House System

A New Era of Pastoral Care and Learning 

The 2019 school year marked a new era of pastoral care and learning at St Laurence’s College, with the introduction of the vertical House system, aimed at fostering students’ welfare, growth and instilling community values. 

Each student is allocated to one of ten Houses, which he will be a part of for the entirety of his Lauries Journey. Within each house, students are supported by a Head of House, a House Mentor and Senior Students who have added responsibility of guiding younger students. 

The House Mentor has an opportunity each morning to facilitate discussions with students and take considerable interest in each boy’s academic progress and social development. This system of pastoral care ensures that each boy is known by key staff, provides a stronger sense of belonging, and encourages support and camaraderie amongst peers.

Below is an illustration of the background, values and attributes of each of the ten Houses.


The township of Callan is the birth place of Blessed Edmund Rice. In his early life in the family home, Westcourt, Edmund learned the importance of loving relationships. As a man of faith, Edmund developed a passion for helping others, as modelled by his mother Margaret Rice, and committed to putting his faith into action in all that he did. 

The symbols of the Callan House Crest embody the spirit of Edmund Rice. The Circle of Stars represents unity, solidarity, and harmony. The scroll symbolises Edmund’s focus on education, while the Triquetra (Irish Trinity knot) symbolises our Catholic focus and represents the Holy Trinity - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Set of Scales represents Justice and a desire to act so that the pillars of injustice crumble. 

The house motto, ‘Bold but Faithful’, challenges Callan House members to build inclusive communities, locally and globally, as they seek to promote and support the dignity of every individual. Through partnerships with social justice organisations, Callan House assists in providing humanitarian aid to people living in poverty around the world so that lives are transformed. 


Sir James Duhig was born in Ireland in 1871 and was Archbishop of Brisbane for 48 years, from 1917 until his death. He was a great believer in reconciliation and worked tirelessly to foster strong relationships and connections between Parishes, schools and charitable organisations. 

The symbols of the Duhig House Crest embody the spirit of Edmund Rice. Included are the first two letters of the Greek word for Christ – Chi (X) and Rho (P) in addition to Alpha (A or α) and Omega (Ω or ω) - the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, and a title of Christ and God in the Book of Revelation. Books are used to signify the importance of education, lifelong learning and purpose. The tree of solidarity and unity represents Duhig House’s commitment to justice and growth, and the ship represents James Duhig’s sea journey to Australia from Ireland and is used to honour the original house crest. 

Exemplifying the house motto, ‘Growth with Courage and Purpose’, members of the Duhig House are encouraged to be agents of change in the local community. They seek to promote a more just and equitable society, standing in solidarity with those experiencing hardship.


Hogan House is named in honour of Br William Hogan, the first principal of St Laurence’s College. Br Hogan was an Irish missionary who joined the Christian Brothers when he was 18.  He had vast experience as a teacher and principal and his leadership was characterised by discipline, loyalty and an appreciation for the Cultural life of the school. 

The symbols of the Hogan House Crest embody the spirit of Edmund Rice. The Celtic Cross symbolises the connection to the Christian Brothers and the call to service with the bridge and water depicting the River Suir in Hogan’s home town, Clonmel. The Claddagh is an Irish symbol for loyalty (crown), love (heart) and friendship (hands). The Alpha and Omega characters placed on an open book symbolise the quest for knowledge and religious connection to learning. The ribbon is used to symbolise compassion, service to others and taking action through advocacy.

The house motto, ‘No Reward without Effort’, reminds each member that success is a direct result of perseverance and dedication to the task at hand.Hogan House is committed to advocating for peace and justice and promoting reconciliation by working with and walking alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.


Kilian House is named in honour of St Kilian, an Irish missionary who converted many people to Christianity as he travelled through Gaul and Germany. Kilian’s Hill is the foundation on which St Laurence’s College now sits. The original school set a new standard in Catholic Education for Boys that is now characterised by a holistic education. 

The symbols of Kilian House crest embody the spirit of Edmund Rice. Kilian’s crest recognises the history of St Kilian’s Irish connection (shamrock), the education that the men receive through St Laurence’s College (books), recognition of the values and ideals taught by the Christian Brothers (Celtic Cross) and a commitment to building positive, life-giving relationships as expressed by the joining of hands.

The house motto, ‘Be Strong and Courageous’, reflects Joshua 1:9 - Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. The members of Kilian House are committed to Working in Solidarity with the Aged and Infirm. Through their friendship and partnerships with various organisations, valuable relationships are built which are based upon the foundational belief that we are all made in the image and likeness of God. 


Nagle House is named in honour of Honora ‘Nano’ Nagle who was the founder of the Presentation Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary and a pioneer of Catholic education in Ireland. She was known as the ‘lady with the lantern’ walking the streets of Cork at night offering help to those who were poor. Her good work in children’s education inspired Edmund Rice to do the same. 

The symbols of the Nagle House Crest embody the spirit of Edmund Rice. In the house colour of yellow, the Celtic Cross and The Southern Cross depict the work of the Christian Brothers in Australia. The fleur de lis symbolises Mary, the mother of Jesus; and the lantern depicts Nano Nagle’s walks through the streets of Cork. The two lions supporting a trophy are used to indicate that unity brings success.

