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2017 Annual Report for Good Counsel College, Innisfail
Motto One Spirit in Christ GCC Logo.jpg
Address 66 Owen Street, INNISFAIL QLD 4860
Postal Address PO Box 839, INNISFAIL QLD 4860
Phone Number (07) 4063 5300
Fax Number (07) 4061 4659
Email Address
Web Site
Total Enrolments 305 Mr James Roberts
Year Levels Offered 7-12
Student Population Co-Educational
Principal Mr James Roberts
Parish PriestFr Kerry Crowley PP
Parish Number (07) 4061 6633

About our School

College Overview

Good Counsel College is an independent Catholic Secondary College which is operated by the Innisfail Mother of Good Counsel Parish under the direction of Parish Priest Fr Kerry Crowley on behalf of the Bishop of Cairns and administered by the Catholic Education Service of the Diocese of Cairns. The College Principal, Mr James Roberts, leads a caring Catholic school community which serves the families of the Southern Deanery of the Cairns Diocese and draws students from a wide area from Babinda and Bellenden Ker in the north, to Milla Milla in the West and Tully and Mission Beach in the south.

College Traditions and History

Good Counsel College was formed in 1975 as a result of the merger of the Sacred Heart School for girls conducted by the Sisters of the Good Samaritan since 1903 and, the Mother of Good Counsel School for boys conducted by the Marist Brothers since 1938. The name 'Good Counsel' refers to the good advice that Mary, the mother of Jesus, gave to the servants at the wedding feast of Cana, when Jesus turned the pitchers of water into wine at the request of his mother. The 'good counsel' which she gave the servants was to do whatever he (Jesus) tells you to do. This remains fine advice for all members of our school community. We need to be open to the word of Christ and respond accordingly. 'One Spirit in Christ' the College motto appears to be a natural out flowing of our response to our seeking 'good counsel'.

The College left the Marist Schools group in the mid-1980s for a number of years. After much soul searching, the College decided to re-join Marist Schools Australia in 2015. A decision welcomed by all that now allows us to develop our Catholic Identity in the Marist Way espoused through the 5 characteristics of being a Marist:

  1. Presence
  2. Simplicity
  3. Family Spirit
  4. Love of Work
  5. In the Way of Mary

The College Mission Statement espouses the basic values of the College. Parents should read this statement carefully and if necessary seek clarification at the enrolment interview. It is a requirement for enrolment that this Mission Statement is accepted by the parents.

Faithful to the Mission of the Church, Good Counsel College educates students to develop attitudes, skills and knowledge to live as free and moral people in a complex world. Within our community we encourage, by word and example, sensitivity to diversity, the growth of spirituality, a sense of self worth and respect for others, and the striving to give of one's best.

College Characteristics

With an enrolment of 485 girls and boys we are a medium sized school, large enough to provide a wide range of choice of subjects and programs in our curriculum which provides a variety of options of academic opportunities as well as vocational, trade and career training, while still being small enough to provide a caring Catholic community where every student is known, loved and valued.

Good Counsel College is renowned as a learning community based on proud traditions which employs effective teaching and learning strategies with a focus on the future which will enhance the spiritual, educational, physical, cultural and social development of all students. We aim to develop in each student a sense of acceptance and belonging and a respect for self, each other and the environment based on the Catholic ethos of love, hope and faith and a thirst for spiritual growth.

In this safe and welcoming community our students learning needs and wellbeing are met by a dedicated and professional team of staff who provide leadership, direction, support and encouragement who have come from all over Australia as well as overseas. We celebrate diversity and the uniqueness of each individual and foster a personal responsibility for learning, growth and development. Our students learn to grow their personal characteristics of courage, integrity, compassion and consideration which provide a wonderful foundation for their future life.

