A Brief History
The Associated & Catholic Colleges of WA is an independent secondary schools sports association. The Association was first formed in 1937 by the Principals of CBC Highgate, Fremantle and St Patrick’s School, Perth. It was formed for interschool sporting competition in athletics which was first held at the West Australian Cricket Association Ground. The Association was then called the Christian Brothers‘ Secondary Schools Sports Association.
CBC Leederville joined in 1942. Swimming was introduced in the 40’s and conducted at Crawley Baths. Similarly, the sports of football and cricket were introduced in this period.
The Association experienced further expansion in the 1950’s; membership growing to seven schools. The range of sporting competitions also continued to grow in this era along with a formal structure for regular meetings.
In the 1960’s standards in the athletics and swimming competitions were improved with the use of the Empire Games facilities (post 1962) and Beatty Park Aquatic Centre. In 1962, Terrace was re-located and given the name of Trinity College. Membership grew to sixteen Catholic colleges during this period as the number of Catholic schools in Western Australia continued to increase. The 1960’s saw a girls’ schools competition develop and by the early 1970’s, more than twenty schools participated.
The 1970’s saw major changes in the ACC with the first co-educational school, Servite College, being formed along with Newman College. Girls’ events were introduced in the athletics, swimming and cross country competitions. Rapid expansion of the Association continued. Tensions increased in this period, however, resulting in the need to clearly define the aims of the Association through the formation of its first Constitution (1978). The Association became incorporated in 1984 and full time administration in the 1980’s was created due to the ever increasing membership and activities involved (22 schools in 1988). The Association celebrated its Golden Anniversary in 1987.
In the 1980’s an Association office was established and located in the Catholic Education Office; originally in Wembley and then in the Ruislip St West Leederville centre. The Association office was relocated to the current site at the Newman Siena Centre in December 2007. In 1998 and 1999 the Council under the direction of the President Mr John Aldous (Principal of Seton College) introduced an Association motto “Sport in the Right Spirit”, changed the Association name to the “Associated and Catholic Colleges of WA” and implemented a sporting program for students with disabilities.
From 1988 to the present, rapid expansion has taken place with a membership of 80 schools and colleges, catering for a student membership in excess of 51,000. Swimming and athletics now involve 9 carnival divisions and also a carnival for students with disabilities. Significantly, membership has extended to Anglican, Baptist, Uniting Church, Jewish and non-denominational school systems. The Association now has a comprehensive website with details of current activities and results.