) and four boarders (George & Alex O’Hare, sons of a Leichardt Funeral Director; Pat Leahy, from Bathurst; and Gordon O’Grady from Cronulla).

On 1st February 1937 Oakhill College formally opened. Brother Julian Lennon (Principal and Director) and Brothers Kevin Price and Amedy Molloy formed the first community of Brothers at Oakhill. 

Three rooms, served as classroom spaces for the 20 boarders and ten day students at the College in 1937.

In November 1937, a dormitory was built under the supervision of Br Adrian Fitzgerald (after whom the current Adrian building is named) to double the boarding capacity. The dormitory was officially opened by Sydney Archbishop Michael Kelly on 26th June 1938.

During the war from 1941-1945 part of the College was requisitioned as a temporary hospital by the NSW National Emergency Services, a wartime Civil Defence agency formed to protect civilians against possible attacks from the air.  Senior students were transferred to St Bernard’s College, Katoomba, while the rest of the school continued to function as a Junior Boarding College.

In 1945, after the war, enrolments increased to 45 boarders and 29 day students. The majority of the boarding students came from country NSW or interstate.

Principals: Br Julian Lennon (1937-1938), Br Virgil Hamilton (1939), Br Donatus Slattery (1940, 1948-1950), Br Brendan Carroll (1941-1942), Br Edmund Shanahan (1943-1947)

In 1953 enrolments reached 100 (62 boarders and 38 day students).

On ANZAC day 1954, 2,000 students from De La Salle Schools across Sydney attended the ceremony for the laying of the foundation stone for the Adrian Building, a gathering which marked the start of what later became known as ‘Oakhill Day’, a day of friendly sporting competition among Sydney’s De La Salle schools hosted by Oakhill College.

In February 1956, the Adrian Building was completed and occupied. It had three storeys with a dormitory on the top floor, a chapel on the ground floor, and classrooms on the middle and ground floors.  A stained-glass window from the Adrian Building now graces one of the walls in the College’s new boardroom in the De La Salle Building.

In 1958 Brother Damien Harvey was appointed Director and Principal of Oakhill College and led the College for the next nine years. His vision and eventual accomplishment was to make the school “a first-class school”. In 1959 what is now the Mutien Building was built as a new kitchen and dining room for boarders.

In 1959 and 1960 respectively the Fathers’ Association and Mothers Club were formed.

In 1960 Dr. Peter Day and Francis Sainty became the first lay teachers at the College.

On 28th June 1960, the original Brother’s residence was demolished and a new residence was completed in July 1961 on the site of the Wagan Building. Until it's renaming in 2011, the Wagan Building was affectionately known as ‘The Brothers’ House’. 

The Fathers’ Association began construction of the once renowned and now re-purposed, 25-metre swimming pool. The pool now serves as an underground water tank. 

In 1962 the first College Yearbook was published and the Cadet Unit was formed.

In 1963 enrolments passed the 400 mark.

Between 1963 and 1964 the Liesse and Miguel buildings were constructed. The buildings (regarded then as a single L-shaped building) added much-needed facilities. Mrs Gloria Flynn joins the teaching staff and becomes the first female teacher at Oakhill College.

Principals: Br Benildus de Moulin (1956-1958), Br Damien Harvey (1959-1967), Br Walter Farrell (1968-1973)

In September 1969 construction started on Benildus Hall which was opened on 21st June 1970, and became the venue for the first ever Hills Art Show.

In 1974, because of declining numbers of boarders and rising demand for places from day students, the College ceased to operate as a boarding school. 

In 1975 a new library was completed. Refurbished in 2015 it is now called the ‘Learning Resources Centre’.

By the mid-70s, there were over 800 students at the College and this number was to rise to 1,240 by 1979.

In 1976 the College became co-educational in Years 11 and 12 and welcomed its first intake of 19 female students. In 1977, Judy Sparke became Oakhill College’s first Girls’ Captain.

In 1976 the Pony Club was formed and over time attracted over 100 members.

In 1977 Oakhill College entered the Ku-ring-gai Zone Sports Association and its Rugby Teams won the first, second, and third grade cups but missed a clean sweep by just a one point loss in the fourth grade.

The Library expanded and the area underneath it was converted to Senior classrooms.

On 11th July 1980 eleven debutantes were presented to Bishop Bede Heather in the College’s first-ever Debutante Ball.

In 1982 Brother Conrad Callinan succeeded Br Peter Macintosh as Principal and in 1984 was responsible for overseeing an extensive expansion of the College. The Turon Building was built to provide extra laboratories and classrooms for science classes. The Harvey Building was built and equipped with hand, power and machine tools for Industrial Arts, and the Miguel Lecture Theatre was built as a flexible space for 240 for general teaching, assembly, and audio-visual presentations.

In 1986 Oakhill College celebrated its Golden Jubilee.

On 9th March 1989, the Brother Quentin Building was opened. The building was named in honour of former Principal, Br Quentin O’Halloran, whose vision and initiative were prime drivers for its construction.

Principals: Br Walter Farrell (1968-1973), Br Martin Blattman (1974-1975), Br Peter  McIntosh (1976-1981), Br Conrad Callinan (1982-1984), Br Quentin O’Halloran (1985-1990), Br Rory Higgins (1989-1991).

On 3rd March 1992, the Library reopened after significant renovations and was renamed the P.J. Walsh Library in honour of the College’s long-serving bursar, Mr John Walsh.

