Select a School
St Monica's College, Cairns
Motto Walk in the Path of Justice SMC_Logo_BlueCross.jpg
Address 177 Abbott Street, CAIRNS QLD 4870
Postal Address 177 Abbott Street, CAIRNS QLD 4870
Phone Number (07) 4042 4800
Fax Number (07) 4031 5087
Email Address
Web Site
Total Enrolments 670 Edna Galvin
Year Levels Offered 7-12
Student Population All Girls
Principal Edna Galvin
Parish PriestThe Rev Martin Kenny
Parish Number (07) 4054 1171

About our School

As a Catholic secondary College for young women, St Monica's is a faith community where belief in the dignity of the human person underlies our educational philosophy, structures and processes.

We aim to provide an environment where relationships reflect the example and teachings of Christ, a true sense of partnership between the home, the school and the Church is actively promoted and that learning and teaching promote the education of the whole person.

At St Monica's, each student participates to achieve personal and community goals and develop skills to assist them to face the challenges of life.

Our students are encouraged to take risks in an academically challenging context which is highly supportive. Our girls participate in a diverse range of programs whose purpose is to establish integrity, self-belief and courage. Support is given to those with different needs and students from other faiths and cultures contribute to our multifaceted community. It is a welcoming, happy environment where the girls feel that they belong.

The College is situated in the central business district of Cairns, one block from the Cairns Esplanade. St Monica's is the oldest school in the region, with rich heritage and Mercy traditions. The College is undertaking a significant building plan to complement her two heritage buildings. We are the only all girls' school in the Cairns region with an enrolment of over 640 students. Year levels 7 to 12 are offered, with both day and boarding options.

Distinctive Curriculum Offerings

St Monica`s College has a long tradition of academic excellence. The curriculum caters for students of different abilities and emphasizes the individual in the environment of a small school. The College offers a full range of Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority subjects as well as Vocational Education Training. Teaching and learning strategies focus on girls` learning styles to ensure the development of self belief and courage.

A learning support program is offered to assist students to achieve their potential.

Extra Curricular Activities

As part of our vision to integrate faith and life, the College has a strong commitment to social justice. The College motto, 'Walk in the Path of Justice' reflects our Mercy heritage and is a constant reminder of our challenge to make the Good News real in the world. As a community we have an ongoing commitment to key Catholic social justice organisations and charities including Caritas, Project Compassion Appeal, Catholic Mission, the St Vincent de Paul Society, Mercy Works (the social action arm of the Sisters of Mercy) and Rosies. Students are encouraged to work to support these, along with a number of other charities and appeals. It is hoped that all students would come to appreciate that free and generous giving of one's time, energy and money to others in need, is a normal part of life.

St Monica`s students are encouraged to participate in a wide variety of extra curricular activities. These include sport, outdoor activities, performing and visual arts with emphasis on music, art, dance, drama, debating and public speaking, community service, camps and retreats and language exchange programs. An instrumental music program is available at the College. Opportunities for performances include biennial College musicals with St Augustine`s College, bands and ensembles, College choirs and the yearly St Monica`s 'Live'.

In our rich sporting programs, students from St Monica`s have the opportunity to compete in interschool, district, regional and state competitions in swimming, cross country, athletics and a wide variety of team games. 

St Monica`s offers language exchange programs with tours to Japan and Italy every two years. St Monica's also has a World War 1 tour every two years.

Social Climate

St Monica`s College is a small, happy, safe and welcoming community. Students, teachers and parents develop a strong sense of belonging to the community and pastoral care is an extremely important and valued aspect of life at St Monica`s College.

The primary pastoral care unit is the Homeform Group. These groups are arranged vertically and consist of approximately five girls from each of the six year levels.

Pastoral programs include personal development education at all year levels. A peer support structure in the form of a Big Sister, Little Sister Program and a safe school policy are in place. The Homeform vertical system is supported by a Year Leader and a Deputy Principal – Pastoral. A Guidance Officer/School Counsellor is also part of this structure.

Behaviour management policies ensure that discipline within the College is based on the principles of justice and mercy, respects the rights of the individual and encourages the development and exercise of self-discipline and personal responsibility.

Students are given opportunities to develop leadership abilities throughout their secondary schooling. The College has a very active Student Representative Council and a collaborative model of leadership in the senior school. 


Students at St Monica's come from diverse social, economic and cultural backgrounds. Whilst many students have long-standing connections to Cairns and to the College, many more students come from elsewhere. St Monica's has a very welcoming and friendly atmosphere and most students feel a great sense of belonging.

All forms of diversity are promoted through our curriculum, particularly in subjects such as English, SOSE, Home Economics and Religious Education. This remarkable diversity is also celebrated at every opportunity and in significant College events such as Harmony Day and NAIDOC Week celebrations. Acceptance and tolerance are intrinsic in our curriculum and are embedded in the values of the College.