Significant events and highlights in the life of the College include:

  • Opening Mass
  • Mother of Good Counsel Feast Day
  • Champagnat Day
  • Annual Awards Evening
  • Yr 12 Graduation
  • Athletics, Swimming & Cross Country Carnivals
  • Language exchange trips
  • Hospitality functions
  • Arts Expo
  • Snowies Trip

Distinctive Curriculum Offerings

Good Counsel College offers a balanced and holistic curriculum to students from Year 7 to Year 12 which features:

  • A Religious Education curriculum for all year levels which also features the principles of Social Emotional Learning and provides opportunities for prayer, spiritual growth
  • Values education and retreats
  • An emphasis on a core curriculum of English, Mathematics, Science and Social Sciences
  • A wide range of elective subjects for Junior Secondary Years 7-10, and Senior Studies Years 11 and 12
  • A specialist Music centre with well developed and effective music, performing arts and visual arts curriculums
  • A Languages program which offers two Asian languages, Japanese and Chinese
  • A strong science curriculum based around four specialist laboratories for Physics, Chemistry, Biology
  • A well developed Vocational Education curriculum with VET Certificates for students in Business, Information Technology, Hospitality, Childcare, Engineering, Furniture Making, Electrotechnology and Fitness.
  • A Trade Skills Centre includes workshops for metal engineering, furniture making, electrical trades and electro-technology
  • A state of the arts College Library serves as a contemporary learning hub

Further details about the College Curriculum can be found on the College website under 'Curriculum'.

Extra Curricular Activities

Good Counsel College offers a wide range of extra curricular activities including:

  • A sports program featuring a combination of competitive sports and recreational activities and the opportunity for students to compete in a range of sports at district, regional and state levels
  • Instrumental music, ensemble and choir programs and a large scale biannual musical production
  • Art exhibitions and performing arts festivals
  • There are learning extension and enrichment activities with many opportunities for competitions at state and national levels and specialised gifted and talented activities such as science, maths, history, geography, business, poetry, short story and essay competitions and Optiminds
  • Opportunities for students to enter public speaking, debating, mock trials, hospitality and cooking competitions
  • Camps and retreats for all year levels

Photos and reports on a range of College extra curricular activities can be found on the College website under Sports or News and Events as well as on Good Counsel College Facebook page

Social Climate

Good Counsel College is a welcoming and caring community in which our faith is obvious through the lived examples of love, hope and faith, evident in the whole community. A characteristic of the ethos of the College is the sense of belonging and welcome experienced by all who become part of our community or come in contact with us. We are a community which works hard, which practises prayer and reflection and which demonstrates responsibility, caring, celebration, happiness and relaxation. The College through its structures and its actions promotes respect for self and others. We value the individual gifts of each person and challenge injustice wherever it occurs. The relationship between staff and students is also living witness to the ethos of the College. The College encourages all students to strive to be involved in College life and to seek new challenges.

The College has a vertical Pastoral Care grouping system with each year level having a designated Pastoral Leader. Pastoral Leaders are involved with their year levels in a wide range of areas and are a contact points for parents. The College has a behavioural management programme based on the principles of restorative justice. College student support and management procedures are reviewed at regular intervals.

A full time wellbeing counsellor is available for students and parents and there is a Student Wellbeing Leader who assists both the counsellor and Pastoral Leaders in working with students who are in need. We have a Learning Support teacher and teacher aides who work with our students who experience learning difficulties and have a need for more intensive support for their learning. Finally, we have a Social and Emotional Learning Coordinator who develops and manages social and emotional learning curriculum which all students undertake.

Students are given opportunities to develop leadership skills through the Student Representative Council, positions of responsibility and during camps and retreats.

Parent Involvement

The College has a Parents and Friends Association and information on them can be found on the College web page. Parents are encouraged to attend P&F meetings and invitations and the dates and times of P&F meetings are published regularly in the College Newsletter each two weeks. Parents also comprise some members of the Good Counsel Parish Combined Schools Board. Parents are also encouraged and welcome to attend College events including assemblies, liturgies, sports carnivals, musicals and concerts. Special opportunities for parent involvement include

  • Parent, Teacher and Student Interviews for oral reporting twice per year
  • Parent Information Nights for students moving from: Primary School to Year 7 and Year 10 into Year 11
  • Parent Information evenings at the commencement of each year
  • Parent Subject Information nights and Subject Expo evenings;
  • College Masses
  • Catholic Education Week Open Day
  • Year 7 Orientation

Parent Satisfaction

All parents were surveyed regarding their satisfaction with Good Counsel College in meeting the needs of their children.

