In 2007 Brendan Watson took on the role of Principal at Catholic Regional College Sydenham, a unique Year 11 and 12 senior secondary College in the west of Melbourne. With a view that a student's postcode should never be the determinant of their achievement or quality of education, Brendan continues to work hard to ensure that all students at the school have the chance to follow their hopes, dreams and aspirations.

Brendan has worked hard with the Catholic Regional College community to continue to build a school that all can be proud of. The significant milestones and achievements during his tenure as Principal have included:

  • The building of a new multi-purpose hall, gymnasium and fitness centre providing a much needed gathering space for the community;
  • The building of additional Science Laboratories and refurbishment of existing labs;
  • Building the Trades Training Centre and conceptualising a delivery model for VET that has attracted attention from around the world as a unique model of best practice and innovation;
  • The building of a Performing Arts Centre;
  • Establishment of a sister school in Italy;
  • Introduction of iPads with a move away from heavy and expensive text books;
  • Introduction of 1:1 ICT program and Interactive Digital Displays in all classrooms;
  • Enhancing the House / Cluster system and the introduction of Chang Cluster;
  • Introduction of a staff professional development program that includes opportunities to attend international conferences;
  • Establishment of a student recognition program that includes formal leadership structure;
  • Overseeing the introduction of the new Catholic Regional College uniform at the College;
  • Establishing the Catholic Regional College uniform shop at Sydenham campus for all of the Federation of Catholic Regional College;
  • Making the decision and leading the school to open the doors mid year when Mowbray College closed, 'seeing a need and doing something about it';
  • Improving the College data with regards student pathway destinations and outcomes;
  • Improving the services provided to students and their families by employing professional staff such as a Psychologist, Social Worker, expanding the provision of Careers staff;
  • Establishing an RTO;
  • Introducing VET at the College. From 2 courses in 2007 to 38 in 2014 and being a key education provider to schools in the West of Melbourne thus providing greater opportunity for Catholic Regional College students;
  • Expansion of curriculum offerings in the VCE;
  • Advocate for the VCAL program, working with staff to ensure it is an engaging and successful program;
  • Establishing partnerships with industry to provide greater opportunities for the College and students.


In 2013, Brendan completed his first 7 year contract at Catholic Regional College. He was afforded another contract as Principal and continues to work diligently to provide the community of Catholic Regional College with a school they can be exceptionally proud of.