Bedford College was established in 1943 to meet Australia’s great emerging social needs due to the devastation of families during World War II.
Launched by the Baptist Churches in NSW movement with a benevolent heart, Bedford College was formed to provide essential job skills required for a rapidly changing workforce.
80 years later, Bedford College maintains a strong desire to make a positive difference in the world by giving everyday people equitable access to quality education leading to employment opportunities.
We are proud of our Baptist heritage and aim to treat everyone with kindness, respect and fairness, warmly welcoming women and men nationally and internationally with diverse cultural and spiritual backgrounds.
Bedford College throughout the years
Since Bedford was established in 1943, it has been the mission of the College to be an innovative provider of quality training in a caring, Christian environment.
The Bedford name was established
The commencement of a Baptist Business College was first suggested in a meeting
of the Forward Movement Committee of the Baptist Union of NSW by Mr R.H.H.
Butler in September 1942. The Annual Assembly of the Baptist Union shortly after
added £532 to the Forward Movement Plan (then under consideration) for a
Business College, and a Committee of Investigation was appointed to report on
the possibility and method of an early commencement.
Baptist Business College officially incorporated
The College was officially established and incorporated as a company on 17
September 1943. As the Baptist Union of NSW was incorporated under an Act of
Parliament and its scope of operations as a union of churches was deemed
‘religious’, it did not have the powers to operate a business college.
Therefore, a separate company and operational structure was necessary for the
foundation and management of Bedford College.
Bedford opens on 619 George Street, Sydney
Bedford College commenced its first year in the Assembly Hall of the Central
Baptist Church. In the 1970s, the College expanded by purchasing the building
next door at 617 George Street from the Baptist Union of NSW. In the 1980s, a
bridge was built between the Church and the building next door to accommodate
the operations of Bedford.
Bedford opens on 54 Parramatta Road, Glebe
Due to the rapid growth in congregation numbers at Central Baptist Church, the
College expanded to Baptist Church House in Glebe, which at the time was the
Headquarters of the Baptist Union of NSW & ACT.
617 George Street sold while Glebe is refurbished
Bedford’s Board of Directors decided to sell its property at 617 George Street,
so that with the proceeds could go towards the purchasing and renovation of the
Glebe campus. Acquired by the Baptist Union of NSW & ACT, the building underwent
a major facelift with works completed in 2011.
2 Columbia Court, Norwest
A decision was made by the Board of Directors to open a second campus of the
College in 2012. After a feasibility study where several locations were
considered, it was decided that the second campus of the College would be in
Norwest Business Park.
The official opening of Norwest campus
After extensive renovations, the Norwest campus of Bedford College was officially
opened and dedicated by the Reverend Robert Ellis, Chairman of the Assembly
Council of the Baptist Association of NSW & ACT, on 25 October 2014.
54 Parramatta Road sold while Norwest is HQ
Following the success of the new campus established in Norwest, a decision was
made by the Board of Directors to sell the Glebe campus and make Norwest the
main campus and headquarters of Bedford College.
70-72 Bathurst Street, Sydney
A new campus in the CBD opened up to accommodate more students and as an option
for those who prefer the urban lifestyle while studying.
Bedford celebrates 80 years
In November 2023, Bedford celebrated 80 years of operation as one of Australia’s longest-running not-for-profit vocational colleges. In commemorating this significant occasion, Bedford College welcomed guests onsite at Norwest made up of staff, students, alumni and community members.