New Far North secondary schooling option open for enrolment



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Artist impression - Newman Catholic College, co-located with James Cook University at Smithfield, is holding information evenings this month. Image: Supplied.
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Far North families are invited to find out more about a new and innovative option for secondary schooling in the region, with a unique new Catholic college opening in 2022.

Newman Catholic College, co-located with James Cook University at Smithfield, has started accepting enrolment applications through its brand-new website,, which also offers detailed information about the College’s design and development.

The College, the first Catholic school in Australia to be located within a university precinct, will initially open with Year 7 in 2022 and add a new year level each year to be a full Year 7-12 secondary college by 2027.

Cairns Catholic Education Services Director of School Effectiveness (Secondary and P-12) Dr Andrea O’Brien said there had already been significant interest from local families.

“Enrolments are open, and applications are flowing thick and fast. We are excited about the interest that is being shown in Newman Catholic College,” she said.

“The recruitment and interview process for a foundation principal is in its final stages and we are anticipating an announcement in the very near future.”

Two further community information evenings are planned for October, at St Augustine’s School, Mossman on Tuesday October 27 and at Holy Cross School, Trinity Park on Thursday October 29, from 6-7pm. Registrations can be done on the website.

“These evenings will provide an update on progress to date and will focus on new ways of learning, which will be a feature at Newman Catholic College,” Dr O’Brien said.

“Our next major area for community consultation will be around uniform style and design.”

Cairns Catholic Education Services Executive Director Bill Dixon said Newman Catholic College would combine impressive facilities with a design, digital and inquiry-based curriculum.

“It is an innovative approach to education that will deliver outstanding learning options, cutting-edge technology, and a values-based foundation under one roof,” he said.

“Our location on the grounds of JCU promises to provide something truly unique to students and their families, with unprecedented opportunity for collaboration, and extension and transition programs.”

“Newman Catholic College is a new frontier between secondary and tertiary schooling in the Far North.”

The College has been named for St John Henry Newman, one of the newest Catholic saints who was also a champion of education. The red and gold of the College’s logo is symbolic of Newman, being the colours of his personal coat of arms. JCU’s logo bears the same gold and the blue of the College’s logo also acknowledges JCU.

Newman Catholic College will be shovel-ready to commence construction in late 2020.

Stage 1 is due for completion in December 2021 and the college will be ready to receive Year 7 students in January 2022.

Mr Dixon said the College would cater to an increasing demand for schooling options in Cairns’ northern suburbs and further north to Port Douglas and Mossman where strong interest in the College was already being shown.

“Cairns Catholic Education is continually planning for the future and has recognised the need for further primary school offerings to complement the Newman Catholic College development and service the local community,” he said.

“It has historically been difficult to find a parcel of land in the tightly-held northern beaches area that would be a sufficient size for a school, however we have recently signed a contract for a well-suited site, meaning we will eventually be able to offer more education options for families in the Far North.”

“We have a lot of work to do on the project, which is not expected to open as a school until at least 2025. It is planned initially as a two stream Prep-Year 6 school, for about 380 students, with a view to expand if required.”

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