Welcome to Catholic Education Cairns!
Education in Catholic schools in the Cairns Diocese began in the 1880s in Cooktown, when the Sisters of Mercy established a school. Since those early days, numerous Catholic schools have opened, largely due to the dedication of the Mercy Sisters, Sisters of St Joseph, the commitment of Diocesan Bishops and generations of the laity. Most recently, Newman Catholic College opened in 2022 on the grounds of James Cook University’s Cairns campus – the first Catholic school in Australia to be co-located with a university. In 2021, our youth assistance college, Holy Spirit College opened its third campus at Edmonton, having opened in 2015 with campuses at Manoora in Cairns and in Cooktown. In 2016, the Diocese also opened schools in Weipa (P-6) and Mount Peter (P-12).
Today there are 30 schools, with a primary school planned for Kewarra Beach to open in approximately 2025. All, except the dual campus Our Lady of the Sacred Heart School, Waibeni (Thursday Island) and Kiriri (Hammond Island), Holy Spirit College Cooktown campus and St Joseph’s Parish School, Weipa, are within a two-hour drive of Cairns. Student enrolments across the Diocese number 11,700 students and schools are staffed by a combined total of over 1,800 dedicated teachers, school officers, admin support and grounds and maintenance staff.
Cairns Catholic Education provides a vibrant, student centred approach to learning in contemporary, well maintained and resourced schools. We strive to provide students with exemplary learning opportunities that develop the whole person, celebrate their varied and diverse gifts and cater for their unique needs, whilst enhancing the wellbeing of self, others and all creation.
Our Catholic school communities aim to be places of learning open to all. They focus on the Catholic Christian world view centred on the person of Jesus Christ. Students, staff, families and Parish work in partnership to authentically live out the Gospel in today’s world with all the challenges this entails.
It is with optimism and a deep sense of privilege and purpose that we prepare our students to engage with and make an authentic contribution to wider society.
Catholic Education Services
Diocese of Cairns