Irish Catholic history in Australia’s oldest secretarial college

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The girls of Patrick Careers Academy in 2020. A college with a strong Catholic history PHOTO: Patrick Careers Academy

If you’re looking for employment, Australia’s last – and oldest – traditional secretarial college can help you. And they have a century long history in Catholic social teaching up their sleeve.

Patrick Careers Academy, founded in 1923 by the Sisters of Mercy as St Patrick’s Commercial College began as a way of helping young working class women gain employment in Sydney’s corporate world with training as personal assistants and legal secretaries.

The early days – a student with the Sisters of Mercy ca 1926 PHOTO: Patrick Careers Academy

Today, in 2020, the college is now open to all with graduates achieving an employment rate close to 100 per cent every year.

close to 100 per cent employment rate

“Our students are job-ready by the time their 40 week Diploma is over and we’ve enjoyed close to a 100 per cent employment rate every year,” the Academy’s Jacob Munday told The Catholic Weekly.  “Where else can you learn how to type at a level appropriate for a law firm?”

Student debutante with the then Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal Gilroy ca 1970 PHOTO: Patrick Careers Academy

Despite the name change and the college no longer being operated by the Sisters, PCA is still affectionately known as ‘St Pats” by students and staff. St Patrick’s feast day on 17 March is still a focal point for festivity in the academic year – highlighting a Catholic culture which still continues.

emphasis on the human dignity of work

“The college still operates under a pastoral care ethos with emphasis on the human dignity of work,” said Mr Munday.

“Our main mission is, and always will be meaningful employment for our graduates. We’re not here to just train them up and send them on their way – we’re here to make sure our students have the best start to their working life as possible.”

Patrick’s College class of 1965 PHOTO: Patrick Careers Academy

“We train our students to undertake their work with high standards of etiquette, presentation and business ethics.”

PCA offers a Diploma of Business Administration and a Diploma of Social Media Marketing as well as internships and industry liaison agreements with some of Sydney’s top law firms.

“The St Pat’s motto is aut optimum aut nihil -‘either the best or nothing.’ We take this seriously and make sure that our graduates get off to a good start.”

For young Australians who are facing ever-increasing job-insecurity in the wake of the COVID-19 induced recession, places like Pat’s hope to help – just as it did when it was established during the troubling times 100 years ago.

many students come from Catholic schools

“Many of our students come from Catholic schools in the Shire and Western Sydney,” said Mr Munday. “The minute this pandemic is over we will be ready to take you on and get you into a job.”

The girls at ‘St Pat’s” – Patrick’s Career College today in 2020. For young Australians who are facing ever-increasing job-insecurity in the wake of the COVID-19 induced recession, places like Pat’s hope to help – just as it did when it was established during the troubling times 100 years ago. PHOTO: PCA

Classes are taught by Academic Director, Mr Dominic Buchta, who has been with the college since 2009. Patrick Careers Academy is operated by the Australian family owned Capital Education Group and is located at Level 7, 451 Pitt Street, Sydney in the Manning Building.

For more infomation visit pca.edu.au or contact Jacob Munday on 0450 291 797 or [email protected]

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