Areas of strength included:

  • Religious Education program and Christian environment
  • Learning and teaching
  • College resources

Areas for improvement included:

  • improvement agenda
  • leadership

Data Last Updated Fri 08 Jun 2018

Staff Reporting Data
Qualification Highest level of attainment Doctoral / Post-doctoral Masters Bachelor degree Diploma Certificate
% Staff with this qualification 1% 4% 48% 38% 1%

Workforce composition
Headcount FTE (Full-time equivalent)
Teaching Staff48 45.38
Non-Teaching Staff 36 26.59
Indigenous 5 3.66

Total funds expended on teacher professional development$57789

Teaching Staff Involved in Professional Development100%

Major Professional Development Initiatives

In addition to ongoing curriculum and pastoral professional learning. There were three significant areas of professional learning in 2015:

  • Twilight Retreats developing our Marist spirituality and charism
  • Student wellbeing
  • ICT - including classroom practice as well as administration software

Average staff attendance rate for the school year, based on unplanned absences of sick and emergency leave for periods up to 5 days96%

Percentage of teaching staff retained from the previous school year91.00%

Staff Satisfaction

All staff were surveyed regarding their satisfaction with working at Good Counsel College.

Areas of strength included:

  • Encouragement of prayer and reflection
  • Collegial support
  • Staff commitment to the College
  • Sense of value as part of a team

Areas for improvement included:

  • Effective communication
  • Change management
  • Encouragement and value of staff input

Data Last Updated Fri Jun 08 2018

Student Reporting Data
Average student attendance rates
YR 7YR 8 YR 9 YR 10 YR 11 YR 12
92.58% 93.28% 93.27% 91.82% 89.92% 90.13%
How non-attendance is managed by the school

Good Counsel College monitors attendance at school in a number of ways and by a number of people.

At the administrative level, the DP Administration has operational responsibility for ensuring systems are in place to accurately record attendance. Should students not attend school, parents/caregivers are expected to inform the school immediately. Should this not occur, then parents/caregivers are contacted before the first morning break of non-attendance. Monitoring procedures for students signing in and out are also in place as well as being off-site at appointments during the day.

At a pastoral level, Year Level Coordinators as well as the Student Wellbeing Leader monitor attendance for a variety of reasons to ensure the wellbeing of students is maintained. Where required the College will intervene where there is extended absence to ascertain a reason and offer support to both to the student and family to have the student return to school and where necessary involve outside agencies.

Year 10 to 12 Apparent Retention Rate98.4
Post-School Destination Information


The distance travelled

Pastoral Care

Anti Bullying

  • Proactive delivery of weekly Social and Emotional Learning lesson in Year 7-10 to empower students and encourage resilient, assertive and protective behaviours.
  • Education of wider school community in newsletter article with anti-bullying focus.
  • Promotion of the recognition of the importance of referral, investigation and resolution of bullying complaints.
  • Refinement of existing Bullying procedures
  • Establishment of 2nd anti-bullying student community forum in August.
  • Engagement with nationally recognised action day against bullying and violence .
  • Engagement with nationally recognised consultants for cyber-bullying incidents.

Pastoral Care

  • General communication with parents/carers via information evenings and newsletters.
  • Individual targeted communications and meetings with parents and carers to foster co-operation and offer support.
  • Refinement of school's procedures to better serve the school's restorative approach
  • Alignment of school procedures with CES "intervention" document to capitalise on systemic expertise and support resources.
  • Prompt consultation and engagement with CES support personnel for advice and guidance in student well-being matters.
  • Focus on improving classroom teaching strategies to increase student engagement.
  • Development of Student Support Plans which identify student behaviours to inform staff of strategies which assist in the support of the students
  • Resourcing and establishment of Critical Response(AWOL and SAR) procedures
  • Creation and resourcing of Student Well-Being leadership position
  • Establishment of Student Well-Being Liaison team and procedures for identifying at-risk students.
  • Raising professional profile of Pastoral Team Leaders by ensuring regular presentations at staff meetings
  • Student meetings: daily homerooms, extended homerooms and year-level meetings.
  • Student annual retreats or camps
  • Student Programs: "shine" for girls and "strength" for boys and enrichment program for Disengaged/Marginalised students.
  • Promotion of Circle Solutions in SEL and Home Rooms

Curriculum Offerings

Good Counsel College offers a varied and flexible curriculum that is designed to meet the needs of students with wide ranges of abilities, interests and career options without compromising educational standards.