St Monica's takes a proactive approach to dealing with `bullying by offering students opportunities to learn how to respond to any form of bullying. These learning opportunities occur in Social and Emotional Learning classes as well as in Homeform Circle-Time sessions. Each student's diary also has a comprehensive, step-by-step guide on how to respond to bullying.

Any allegations of bullying at St Monica's are always taken seriously. Investigations are conducted promptly and fairly. All students involved are interviewed and, where possible, mediation is arranged. In cases where the perpetrator continues to bully, parents will be notified and appropriate action will be taken.

Parent Involvement

St Monica`s College has an active Parents & Friends Association which provides an effective mechanism for parents to be involved in the school and participate in discussions about all aspects of education. Families of the College contribute an annual levy to St Monica`s Parents & Friends Association, therefore the primary functions of the P & F are consultative and community building, not fundraising. Similarly, the College Board which is a pastoral advisory Board, is involved in all aspects of policy making at the College. 

During each school year, there are of Parent/Student/Teacher Interviews and nights of information giving/dialogue with parents re curriculum and pastoral issues. Parents also see a snapshot of activities at the College by their attendance at the annual Awards Evening which focuses on performances and displays of curricular and co-curricular work. 

Parent Satisfaction

Parents agree:

  • The College is a place of learning in a Christian environment and encourages prayer and reflection.
  •  always aims to improve the quality of education it provides, always strives to improve and is meeting the academic needs of their child.
  • they also feel comfortable about approaching the College with any concerns they might have.
  • their child enjoys the learning they do at school.
  • the College encourages prayer and reflection, delivers a religious education program that is values based and meets students' need.
  • the College takes parents' concerns seriously. Parents also agreed there is good two way communication between staff and parents and that their child looks forward to school..
  • they are satisfied with the education their child receives from the College.


Data Last Updated Wed 12 Jul 2017

Staff Reporting Data
Qualification Highest level of attainment Doctoral / Post-doctoral Masters Bachelor degree Diploma Certificate
% Staff with this qualification 0% 6% 53% 34% 4%

Workforce composition
Headcount FTE (Full-time equivalent)
Teaching Staff62 57.6
Non-Teaching Staff 39 26.13
Indigenous 1 0.74

Total funds expended on teacher professional development$37044

Teaching Staff Involved in Professional Development100%

Major Professional Development Initiatives

Student Protection Online Training
Harassment/Grievance Policy Awareness Training
Code of Conduct
Workplace Health and Safety update - Evacuation and Lockdown Procedures
First Aid
Fire Safety and Manual Handling
New Teachers to Diocese In Service
Calibration Trial OCCA
Flipped Learning, Websites
M Fullan Conference
Middle Leaders Networking Day
Responding to Domestic and Family Violence
APRE Conference
Boarding School Workshop
Principal and Student Protection Contacts
eLearning forums
Spirituality Day
Indigenous Day
TREWTH Conference
ICT Workshop Teacher Dashboard
Future Schools eLearning Conference
ML Networking Day Humanities
Library Assistant Network & PD Mtg
Leadership Development with Greg Mitchell
L.S.T. PD Day
Program Writing
Middle Leaders Curriculum Network Mtgs at CES
Giving Emerging Leaders A Launchpad to Success - Brisbane
Strengths, Circles and SEL
Media Training at CES
School Officers Day of Reflection - Atherton
Michael Fullan Workshop - Brisbane
ANZELA Legal Studies Teachers Conference
Developing A Growth Mindset Classroom
EV3 Robots Robocup
TAE40116 - Cert IV in Training & Assessment
Janus Consulting conference - Melbourne
Special Needs Education Conference - Sydney
QCAA Annual Moderation Conference
School Law Seminar - Brisbane
Body Esteem Education Training 2017 Cairns
Positive Schools Conference - Brisbane
Binnacle Training Workshop
APRE Network Day
eLearning Forum CES
Japanese Immersion Day
Proficiency Day for Teachers of Italian
Mental Health & Wellbeing of Young People 2017
TOM Industry & Validation
PLT & Aspiring Leaders preparation
Moderation - English Communication - QCAA
Reading Matters 2017
SEL Coordinators Networking
Marker training for Senior External Exam Trial for English - QCAA
Guidance Officers Conference, QUT Info Day & visits to Griffith & ACU Uni's
Take off to the Future - Cairns LST & Counsellors Day
Women in Scripture CES
Flip Con - New Zealand

Average staff attendance rate for the school year, based on unplanned absences of sick and emergency leave for periods up to 5 days97%

Percentage of teaching staff retained from the previous school year86.00%

Staff SatisfactionStaff agree:

