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St Stephen's Catholic College, Mareeba
Motto Trust in the Lord logo_st_stephens_catholic_mareeba_1.jpg
Address McIver Rd, MAREEBA QLD 4880
Postal Address PO Box 624, MAREEBA QLD 4880
Phone Number (07) 4086 2500
Fax Number (07) 4092 4333
Email Address
Web Site
Total Enrolments 543 Mrs Ida Pinese
Year Levels Offered 7-12
Student Population Co-Educational
Principal Mrs Ida Pinese
Parish PriestFather John Sullivan
Parish Number (07) 4092 1077

About our School

St Stephen’s Catholic College is administered by the Catholic Diocese of Cairns and provides a quality Catholic secondary education for students in the Tablelands, Kuranda and Mossman areas. The college boasts a stable staff who reside predominantly in the Tablelands area. With the relocation of a historic chapel to the college site, there is now a sacred space for staff and students to further develop their faith formation.

Situated on 28 hectares on the outskirts of Mareeba, St Stephen's Catholic College focuses on providing opportunities for young men and women to achieve their personal best. The college provides a holistic curriculum to enable students to grow academically, socially, emotionally, spiritually and physically. Students are viewed as life-long learners who will be given opportunities to utilise their talents by being a presence of Christ in our world.

Our parents value the firm boundaries, excellent learning environment, quality teaching  and the modern facilities which our College offers. Fostering a sense of family has been an integral part  of St Stephen's since the foundation years. This connectedness with families and the wider community is based on shared values and translates to forming a school culture that enhances student achievement in a holistic manner.

In 2016 for the second successive year, the college was included in Queensland University of Technology's "blue group" status for having an increased number of OP-eligible students (at least 90%) achieve scores between 1 and 15. In addition, all students in the 2015 year 12 cohort achieved an QCE, with the top student being recognized by the QCAA for outstanding academic achievement state-wide.

 In 2015, the college also formed a sister school agreement with Sano Nihon Daigaku Secondary College in Sano City, Japan. This will strengthen cultural ties between students in both schools

Distinctive Curriculum Offerings

St Stephen's seeks to build on its reputation, established in its foundation years, of providing a curriculum structure which supports the diverse needs of students. With the integration of the Australian Curriculum, our College continues to modify teaching and learning programs to meet mandatory requirements. A broadening of the curriculum has occurred as larger cohorts progress to senior years.  With an enrolment of 543 students in 2016, the college provides students with both academic and vocational pathways. These vocational pathways are enhanced by the provision of certificate courses in the college's Trade Training Centre. In addition a  recent focus on languages (Japanese, French and Italian), as well as the arts (Music, Drama and Visual Art), has enriched curriculum offerings.

Structure of the Curriculum:

Years 7 to 10:

  •  Core subjects include Religion, Mathematics, Science, English, History/Geography and Health and Physical Education (years 7 to 10)
  • Year 7 & 8 students study minor core subjects on rotation
  • Core classes in Mathematics and English are purposefully grouped to provide opportunities for extension or learning support.
  • Electives are studied for one or two semesters in year 9 and for both semesters in year 10.  Students choose two electives from a range of options.
  • Religion is a rigorous, distinctive learning area. (Includes a Sacramental Program)
  • Languages: Japanese, Italian and French

Years 11 and 12:

  • Students may choose authority subjects contributing to an over all position (OP) or authority-registered subjects which are geared towards a vocational pathway.
  • Vocational Education and Training certificate courses are available in the areas of Engineering, Furnishings
  • Students may also access certificate courses through an outside provider such as TAFE and participate in School-based Apprenticeships and Traineeships.
  • Opportunities exist for students to study subjects not offered by the College through an external provider (School of Distance Education) or through online courses.

Extra Curricular Activities

Diverse  Sporting Opportunities 

Public Speaking


Retreats and camps

Combined Schools Band

Tutorial Support

Gifted and Talented (Readers Cup, Chess, Mathematics camp, Optiminds)

Instrumental Music, School Choir and Liturgy Band

Social Justice Committee

Student Representative Council

Overseas cultural experiences

Work Experience Program

Social Climate

    The culture of our College is based on the following: 

    • An emphasis on being a part of the college family and community.

    • A welcoming culture that will not tolerate bullying.

    • A co-educational school which affirms the equality of persons.

    • An acknowledgment of achievement in all aspects of   College life.