In Years 7-10 Good Counsel College complies with the requirements of the Australian Curriculum. In Years 11 & 12 the College follows the guidelines from the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority to ensure that students meet the requirements to obtain the Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE).

Year 7 & 8 students study core subjects including Religion, English, Mathematics, Science and Social Science (comprised of History and Geography). They also cover Business & Economics, Civics & Citizenship, and Health & Physical Education and are able to choose from two languages - Chinese and Japanese. Students are also offered opportunity to study subjects in both the areas of Technologies and The Arts.

Year 9 & 10 students continue to study the core subjects and are required to choose two elective subjects which they do for at least one semester each. The electives cover areas as listed: Art, Business, Chinese, Drama, Digital Technology, Graphics, Industrial Arts, Music, Japanese & Physical Education.

In Years 11 & 12 the College offers Authority Courses for those students who are university-bound, in order for them to receive an OP score. We also offer a range of SAS subjects which do not contribute to an OP score. Additionally, students may choose from a variety of Vocational Education certificates in the areas of Childcare, Fitness, Electro-technology, Hospitality, Information Communication and Technology, Engineering and Furnishing.

Our students have been highly successful in gaining entry into tertiary courses at all levels, and in gaining school-based apprenticeships and traineeships or work after school. This indicates the College's success in addressing the calls of the Catholic Education Commission, the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority and private industry for increased customisation and accountability. The College is a Registered Training Organisation for Vocational Education Subjects.

Students with specific learning needs are catered for by the Learning Support department. Students who are struggling academically are supported in small-group learning situations. Strong academic students are encouraged to participate in extra-curricular activities for gifted and talented students such as Optiminds, ICAS competitions and Mathematics Enrichment days.

Our belief is that with dedication, hard work and good advice, all our students are capable of successfully completing Year 12 and progressing to productive and engaging careers in the future. Students are encouraged to give of their best and achieve to their potential.

Promoting Catholic Identity and Heritage

Marist Links

The re-establishment of links to Marist Schools Australia commenced during 2010. This process of discernment saw the accessing and implementation of Marist Professional Development sessions during this time, enabling staff to gain an understanding of the Marist charism and how this connected historically to Good Counsel College.

During this time, the College also examined their historical links to the Good Samaritan charism. The Good Samaritan Sisters chose to concentrate their limited resources on the support of the charism at Good Counsel Primary School. Support for the re-connection of the Marist charism at Good Counsel College was given, with an understanding that there would continue to be an acknowledgement of the importance of the Good Samaritan charism to the College.

The discernment process saw the re-entry of Good Counsel College into Marist Schools Australia mid-way through 2016.

Staff Training and First Year Training

Staff has had the benefit of participating in Marist Professional Development sessions since 2010. This has taken on the form of Prayer sessions, Solidarity and Service sessions, history of the Marist Brothers and Marist charism sessions.

Staff has also had access to attending Footsteps Marist Formation programs at the Hermitage in Mittagong, and there has been a commitment from the College to continue this support. First year teachers have had the opportunity to attend the Commencing Teachers Professional Development sessions along with Marist teachers at St Augustine's College in Cairns.

Links and opportunities have also existed for staff to attend the National Marist Conference, and Faith Formators' meetings. Staff has also been invited to become involved with the Marist Association.

Building Links with Father Kerry

Links between the Parish and College continue to be strengthened. The relationship between all Priests within the Good Counsel Parish continues to be developed. The Priests are invited to major school functions and professional development sessions. Priests are also invited to attend Retreats and to celebrate Mass with students.

Priests are invited into Religion classes, to assist with Religion topics, and have also been invited into other classes to assist with content and building relationships with students.

Staff Welfare

Currently The Principal and Accountant have taken direction for any Staff Welfare concerns. Flowers and cards continue to be sent in relation to sickness; bereavement; and births.

Birthdays are celebrated as a whole staff at monthly Staff Morning Teas. Special occasions such as Marriage, Engagements, Births and Long Service Leave are acknowledged at this time with small gifts.

