Saint Marcellin Champagnat was a priest who commenced his ministry in La Valla, a tiny hamlet in France.
He had a special love for the poor and underpriviledged and so in 1817 he founded the Little Brothers of Mary, later to become known as the Institute of the Marist Brothers.
On February 26, 1872, four Marist Brothers (Brothers Ludovic Labouyeyras, Jarlath Finand, Augustinus MacDonald and Peter Tennyson) arrived in Sydney on the boat The Macedon. In the same year they opened the first Marist Brothers’school in Australia – St Patrick’s School at The Rocks.
On February 2, 1937, Brother Leopold Smith and three other Marist Brothers – Ervan McDonough, Loyola Sullivan and Kenneth Harris – came to Eastwood and opened St Kevin’s Boys School, with 107 students commencing on the first day. Classes ranged from third class in the primary to fifth year (the Leaving Certificate) in the secondary and by December of that year the number had reached 138. The Wyndham Reforms of the 1960s added a sixth year to secondary schooling, with the result that by 1970 there were more than 900 boys being educated at the school. In line with the Archdiocesan policy the parish took over the education of primary school students in the mid 1980’s.
Over the years the College has undergone a number of name changes from the original St Kevin’s to Marist Brothers’College, and later, in the 1960s Marist Brothers’ High School, Eastwood. On April 2 1993, the name of the school was changed to Marist College Eastwood.
Another significant development was the changeover from Religious to lay teachers and administration, with the College’s first lay Principal appointed in 1987.
From a humble beginning almost 75 years ago in the original four room building, the college now consist of numerous buildings and has an enrolment of over 700 students. During those 75 years or so, over 5,000 students have been educated by the college.