    • The College focuses on developing partnerships between students, teachers and carers.
    • Students are encouraged to build successful relationships, communicate effectively and achieve their personal best.
    • Development of respect for others, responsibility for one's learning and the development of confident, young people who are morally autonomous and have an awareness of God's presence

    Parent Involvement

    •  Parents & Friends Association Meetings on a regular basis with a presence at signature events such as Subject Selection  and Meet and Greet Evenings
    • Monthly College Board meetings
    • Regular Parent / Teacher Interviews, following reports
    • Parental involvement in school camps, retreats, excursions, sporting carnivals and other extra-curricular activities


    Parent Satisfaction

    A total of 85 parents provided responses. Of the parents who provided feedback, 12% had been involved with the college for six or more years, 27% had been involved with the college for four to five years, 27% for two to three years and 26% for one year. The most prominent groups were parents of years seven, nine and ten students. Approximately 89% of parents felt the school was a place of learning in a Christian environment. The majority of parents were quite satisfied with the communication between parents and teachers and the manner in which teachers encourage students to learn. The majority of parents were satisfied with the education received by their children at school. (approximately 88%)

    Data Last Updated Mon 13 Jun 2016

    Staff Reporting Data
    Qualification Highest level of attainment Doctoral / Post-doctoral Masters Bachelor degree Diploma Certificate
    % Staff with this qualification 0% 6% 42% 19% 9%

    Workforce composition
    Headcount FTE (Full-time equivalent)
    Teaching Staff46 44.73
    Non-Teaching Staff 27 17.1
    Indigenous 0 0

    Total funds expended on teacher professional development$17378

    Teaching Staff Involved in Professional Development100%

    Major Professional Development Initiatives

    In 2015 the following professional development initiatives were provided for teaching staff: 

    •   Trewth Conference 2015
    •   Mandatory Training in Code of Conduct, Student Protection Training, Workplace Harassment, Curriculum Risk Management (SALT)
    • Mission, Curriculum and Pastoral initiatives 
    • Australian Curriculum planning at CES and QCAA, including new senior school changes for 2018 
    • Development of Catholic Identity
    • Professional Learning on promoting a culture of feedback


    Average staff attendance rate for the school year, based on unplanned absences of sick and emergency leave for periods up to 5 days95%

    Percentage of teaching staff retained from the previous school year100.00%

    Staff Satisfaction

    A total of 38 staff provided responses with about 76% of the respondents having been at the school for six years and less. Permanent teachers included 53% of respondents. There was strong consensus that opportunities for professional development (approximately 92%) were available and that people were made to feel like professionals while at work. Most employees identified their colleagues as being supportive (99%) and there was a strong commitment to the school (90%). Respondents felt the school has a positive ethos and were very trusting of the leadership team (88%) There was also a very strong level of satisfaction with the school’s performance. (95%)


    Data Last Updated Mon Jun 13 2016

    Student Reporting Data
    Average student attendance rates
    YR 7YR 8 YR 9 YR 10 YR 11 YR 12
    94.42% 94.35% 93.73% 91.46% 93.70% 93.31%
    How non-attendance is managed by the school


    • Student attendance is effectively monitored with students  expected to participate in all curricular and co-curricular activities offered by the College.
    •  Parents are required to notify the College by 8.30 am of their child's absence.  All unexplained absences are followed up by the office staff.


    Year 10 to 12 Apparent Retention Rate73
    Post-School Destination Information


    •  In 2016, 58.3% of young people who completed Year 12 at St Stephen's Catholic College in 2015 continued in some recognized form of education and training in the year after they left school.
    • The most common study destination was Bachelor Degree (45.0%). The combined VET study destinations accounted for 13.3% of respondents, including 1.7% in campus-based VET programs at Certificate IV level or higher.
    • 11.7% commenced employment-based training, all as apprentices.
    • In addition to the above study destinations, a further 8.3% of respondents from this school deferred a tertiary study offer in 2016.
    • 41.7% did not enter post-education or training, and were either employed (33.3%), seeking work (3.3%) or not in the labour force, education or training (5.0%)

    The distance travelled

    • The College has a comprehensive training program for students who wish to sit for the QCS (Queensland Core Skills Test)
    • The College has been included in QUT's "Blue Group"  in 2015 which means that for three successive years, more than 90% of OP eligible students achieved a result from 1 to 15 and also that the number of students who were OP eligible was rising.
    • The Naplan results in 2015 were also excellent as a result of the College's efforts to improve numeracy and literacy across all year levels.
    • With the offering of Music to years 9 & 10 in 2016 , choices for students have been expanded.
    • The Robotics course for years 7 & 8 has also enhanced students' engagement and provided a focus for STEMS

    Where are we going ?


