2018 Annual Report for 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 549 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

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 has a stable staff who reside predominantly in the Tablelands area. With the relocation of a historic chapel to the college site in 2015, there is now a sacred space for staff and students to further develop their faith formation. With the opening of the Music Block in 2018, our students  can enjoy a special space for music lessons based on the 7 to 12 curriculum, the college choir and liturgy band.

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 2015, the college also formed a sister school agreement with Sano Nihon Daigaku Secondary College in Sano City, Japan. This has strengthened cultural ties between students in both schools with annual visits on a rotation basis to each school.

With St Stephen as the patron saint of the college, St Stephen's has pinned its charism to serving others. As a result, social justice is a strong focus for the college, with the Social Justice Committee planning activities to support the following organisations: Caritas (Project Compassion), Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation (St Stephen's Great Wheelbarrow Race team), St Vincent de Paul (Christmas hampers), Rosies (St Stephen's Day fete) as well as other local and national projects which form part of the committee's goals for the year.

In its thirteenth year (in 2018), the college is in the process of  developing a second master plan which will accommodate the needs of its students and their families. With the completion of the proposed multi-purpose hall and auditorium at the end of 2019, the college's facilities will be greatly enhanced, thus enabling signature events to be held onsite.

Characteristics of Student Body

St Stephen's has an extensive catchment area as outlined in the introduction, with approximately twelve buses transporting students to and from school each day. Our students undertake both academic and vocational courses of study in their senior years, with certificate courses provided by the college as an RTO, while also allowing students to undertake TAFE courses offsite. The college has an excellent reputation for outstanding results at the senior level for both academic and vocational courses of study. In addition, students are very willing to participate in extra-curricular activities such as chess, Optiminds, futsal, Lions Youth of the Year, Plain English Speaking Competition, to name but a few, with outstanding results at a state and national level. In keeping with the Mareeba Shire, our students also come from diverse cultural, social and economic backgrounds. The culture of the college embraces this diversity and caters for students  who are gifted as well as those requiring support.

School Annual Improvement

The focus of the School Annual Improvement Plan for 2018 was in three areas: Analysis and discussion of data; expert teaching team; celebrated and lived Catholic Identity. In terms of analysis and discussion of data, the 2018 year 12 results are not yet available. However, improvements occurred in the writing aspect of Naplan 2018 and other areas maintained a positive outcome. Spelling has been identified as an area for improvement with incoming year seven students. In terms of an expert teaching team, the goal of 25% of staff being profiled has been achieved. Visible signs of our Catholic Identity have also been actioned and this area will continue as one of improvement in 2019 with the Catholic Faith in Action Program. In 2017, the college exceeded its key performance indicators with year 12 outcomes, achieving an excellent result of 40.48% of OP eligible students achieving between a score of 1 to 5 and 100% of students gaining a QCE. Measures have been implemented in 2018 to continue monitoring and mentoring of students to enable them to achieve their personal best.

Distinctive Curriculum Offerings

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, the 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 549 students in 2018, 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 the Arts has enriched curriculum offerings. This has been aided by the completion of the Music Block for the 2018 school year. An emphasis on STEM, through the offering of Robotics as a subject, has also provided more learning opportunities for students. With the implementation of a one to one device programme for years 7 and 10, to be rolled out to all students by 2020, there has been much progress made in incorporating technology in the classroom. (The introduction of a learning management system, Canvas, has provided students with the ability to access class work offline when not at school.)

In addition, there are new subjects proposed for 2019 with the introduction of the new QCE system. These include the general subject of Psychology, the applied subject of Social and Community Studies and certificate courses in fitness and health services assistance. In 2018, all year twelve students participated in retreat, year seven students in a "getting to know you camp", year ten in team building in readiness for year eleven and community days for years eight, nine and eleven. Students have the capacity to be elevated to a class level higher than their cohort (eg. undertaking Mathematics C studies while in year nine), while others receive extra support through Wednesday afternoon Mathematics tutorials and lunch time assistance in all subjects. In 2019, the college will undertake the development of a Learning Framework based on Marzano, in alignment with senior syllabus documents.

