Catholic Education in the Cairns Diocese

The Cairns Diocese encompasses 377,000 km2 from Cardwell in the south, west to the Northern Territory Border including the Atherton Tablelands, and north to the Torres Strait Islands and Gulf of Carpentaria.

The Diocese’s 27 Catholic schools schools and colleges (also referred to by the general public as private schools and non-government schools) provide a quality education to almost 11,000 students – 6,300 primary students and over 4,500 secondary. Our schools extend from Tully in the South, west to Dimbulah on the Atherton Tablelands, and north to Thursday Island in the Torres Strait.

Schools are clustered around the populous centres of Cairns, the Atherton Tablelands to the west and the Innisfail/Johnstone district to the south. All our schools, except our most remote school on Thursday Island and its campus on Hammond Island, are within two hours driving time of Cairns.

New schools at Weipa, and Mount Peter near Edmonton in the Cairns southern growth corridor will open in 2016. A Flexi School at Manoora (in Cairns) and Cooktown opened in 2015.

Other quick facts:

  • About one in four school students in the Far North attends a Catholic school
  • Not all students are Catholic or come from Catholic families or backgrounds – enrolments also comprise families that demonstrate support for the values associated with Catholic schools – social and emotional development, value frameworks, safety and discipline, partnerships and a sense of belonging
  • Catholic schools consistently perform well in NAPLAN, QCE and OP results for Year 12, with strong VET pathways, enhanced through the colleges’ Trade Training Centres
  • All schools have a strong family focus and dedicated parent involvement through P&Fs and volunteer programs
  • Catholic schools and Catholic education employ more than 1,700 people – one of, if not the largest non-government employer in the region


CE-Diocese-Map CE-Cairns-City-Map
 Catholic Schools & Services – Diocese of Cairns
(Click to enlarge map)
 Catholic Schools & Services – City of Cairns
(Click to enlarge map)