  • The College is a place of learning in a christian environment
  • The College encourages prayer and reflection
  • Their colleagues are supportive and their workplace has a positive ethos.
  • The College delivers a Religious Education program that is values based and meets students' needs
  • They have opportunities for professional development
  • They feel their role is important in the College and they feel committed to the school
  • Their colleagues set good examples to students
  • The College encourages a climate conducive to learning
  • Their colleagues set good examples to students 
  • There are clear goals and expectations at the College
  • The workplace has a positive ethos

Data Last Updated Wed Jul 12 2017

Student Reporting Data
Average student attendance rates
YR 7YR 8 YR 9 YR 10 YR 11 YR 12
96.35% 94.6% 94.78% 94.65% 95.06% 94.94%
How non-attendance is managed by the school

Parents contact the College on our Absentee line on the day that a student is absent. If students are absent without notification, a text message is sent to the parents on that day. If there is a pattern of non-attendance developing, the Year Leader makes contact with the parent/guardian with dates of unexplained absence. If absence continues the leadership team contacts the parents/carers for an interview.

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

In 2017, 61.9% of young people who completed Year 12 at St Monica's College in 2016 continued in some recognised form of education and training in the year after they left school.

The most common study destination was Bachelor Degree (51.2%). The combined VET study destinations accounted for 10.7% of respondents, including 8.3% in campus-based VET programs, with 3.6% of Year 12 completers entering programs at Certificate IV level or higher.

2.4% commenced employment-based training, all as trainees.

In addition to the above study destinations, a further 28.6% of respondents from this school deferred a tertiary offer in 2017 (deferrers are included in their current destination).

38.1 % did not enter post-school education or training, and were either employed (33.3%), seeking work (3.6%) or not in the labour force, education or training (1.2%).

There are a range of differences between and within school, regional and statewide destinations. Care should be taken when interpreting comparative data as the findings may relate to groups of different sizes.


The distance travelled

Visible Learning continued to be developed at the College as was the use of CANVAS as a learning organisational tool for staff and students. A Learning and Teaching Booklet and Curriculum Booklet was added to the College Documents.

Where are we going ?

The College has continued to develop its Social and Emotional Learning Program. The College has also been proactive in offering workshops to students and parents on overcoming anxiety and other mental health issues including Black Dog Workshops. We are preparing effectively for the new senior 2019-2020.

Student Satisfaction

students agreed:

  • they enjoy coming to school
  • they feel cheerful at school and they feel good about being a student at St Monica's
  • their teachers are well prepared and easy to understand
  • they feel positive and happy at school
  • the College is preparing them well for their future
  • the teachers are responsive to questions

Data Last Updated Mon Sep 11 2017

Reading, Writing & Numeracy Results - Year 7, 2016
Reading Average Score for the school 552.379
Average Score for Queensland 547.752
% students at or above the national benchmark 99.13%
Writing Average Score for the school 520.787
Average Score for Queensland 511.064
% students at or above the national benchmark 99.13%
Spelling Average Score for the school 554.78
Average Score for Queensland 546.972
% students at or above the national benchmark 98.261%
Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 566.669
Average Score for Queensland 545.862
% students at or above the national benchmark 98.261%
Numeracy Average Score for the school 553.587
Average Score for Queensland 553.377
% students at or above the national benchmark 98.261%

Data Last Updated Mon Jun 26 2017

Reading, Writing & Numeracy Results - Year 9, 2016
Reading Average Score for the school 595.421
Average Score for Queensland 586.335
% students at or above the national benchmark 97.917%
Writing Average Score for the school 554.264
Average Score for Queensland 541.31
% students at or above the national benchmark 92.708%
Spelling Average Score for the school 608.836
Average Score for Queensland 579.775
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%
Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 595.942
Average Score for Queensland 573.99
% students at or above the national benchmark 96.875%
Numeracy Average Score for the school 593.557
Average Score for Queensland 589.065
% students at or above the national benchmark 100%

Data Last Updated Mon Jun 26 2017

Year 12 Outcomes

Number of students awarded a Senior Statement. 97

Number of students awarded a Queensland Certificate of Individual Achievement. 1

Number of students awarded a Queensland Certificate of Education at the end of Year 12.95

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

Number of students awarded one or more Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications.29

Number of students who are completing or completed a School-based Apprenticeship or Traineeship (SAT).0

Number of students who received an Overall Position (OP).88

Percentage of OP/IBD students who received an OP 1-15 or an IBD.84%

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.96%

Data Last Updated Wed Jul 12 2017

School Funding By Source
Income 2016

Australian Government recurrent funding$6,179,207

State/Territory Government recurrent funding$1,919,391

Fees, charges and parent contributions$3,290,505

Other private sources$316,537

Total gross income (excluding income from government capital grants)$11,705,640

Deductions 2016

Income allocated to current capital projects$362,474

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

Income allocated to debt servicing (including principal repayments and interest on loans)$782,304


Total net recurrent income$10,560,862

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.