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 promotes positive relationships.
  • 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.
  • PRIDE: perseverance, respect, integrity, dignity and excellence: values which are promoted and fostered.
  • The college's pastoral care policy is based on restorative justice.
  • Each year level has a Middle Leader Pastoral Care as well as Home form teachers who monitor the well-being of students.
  • Bullying is not tolerated; incidences are dealt with effectively in a timely manner with appropriate consequences; well-being of students is a priority and is managed by the College Leader, Pastoral Care in a proactive manner so as to enhance positive experiences for all students. Whole school participation in national day of action against bullying and violence occurred in 2018.

Parent Engagement

Parents are strongly encouraged and invited to all signature events and informal displays of student work

  • "Meet and Greet" BBQ in early term one to welcome families to the college.
  • Information evenings in early term one for year 11 and 12 students and their families.
  • Parents welcomed at fortnightly assemblies and whole school masses, in particular, on St Stephen's Day, in term three.
  • Invitations to view student work and morning tea in the college library.
  • Arts Evening where student work is showcased.
  • Invitation to sporting events (swimming, cross country and athletics).
  • Parent/teacher interviews.
  • Open evening for potential enrolments.
  • Subject selection evening and BBQ in term three.
  • Awards Night
  • Year 12 Graduation assembly
  • Year 12 Graduation mass
  • Senior Formal Committee
  • Parents and Friends Meetings
  • Effective communication on a regular basis by staff through the School Record Book, emails and phone calls is an expectation.

Parent Satisfaction

The following areas were commented on by parents:

  • Excellent Rating: Leadership (4.37/5); Resources (4.24/5); Student Protection (4.12/5); Bullying and behaviour management (4.09/5)
  • Good Rating: Improvement Processes (3.94/5); Catholic Ethos (3.78/5)
  • 88.2% of parents agreed: At St Stephen's Catholic College (Mareeba), each child is encouraged to achieve to the best of their ability.
  • The top reasons for choosing St Stephen's:
    • Academic Excellence: 91% of parents
    • Behaviour Management Structures: 77% of parents
    • School Reputation: 71% of parents

Data Last Updated Tue 28 May 2019

Staff Reporting Data
Qualification Highest level of attainment Doctoral / Post-doctoral Masters Bachelor degree Diploma Certificate
Number of staff with this qualification 0 9 29 10 0

Workforce composition
Headcount FTE (Full-time equivalent)
Teaching Staff60 51.73
Non-Teaching Staff 30 19.52
Indigenous 0 0

Total funds expended on teacher professional development$16881

Teaching Staff Involved in Professional Development100%

Major Professional Development Initiatives

  • Whole teaching staff analysis and discussion of data with Dr Judy Smeed
  • Senior Leadership formation with Phil Billington
  • Strategic Directions 2019 to 2021 development with Phil Billington
  • Naplan data analysis and Literacy and Numeracy Plan focus
  • Learning Management System (Canvas) professional learning minimum requirements for 2018
  • QCAA workshops on new QCE system (visit by Chris Rider, CEO to St Stephen's)
  • Staff retreat
  • Trewth Conference

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 year91.00%

Staff Satisfaction

The following areas were commented on by staff:

  • Excellent Rating: Student Protection (4.58/5); Resources (4.39/5); Leadership (4.28/5); Bullying and behaviour management (4.20/5); Staff engagement (4.12/5); Improvement Processes (4.16/5); Catholic Ethos (4.03/5)
  • 98.6% of staff agreed: St Stephen's Catholic College (Mareeba) provides high quality services to parents and students.

