Australian Technical College

Northern Adelaide | 2007-2009

St Patrick’s Technical College commenced operations as the Australian Technical College – Northern Adelaide in January 2007.

In partnership with the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide and the Northern Adelaide Industry Consortium, the College was established by the Australian Government as part of an initiative to improve technical education facilities in the Northern Adelaide region.

The location of the College was selected due to its proximity to the industrial hub of Elizabeth, the activity in the building and construction industry stretching from Adelaide’s inner northern suburbs to the Barossa Valley and the growth in the defence industry located around Adelaide’s northwest.

The College started classes at temporary facilities at Davoren Park with 100 students engaged in five trades:

  • Automotive
  • Building & Construction
  • Commercial Cookery
  • Electrotechnology
  • Metals & Engineering

In May 2008, operations moved to the $15 million purpose-built specialist facility at Hooke Road, Edinburgh North.

St PATRICK’S Technical College

2009 to present

In 2019, barista qualifications were added to the Food & Hospitality program while the Engineering workshop was expanded.

In January 2020, the College reached a remarkable milestone with the sign-up of 1000 apprenticeships. Three Year 12 Metals & Engineering students, Charlotte Simmons, Jordan Ranasinghe and Christopher Skelton, share the title of 1000th Apprentice and commenced their trade in welding with employer Century Engineering. The sign-up is a unique undertaking for St Patrick’s Technical College and Century Engineering, an Australian owned business providing a range of end-to-end engineering solutions and services in Edinburgh North, with three students signed at once with the same employer.

In 2021, the College expanded to offer Year 10. Opening its doors for the first time to Year 10 students eager to start their trade-focused secondary education and training options.

In August 2021, St Patrick’s Technical College signed VET Agreements with new training providers to deliver quality training and assessment of the College’s VET programs for 2022. Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) PEER, Motor Trade Association (MTA), Adelaide Institute of Hospitality, and Adelaide Training & Employment Centre (ATEC) joined TAFE SA to provide exciting opportunities for students.

Today, St Patrick’s Technical College continues to grow, increasing in enrolments and employing further teaching and support staff who are committed to paving the way for student success. The College continues to assist hundreds of young people in making the transition from school to employment through an apprenticeship or traineeship.

In 2014 the College’s Food & Hospitality program was enhanced to include a qualification in Food Processing providing a pathway or students into the broader aspects of the food industry in South Australia.

For the 2015 school year, St Patrick’s Technical College introduced a new internal structure aligning courses, staff and students into three sub-schools:

  • School of Building & Construction
  • School of Community Services, Hospitality & Lifestyle
  • School of Engineering & Transport

This structure mirrors those in place at TAFE SA and establishes a framework for the future expansion of courses at St Patrick’s Technical College.

In 2017, St Patrick’s Technical College was named as the only South Australia school to be included in the Australian Government’s $5.1 million P-TECH Australia program, administered by the Skilling Australia Foundation. This program enabled the College to bring industry directly to the classroom to share skills and knowledge in the Electrotechnology, Engineering and Information Technology courses. 

In 2018, the College introduced an Information Technology course to provide students with the skills and knowledge in a wide range of information and communications technology and technical functions. The inaugural IT class were also the first students at the College to undertake a VEX Robotics program and won the inaugural South Australian VEX VRC Robotics Championships, which took them to the national titles in Melbourne in November 2018.

In July 2009, the College governance and ownership passed to the South Australian Commission for Catholic Schools on behalf of the Archdiocese of Adelaide and the College began a new journey as St Patrick’s Technical College within Catholic Education South Australia.

In 2010 the College expanded its trade offerings to include programs in Hair & Beauty and Plumbing.

In 2011 the College was named as the curriculum focus school for the Advanced Technology in Schools Pathways Project. This saw enhancements to the College’s Electrotechnology and Metals & Engineering programs that lead to graduates being able to access direct entry to university with a significant vocational background to match an academic focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects.

Throughout 2012, St Patrick’s Technical College worked with the Resources & Engineering Skills Alliance (RESA) to review courses that enhanced pathways for students to careers in the Mining & Resources sector. This included a specialist Automotive course for the Heavy Vehicle (Diesel) sector and adjustments to the Metals & Engineering program.

In 2013 the College’s unique strategic training partnership with TAFE SA was signed allowing St Patrick’s to deliver school-based vocational training as part of the South Australian Government’s Skills for All initiative.