Nagle House lives the motto - ‘Let Your Light Shine’ - in the words and actions of its members. Guided by the patron, Nagle men are approachable, accepting and welcoming to all in the St Laurence’s community. Nagle House is committed to advocating for women in the world. Through partnership with local organisations, members of the house will assist women and children who are experiencing difficulty to feel safe and supported.  


Rice House is named in honour of Blessed Edmund Ignatius Rice. Born on 1 June 1762, Rice devoted his life to educating the poor and was the Founder of the Congregation of Christian Brothers and Presentation Brothers. As such, it is fitting that a house carrying his name is guided by the core principles he desired to be instilled in boys’ education. 

These principles are witnessed in the symbols of the House crest. The Cross is the symbol of the Christian Brothers and reflects Catholic traditions. The Shield Knot is a symbol of protection and a link to Irish origins. The books and wreath symbolise the educational journey and the pursuit of excellence in learning. The helping hands are a symbol of support, to build dignity in the lives of others and to act in the interests of the marginalised.

Exemplifying the house motto, ‘Bravely and Faithfully’, the members of Rice House act in a manner to uphold the work of Edmund Rice for the betterment of the community and in support of their peers. The special connection with the Multicultural Development Association (MDA) allows the students to engage with recently settled refugees and spread a message of tolerance and inclusivity in the school and local community. 


Sion House is named in honour of the first Christian Brothers’ School in Waterford, Mount Sion. The Catholic tradition holds that Mount Sion was the site for the upper room where the Last Supper was celebrated and the followers of Jesus remained there as a “family” after Jesus’ crucifixion. It was here where love, companionship, nourishment, and hospitality were experienced. By using this name, Edmund Rice envisioned a Catholic education that was inclusive where all the children, irrespective of their religion or background, were respected. 

This vision is depicted in the symbols of the Sion House Crest. The handshake demonstrates inclusivity, a culture of unity and brotherhood. The Eucharist embodies the Last Supper first celebrated on Mount Sion calling members of Sion House to serve all in the community, especially those on the margins. The Celtic Triskelion symbolises love and strength. The Church of Dormition, which sits atop Mount Sion in ancient Jerusalem, symbolises the shared journey and a striving to reach the peak in life to which all are called.

Through its motto, members of Sion House strive for ‘Success through Solidarity’.  The house commits to promoting the dignity of each individual, working in solidarity with organisations in the local community to build a just and inclusive community.


Treacy House is named in honour of Br Ambrose Treacy who is regarded as one of the most influential Christian Brothers to work within Australia. Br Treacy established the Christian Brothers in Australia, and was responsible for the opening of 27 schools across the country. Members of Treacy House are called to live a life with values that align with Br Ambrose Treacy to make a difference in our world. 

This call to make a difference is symbolised in the Treacy House Crest. The Open Book represents learning, in academic endeavours and in the learning journey to be authentic, caring members of our respective communities. The Star represents leadership; a personal call to leadership of self, before true leadership of others. The Celtic Cross represents the call to service as reflected in the lives and stories of Jesus, Edmund Rice and Br Treacy. The Eagle is symbolic of the Treacy clan depicting strength and bravery.  

Treacy men are challenged by the house motto to be, ‘Brave and Bold’ through learning, leading and serving in all aspects of their life. In committing to action, members of Treacy House seek to be agents of change promoting education and rights for young people through the Edmund Rice Network locally and globally. 


Waterford House is named in honour of the city of Waterford, Ireland where Edmund Rice was a prominent businessman. He recognised that education was the key to improving the lives of the poor and he set about using his considerable wealth to create an educational legacy that still exists today. 

The symbols of the Waterford House Crest embody the Spirit of Edmund Rice. The Trinity Knot encompassed by the circle represents unity of the Holy Trinity as expressed in the Catholic faith. The Griffin, a legendary creature with the head and wings of an eagle and the body and tail of lion, denotes strength and intelligence. The Open Book symbolises Edmund Rice’s educational legacy and encourages each Waterford member to ‘write their own story’. The Ship, connected with the shipping port of Waterford, reflects a journey where success is established by a unified crew that can achieve far more than the individual members. 

In the spirit of the house motto, ‘Strength in Unity’, members of Waterford House are unified and gain strength from developing positive relationships that respect the dignity of each person. Through this unity, Waterford House is committed to Promoting an Integral Ecology and stewardship for creation by advocating for and promoting sustainable practices.


Xavier House is named in honour of Saint Francis Xavier who is the patron saint of Catholic Missions. His work and passion were reflected in the actions he undertook around the world through missionary endeavours. Xavier House, in bearing his name, is influenced by these principles to form young gentlemen who are prepared to help others through guidance and action.

These principles are present in the symbols of the House Crest. The group formation highlights the need to work in solidarity with communities at the margins. The scales represent a balance of family, life and schoolwork, and the overlapping hands symbolise care, guidance, support and a willingness to help others. The IHS within the radiant sun reflects the Christian Brothers’ devotion to Jesus, central to the Catholic tradition, and is a significant part of the Christian Brothers ethos and a finishing sign off to prayers: ‘Live Jesus In Our Hearts, Forever’.

The gentlemen of Xavier House will aim to live their motto - ‘To Excel so that we might Exceed’. In supporting the development of all humanity to build a just world, members of Xavier House will put their faith into action and engage in advocacy programs and raise awareness of issues of concern for children locally and internationally through a connection with Catholic Missions and Little Kings.