Data Last Updated Tue May 28 2019

Student Reporting Data
Average student attendance rates
YR 7YR 8 YR 9 YR 10 YR 11 YR 12
94.06% 92.4% 92.03% 90.78% 92.78% 92.22%
How non-attendance is managed by the school

  • As part of the SAIP 2018 and 2019, the college has identified student attendance as an area of focus; attendance is currently at 92% with a large proportion of students attending close to 100% and some finding attendance a challenge.
  • There is an effective communication system via SMS to alert parents of non-attendance each day.
  • Daily attendance is reviewed daily by the Principal, College Leader Pastoral Care and Pastoral Care Middle Leaders; follow-up occurs with unexplained absences. Where there are instances of students not attending due to anxiety, verification often occurs for Social and Emotional Disorder, discussions are held with parents to ascertain strategies to encourage the student to return to school; currently, the college has a small percentage of students who fit into this category of demonstrating anxiety about attending school. Meetings are also held at the Diverse Learning Team level to refer students to family connect if they are regular non-attendees or to provide support for them to return to school.
  • In 2019, the college is working on a policy to review participation in extra-curricular activities if students do not have a legitimate reason for non-attendance.


Year 10 to 12 Apparent Retention Rate68
Post-School Destination Information

This is a summary of the post-school destinations of students from St Stephen's Catholic College who completed Year 12 and gained a Senior Statement in 2018.  The results are from the Year 12 Completers Survey, which is conducted approximately six months after students completed Year 12.

55 out of 76 (72.4% response rate) Year 12 completers from this school responded to the 2019 survey.   

In 2019, 92.7% of Year 12 completers from St Stephen's Catholic College were engaged in education, training or employment 

Student Satisfaction

Catholic Education Services conducted a School Results Survey with students of St Stephen's Catholic College (Mareeba) in 2018.

St Stephen's Catholic College provides educational services to students from 440 families.

Survey responses were received from 117 out of a total of 143 eligible respondents. 

St Stephen's Catholic College recorded an overall satisfaction score of 70% (3.5 out of 5)

  • Fair to good areas include: Resources, Learning + Teaching, Leadership, Bullying + Behaviour Management, Catholic Ethos, Improvement Processes, Student Protection 

Data Last Updated Tue Nov 19 2019

Reading, Writing & Numeracy Results - Year 7, 2018
Reading Average Score for the school 549.7
Average Score for Queensland 549.4
% students at or above the national benchmark 99.1%
Writing Average Score for the school 523.2
Average Score for Queensland 506.4
% students at or above the national benchmark 96.3%
Spelling Average Score for the school 559.7
Average Score for Queensland 554.7
% students at or above the national benchmark 94.5%
Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 556.6
Average Score for Queensland 553.8
% students at or above the national benchmark 98.1%
Numeracy Average Score for the school 538.5
Average Score for Queensland 549
% students at or above the national benchmark 95.5%

Data Last Updated Thu May 30 2019

Reading, Writing & Numeracy Results - Year 9, 2018
Reading Average Score for the school 603.4
Average Score for Queensland 590.1
% students at or above the national benchmark 95.8%
Writing Average Score for the school 551.5
Average Score for Queensland 543.4
% students at or above the national benchmark 84.2%
Spelling Average Score for the school 592.7
Average Score for Queensland 590.4
% students at or above the national benchmark 92.7%
Grammar and Punctuation Average Score for the school 597.9
Average Score for Queensland 598.3
% students at or above the national benchmark 98.9%
Numeracy Average Score for the school 587
Average Score for Queensland 587.5
% students at or above the national benchmark 94.8%

Data Last Updated Thu May 30 2019

No Naplan Data Available
School Funding By Source
Income 2018

Australian Government recurrent funding$3,232,331

State/Territory Government recurrent funding$623,284

Fees, charges and parent contributions$669,683

Other private sources$229,609

Total gross income (excluding income from government capital grants)$4,754,907

Deductions 2018

Income allocated to current capital projects$111,720

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

Income allocated to debt servicing (including principal repayments and interest on loans)$296,273


Total net recurrent income$502,373

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.