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 30 Catholic schools and colleges (also referred to by the general public as private schools and non-government schools) provide a quality education to 11,400 students – 6,700 primary students and 4,700 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 schools in the Torres Strait, Weipa and Cooktown are within two hours driving time of Cairns.
Our newest schools at Weipa, and Mount Peter near Edmonton in the Cairns southern growth corridor opened on 27 January, 2016. A Youth Assistance College at Cooktown and Manoora (in Cairns) opened in 2015 and a third campus opened at Edmonton in 2021.
Cairns Catholic Education’s 30th school, Newman Catholic College, Smithfield will open in 2022 and will be the first Catholic school in Australia to be co-located with a university.
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
| Catholic Schools & Services – Diocese of Cairns
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| Catholic Schools & Services – City of Cairns
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