In 1994 the First XV, coached by Br Ambrose Payne, defeated the formidable Marist College Canberra and won the Waratah Shield, the Holy Grail of NSW schoolboy rugby. It was sweet revenge for the team’s defeat to the same opponents in the 1993 Grand Final.

On 23rd July 1995, the Solomon Building was opened, more formally known as the Information Technology Building. 

In 1996 the College celebrated its diamond jubilee.

In 1996, Principal, Br Ambrose Payne, established the House-based structure which encouraged sporting and academic competitiveness as well as belonging.

In 1997 cooking and kitchen facilities were built for Hospitality.

In 2000 twenty-six networked computers were installed in a dedicated technology classroom in the Library.

The Brother Ambrose Stand was erected on Damien Oval.

An industrial kitchen was built in the basement of the McIntosh Building in preparation for new NSW Board of Studies courses in Food Technology and Hospitality and to accommodate the increasing popularity of these courses.

On 2nd April 2004 renovations were completed on the iconic De La Salle Building and it was handed over to Oakhill College by the Trustees of the De La Salle Brothers. The De La Salle Building commenced as the Brothers’ Training College in 1936 and later became part of the Australian Catholic University being refurbished with particular attention paid to protecting and preserving the building’s cultural significance and heritage.

In 2005 four tennis courts were built at the northern end of BC Oval and the College farm was completely redeveloped (a large barn; a bigger plot for plants and vegetables; brand new sheep and cattle yards and security fencing). Also, work on Hermann Oval (named after Mr Hermann Fischer who for many years worked at the school as a volunteer farmhand) was completed.

2006 marked two important anniversaries: the 70th anniversary of Oakhill College and the centenary of the De La Salle Brothers in Australia whose first school was opened in Armidale in 1906.

On 27th October 2006, the Centenary Sports Centre was officially opened by former Principal, Br Ambrose Payne. Its two basketball courts, with electronic scoreboards, also provided a very comfortable space for functions and whole College assemblies. A fully-equipped kitchen, gymnasium, heated swimming pool, offices, audio-visual equipment and foyer replete with Oakhill memorabilia are other features of a modern, versatile building which then Principal, Br Chris Gorringe, described as “a testament to the vision and hard work of all those involved in its planning and construction” and says of it that “its name acts as a tribute to the contributions of all staff, parents, students, past students and, of course Brothers who have been involved in Lasallian education in Australia, and especially at Oakhill, during the past 100 years.”

In 2007 Brother Ken Ormerod was appointed Oakhill College’s 18th Principal.

In 2007 the campus was extensively wired, paradoxically, for ‘wireless’ network connectivity, and Interactive Whiteboards were installed in classrooms.

The old 25-metre swimming pool constructed by the Fathers Association in the early 1960’s was covered and, with attendant drainage works, converted to an underground water tank capable of storing up to 700,000 litres of water.

On 1st January 2008 Oakhill College incorporated and became Oakhill College Ltd. The new nine-member Board was chaired by Br John Pill and replaced the former Advisory Board which was formed in 1977. The new Board was vested with the responsibility of governing the College and supporting and promoting it as a Catholic school in the tradition of St John Baptist de La Salle.

In July 2008 the College hosted hundreds of pilgrims mainly from the Pacific Islands during the celebration of the 23rd World Youth Day.

In 2009 for the sixth time in its history the Oakhill College crest was re-designed. 

In September 2010, the Oakhill Cup was inaugurated. This inter-House competition is a pastoral care initiative aimed at recognizing student participation and accomplishment across the spectrum of College life.

Principals: Br Ambrose Payne (1991 – 1998), Br Chris Gorringe (1999-2006), Br Ken Ormerod (2007-2012)

In 2011 Oakhill College celebrated its 75th anniversary. The Founders’ Day mass in the Concert Hall of Sydney Opera was a highlight and offered the College community the perfect setting to thank the Brothers for three-quarters of a century of service and commitment to the Lasallian mission at Oakhill College.

A new Honour Board for Alumni of Distinction was inaugurated as part of Oakhill College’s 75th anniversary celebrations. The Honour Roll acknowledges past and present students who make a significant contribution to the community in areas such as the Arts, Religion, Education, Sport, and Health.

Miguel House won the inaugural Oakhill Cup.

In 2012 Android tablets were pioneered at Oakhill College as 21st Century teaching and learning tools.

In January 2014, the College’s wireless infrastructure was completely overhauled to meet coverage and density requirements of the now thousands of wireless-connected devices on the campus each day.

In Dec 2013-Jan 2014 five new classrooms were built in the undercroft of the Solomon Building.

In December 2013-March 2014 the two bottom floors of the Liesse Building were stripped out and fully renovated.  New offices were built for support staff and a new Sick Bay and Nurse’s station were added. The Wagan Building was also renovated and was occupied by Learning Support, Counselling, and Careers staff.

Mrs Pauline Hunt was appointed as the College’s first onsite registered nurse.

In 2016 Mr Johnathan Byrne was appointed as Acting Principal for 2016. 

In January 2017 Br Steve Hogan was appointed Principal of Oakhill College having completed six years as Principal at the prestigious La Salle College, Hong Kong, and prior to that as Principal of De La Salle College, Mangere, Auckland, New Zealand.

Principals: Br Ken Ormerod (2007-2012), Br Peter Ryan (2013-2015), Mr Jonathan Byrne (Acting 2016), Br Steve Hogan (2017- Present)

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