St Marys is a western suburb of Sydney, NSW. The Salesian Sisters' presence there officially began in 1992. The Don Bosco Youth and recreation Centre was first opened on 24th June 1993. For the benefit of all local children, teenagers, and families. Sr Jennifer Doudle, Sr Anna Pham and Sr Kim Nguyen are full-time staff members of the youth centre. They collaborate with the Salesians in the organisation and running of all the different programs offered.
Don Bosco Youth and Recreation Centre
The aim of the Centre is to enrich the lives of all young people, but particularly those most in need, by helping them come to an appreciation of Christian values, and in this way to become honest members of society. The underpinning philosophy and approach is “preventive” and “formative” based on the belief that if young people are provided with the opportunity to participate in a variety of interesting, healthy and enjoyable activities during their leisure time, they will:
• build up their confidence and self-esteem
• learn to establish healthy relationships with their peers and adults
• use their energy in creative and positive ways.
Quite often, we as the staff are asked how we implement this approach here in our centre at St Marys; to expand upon our Salesian tradition at Don Bosco, we will quote the line which is our motto: “Like St. John Bosco the educator, we offer young people the Gospel of joy through pedagogy of loving kindness using reason and religion (Christian values).”
The youth centre provides programs for two main groups: teenagers (drop-in session and after school program), and young children with their parents (weekend family sessions). This program operates in two phases: during the school term, and during the school holidays. At these times, the centre is open 6 days a week, and sometimes every day of the week. Throughout the year, the centre is also made available for school sports and retreat days, birthday parties and functions, sports training sessions, cultural and religious groups, and community programs.
For more photos of Don Bosco Youth and Recreation Centre at St Mary's please visit