Aquinas College is the Catholic residential College for tertiary students located in North Adelaide. It was established in 1950 to cater for students from the country areas of South Australia attending the University of Adelaide. Since that time, international and interstate students have joined the College Community and students now also attend the University of South Australia and Flinders University. Today, over two hundred students live at Aquinas College.
The Archbishop of Adelaide invited the Brothers to contribute to Aquinas in 2005, and the next year, three Brothers commenced working and living at the College.
Currently, Brother Paul Gilchrist is the Head of College; Brother John Furlong is Deputy Head; and Brother Jordan Redden provides pastoral support and Marist presence.
An historic cottage on the premises, now known as Marcellin House, is the Brothers’ residence.
The first Australian Brothers arrived in Cambodia in 1995. In 1998, they established The La Valla School, which is the only government approved school providing a full primary education to children with physical disabilities. Extended learning programs are provided in addition to the approved and accelerated curriculum. These include Traditional Khmer Music, English, Elementary Computing, Physical and Hydro-therapy, Sewing and Guitar.
In 2002, Yodifee (which stands for Youth with Disabilities Foundation for Education and Employment) was established to address the needs of the recent La Valla graduates who were struggling to become self-sufficient. Yodifee provides opportunities for secondary and tertiary education, vocational training and employment support to these graduates as well as other members from the disabled community in Cambodia. Villa Maria was built in 2005 to operate as the home for Yodifee students, providing accommodations, transport, education and skill training.
Yodifarm is a division of Yodifee, established to contribute to providing livelihood opportunities for young people with disabilities, enabling them to achieve independence through self-sufficiency. These farms are located in the Battambang and Kampot districts. At Yodifarm, youth with disabilities learn the skills necessary to become farmers, with many of them encouraged to establish their own farms in other areas after their training and become self-sufficient.
At present, there are two Brothers in the Community. They are regularly joined by other people who act as volunteers for various lengths of time.
East Timor Community
In 2000, the Bishop of Bacau, East Timor, invited the Brothers to conduct a Catholic Primary Teacher Training College. This began in 2001 with Brother Mark Paul as the first Director. The ICFP is the only dedicated, internationally organised provider of primary teacher education in East Timor. In 2003 the College accepted its first group of student teachers. Prior to 2000, 90% of teachers were from Indonesia.
The current Community is comprised of four Brothers. Two are involved directly in the Teachers College, with one the Director. Another two are involved in pastoral care and formation of young men who are interested in the Brothers’ lifestyle.
Heidelberg West Community
In 2003, Brother Harry Prout began his association with the Exodus Community, located in Heidelberg West in Victoria. He was the first Marist to become a member of the resident community. In 2013, Brother Barry Lamb joined him. In 2015, a dedicated Marist Community comprised of three Brothers will live and minister in Heidelberg West within the Exodus Community.
La Valla Community Project
The La Valla Community Project is to begin in 2015. It will be made up of three Brothers who will live in western Sydney and work in Western Sydney or the Macarthur region with vulnerable young people in that area.
Ltyentye Apurte (known as Santa Teresa) is an Arrente indigenous community located about 80 kilometres from Alice Springs.
The Brothers first arrived in Alice Springs in 1982 and established the city’s Catholic secondary school, now known as Our Lady of the Sacred Heart College. Soon after arrival, the Brothers were invited to consider establishing a community at Santa Teresa. This they did and since then have been involved in the Catholic School that educates the local children.
In 2015, there are three Brothers in the Community, one of whom is the Principal of the school.
The Marist Brothers purchased a farm on the outskirts of Mittagong in 1905 to serve as their Novitiate – or training house. Over time, two distinct areas were developed. One has been at various times a senior Brothers residence (1906-1916), the Novitiate (1917-1985), the Farmhouse (1986-2005), a place of young adult ministry, and since 2006, La Valla, a place of spiritual formation and conference centre.
The second site has served as the Novitiate (1906-1916), the Juniorate, (1917-1970), a secondary boarding school for boys aspiring to become Brothers, and since 1971, as a Retreat Centre for senior school students. The entire property has reverted to its original name, The Hermitage, given in honour of the Brother’s Mother House near Lyon in France, built by their founder, St. Marcellin Champagnat, in 1824-26.
The Hermitage property is 155 hectares (about 383 acres) and supports 80-100 head of cattle and 13 hectares of grape vines. It is very much a working property as is readily evident to visitors and guests as they make their way from the front gate to the retreat and accommodation facilities.