      Enrichment opportunities in a variety of formats have been provided to students:
       Chess is now offered several times per week with a designated instructor to foster thinking skills.
        A Pathways Program for senior students has been designed to promote effective study skills.
      Promotion of public speaking through Rostrum has improved students' confidence in this medium.
      An across the school numeracy and literacy program has been implemented to improve spelling and mathematical skills.

    Student Satisfaction

    Survey Results from 2015 Student Body:

    A total of 219 students provided responses. Students were generally positive and happy about their experiences at school. They felt their teachers were well prepared (70%) and were preparing students for the future. About 61% of students surveyed felt that they belonged at the school and were happy to be there.

    Data Last Updated Thu Sep 08 2016

    Reading, Writing & Numeracy Results - Year 7, 2015
    Reading Average Score for the school 565.566
    Average Score for Queensland 537.322
    % students at or above the national benchmark 100%
    Writing Average Score for the school 515.464
    Average Score for Queensland 497.108
    % students at or above the national benchmark 93.137%
    Spelling Average Score for the school 543.687
    Average Score for Queensland 541.008
    % students at or above the national benchmark 91.176%
    Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 566.768
    Average Score for Queensland 531.951
    % students at or above the national benchmark 95.098%
    Numeracy Average Score for the school 555.654
    Average Score for Queensland 535.044
    % students at or above the national benchmark 99.009%

    Data Last Updated Wed Jun 22 2016

    Reading, Writing & Numeracy Results - Year 9, 2015
    Reading Average Score for the school 593.713
    Average Score for Queensland 567.391
    % students at or above the national benchmark 96.774%
    Writing Average Score for the school 562.441
    Average Score for Queensland 529.855
    % students at or above the national benchmark 88.297%
    Spelling Average Score for the school 582.135
    Average Score for Queensland 576.704
    % students at or above the national benchmark 94.68%
    Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 585.958
    Average Score for Queensland 560.198
    % students at or above the national benchmark 93.617%
    Numeracy Average Score for the school 603.029
    Average Score for Queensland 581.87
    % students at or above the national benchmark 100%

    Data Last Updated Wed Jun 22 2016

    Year 12 Outcomes

    Number of students awarded a Senior Statement. 0

    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 12.77

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

    Number of students awarded one or more Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications.73

    Number of students who are completing or completed a School-based Apprenticeship or Traineeship (SAT).13

    Number of students who received an Overall Position (OP).43

    Percentage of OP/IBD students who received an OP 1-15 or an IBD.91%

    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.100%

    Percentage of Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre applicants receiving a tertiary offer.97%

    Data Last Updated Tue Jun 14 2016

    School Funding By Source
    Income 2015

    Australian Government recurrent funding$12,460,372

    State/Territory Government recurrent funding$3,911,482

    Fees, charges and parent contributions$6,416,029

    Other private sources$818,479

    Total gross income (excluding income from government capital grants)$23,606,362

    Deductions 2015

    Income allocated to current capital projects$964,949

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

    Income allocated to debt servicing (including principal repayments and interest on loans)$828,264


    Total net recurrent income$21,813,149

    Schools And Colleges

    There are 29 Catholic schools and colleges in the Diocese of Cairns. With the exception of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart School at Thursday Island and St Joseph’s Parish School, Weipa, all schools and colleges are within two hours driving time from Cairns.

    The Cairns Diocese has two Prep to Year 12 colleges (St Andrew's Catholic College at Redlynch and MacKillop Catholic College, Mount Peter), 20 primary schools and 7 secondary colleges. Of those, St Augustine's College, Cairns is an All Boys college and St Monica's College, Cairns is an All Girls college. In addition to day schooling, St Augustine's offers boarding for students of St Augustine's and St Monica's. Mount St Bernard College, Herberton (MSB) is a day and boarding secondary college for boys and girls.

    In 2016, Catholic Education opened two new schools to meet growing demand. MacKillop Catholic College is located in the Cairns southern growth corridor at Mount Peter and offers Prep to Year 3 in 2016. It will grow to full Prep to Year 12 status, with the possible early commencement of secondary in 2018. St Joseph’s Parish School opened in Weipa, offering Prep to Year 6.

    In a strong initiative towards social justice engagement, Catholic Education opened a Flexi School for disengaged young people in Cairns and Cooktown in 2015. Holy Spirit College caters for students aged between 11 and 17 who have disengaged from education or for whom enrolling in a mainstream secondary school is not the best alternative. Holy Spirit College has capacity to enrol up to 52 students in Cairns and up to 38 in Cooktown, of whom up to 32 can be weekly boarders drawn from the wider community including HopeVale and WujalWujal.