Father Kerry Crowley is available at all times to assist staff in relation their spiritual well-being. All staff is made aware of the access that they have to the CES supported Employee Assistance Program (the confidential counselling service which is available to employees to access 4 sessions of confidential counselling support).

Staff Prayer has been reintroduced for all staff members, after a loss of the Prayer Room. Prayer is now available every Friday morning for all staff to access and participate in.

Where are we going ?

Living our Mission - To celebrate our Catholic identity and ensure that the charisms of Mary the Mother of Good Counsel and St Marcellin Champagnat permeates every aspect of the College.

Building our Learning Organisation - To develop a learning community with policies, procedures and practices that support a dynamic learning culture for all with continuous improvement.

Working towards excellence in Teaching and Learning - To enhance a learning culture that values excellence and diversity in developing students to become independent, autonomous learners.

Valuing our Community - To celebrate and strengthen our unique community: welcoming, inclusive, reflective, pastoral, ethical and spiritual.

Resourcing the Future - To enhance our capacity to be good stewards of financial assets and resources in accordance with our purpose and mission.

Student Satisfaction

All students were surveyed regarding their satisfaction with learning at Good Counsel College.

Areas of strength included:

  • Student Morale
  • Teacher Effectiveness

Areas for improvement included:

  • School Connectedness

Data Last Updated Fri Sep 21 2018

Reading, Writing & Numeracy Results - Year 7, 2017
Reading Average Score for the school 539.2
Average Score for Queensland 540.3
% students at or above the national benchmark 97.2%
Writing Average Score for the school 465.9
Average Score for Queensland 502.5
% students at or above the national benchmark 83.8%
Spelling Average Score for the school 545.9
Average Score for Queensland 546
% students at or above the national benchmark 97.1%
Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 545
Average Score for Queensland 537.9
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Numeracy Average Score for the school 553
Average Score for Queensland 549.2
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%

Data Last Updated Mon Jun 18 2018

Reading, Writing & Numeracy Results - Year 9, 2017
Reading Average Score for the school 563.7
Average Score for Queensland 574.9
% students at or above the national benchmark 92%
Writing Average Score for the school 536.4
Average Score for Queensland 541.309997
% students at or above the national benchmark 80%
Spelling Average Score for the school 563.2
Average Score for Queensland 576.9
% students at or above the national benchmark 93.3%
Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 567.5
Average Score for Queensland 573.5
% students at or above the national benchmark 92%
Numeracy Average Score for the school 590.5
Average Score for Queensland 585.1
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%

Data Last Updated Mon Jun 18 2018

Year 12 Outcomes

Number of students awarded a Senior Statement. 106

Number of students awarded a Queensland Certificate of Individual Achievement. 0

Number of students awarded a Queensland Certificate of Education at the end of Year 12.96

Number of students awarded an International Baccalaureate Diploma (IBD).

Number of students awarded one or more Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications.83

Number of students who are completing or completed a School-based Apprenticeship or Traineeship (SAT).11

Number of students who received an Overall Position (OP).61

Percentage of OP/IBD students who received an OP 1-15 or an IBD.56%

Percentage of Year 12 students who are completing or completed a SAT or were awarded one or more of the following: QCE, IBD, VET qualification.99%

Percentage of Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre applicants receiving a tertiary offer.0%

Data Last Updated Fri Sep 21 2018

School Funding By Source
Income 2017

Australian Government recurrent funding$6,008,810

State/Territory Government recurrent funding$1,937,212

Fees, charges and parent contributions$1,692,114

Other private sources$200,437

Total gross income (excluding income from government capital grants)$9,838,573

Deductions 2017

Income allocated to current capital projects$188,338

Income allocated to future capital projects and diocesan capital funds$0

Income allocated to debt servicing (including principal repayments and interest on loans)$259,692


Total net recurrent income$9,390,543

School Annual Reports

Catholic schools in the Diocese of Cairns meet their annual reporting requirements under the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (the Act) Section 423 (1) by updating their information on this section of the Cairns Catholic Education website. Information contained in each section of the report relates to the previous calendar year. The required information is published by 30 June each year, excepting post-school destinations data for Year 12 completers which is published by 30 September.