The Southern Cross The Southern Cross

Read the latest edition. Latest edition

All roads lead to CBC


Relocating to South Australia after 25 years working in Queensland education, Christian Brothers College’s new principal, David Johnston, is quick to list the many reasons why he already loves Adelaide, and the advantages of a city-based school. 

Comments Print article

“I really think the college is a well-kept secret,” David told The Southern Cross a couple of weeks into his new role.

“It’s a boutique boys’ school – we’re never going to have more than 1000 students over both campuses so the boys are always going to get that one-on-one care.

“And all roads lead to the city. There are a lot of advantages here as we get to use the city as our classroom, we have the unique playing field on the roof and our ovals are just down the road.

“Academically we are doing really well and last year’s SACE results were even better than in 2021. The work the learning and teaching staff are doing here is just fantastic and the pastoral care is second to none.”

Taking over from Daniel Lynch, who is the new principal of Sacred Heart College, David had visited CBC on a couple of occasions prior to his appointment but it was the first time in Adelaide for his wife Deanne and son Cooper, 17. They spent some weeks over the summer here and will relocate permanently at the end of the year after Cooper has completed Year 12 in Brisbane.

For David, living in the CBD means he is not only close to his workplace but also many of the sporting events Adelaide has to offer.

“I’m living in the centre of the city so I am walking to the cricket, walking to the tennis, walking to the cycling. It’s just spectacular,” he said.

“I love Adelaide – it’s a beautiful city. It has a nice gentle feel to it and reminds me of Canberra (where he grew up) because it is well planned and has the convenience of everything.”

The self-confessed sports fanatic – who has run 17 marathons, 30 half marathons, played cricket and touch football – is keen to ramp up the sport offerings at CBC.

He’s already teaching a couple of PE lessons to support the touch football program and hopes there will be some significant additions to the soccer program that will make it a School of Excellence in the sport.

On the academic side, he is “super impressed” with the Homework Club that runs after school, not only with the uptake of students but the willingness of old scholars to return as tutors.

Coming from a “big Catholic family”, with four siblings and 36 cousins, David said his faith had always been a guiding light in his life and he was enjoying being part of the Cathedral parish community.

He hopes to instil in his students the importance of following their own faith journey and embracing the Edmund Rice tradition of a ‘liberating education, based on a gospel spirituality, within an inclusive community committed to justice and solidarity’.

“It’s a matter of convincing the boys to find faith for themselves, what makes them tick, what’s going to give them an anchor,” he said.

“At CBC we have Catholics, Muslims, Hindus, students from all religions and ethnicities and we are very welcoming of everyone.

“For us it’s all about delivering a well-rounded boy at the end of their time here at the school. It’s just not academics or sports, it has to be a boy with balance, who’s walking out into the community with humility, someone who is giving back and helping others.”


Show comments Hide comments
Will my comment be published? Read the guidelines.

More Schools stories

Loading next article