St Francis Xavier’s College was established in 1985 to serve the Catholic youth of Newcastle and district for the last two years of their secondary schooling. It was seen as a continuation of the Catholic Education system founded in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle more than a hundred years ago.
The establishment of this Senior College was a result of a major restructuring of Catholic schools in the Newcastle area at the time. An essential principle of this restructuring was “to establish a system which would provide equality of access and opportunity for both boys and girls, thereby eliminating some inequality that currently existed throughout the city.”
In deciding for one senior co-educational College, the Bishop and his advisers reasoned that “St Francis Xavier’s College will also be able to offer a wide range of electives and levels, improved class size and maximum use of senior school facilities”.
The choice of the site of Marist Brothers’ High School, Hamilton was greatly influenced by its centrality and accessibility to transport facilities.
1985, the inaugural year of the new College, was a transitional year with co-educational classes in Year 10 as well as in Year 11, and with boys only in Year 12. It was not until the following year that there were only Years 11 and 12 at the College. 1986 saw a total student enrolment of approximately 850. This number has continued to grow steadily so that in 1994 it had an enrolment in excess of 1000 for the first time.
From the beginning there has been an ongoing building program necessitated by an increasing enrolment and a changing school curriculum.
There were also the disastrous effects of the 1989 earthquake in which there was considerable damage to many of the College buildings. It took at least two years to restore some buildings and to replace others completely lost.
It was with great excitement for the College community that the building of this a new hall commenced late in 2004. This facility provided a much needed facility in which a variety of curricular and extra-curricular activities could be undertaken.
More recently the College has see the construction of a complex in which the Hospitality and Food Technology courses could be delivered. This facility also incorporates a cafe which is regularly utilised by staff and students. Currently the school is being updated to meet the needs of students with disabilities.