What is Newman Catholic College?

Newman Catholic College is a co-educational Catholic secondary college that will open in 2022, co-located with James Cook University at Smithfield. It will be the 30th Catholic school in the Diocese of Cairns, the newest secondary college in the Far North Queensland region and the first Catholic school in Australia to be located within a university precinct.

When will Newman Catholic College open?

Newman Catholic College, Smithfield will open in 2022 with Year 7 and progressively add a year level until Year 12 is reached in 2027. It is a master planned college that will be built progressively in four stages, over a ten-year period.

How many students will Newman Catholic College have?

It is anticipated that Newman Catholic College will open with 100 Year 7 students in 2022 and reach 750 – 800 enrolments by the time it reaches Year 12 in 2027.

Who can enrol at Newman Catholic College?

Like all Catholic schools, Newman Catholic College is welcoming to students and families of all faiths, backgrounds and abilities, who seek to share in what the College has to offer. Again, like all Catholic schools, Newman Catholic College does not have geographical enrolment catchments. Strong interest for enrolments has been received from Cairns, the Cairns Northern Beaches, and further north to Port Douglas and Mossman.

Is the site large enough for a secondary college?

The compact site was one of the inspirations for the multi-level school which will be an exemplar of world class, contemporary, twenty-first century education design. Newman Catholic College will share resources with James Cook University, for example, the sports oval. Read more about the Design Concept.

Will parking be a problem?

It is acknowledged that parking may present some difficulties onsite. However, the College’s convenient location in close proximity and accessibility to pedestrian walkways, a bikeway and the university’s public transport hub with its connections to suburbs across Cairns, should help to alleviate parking concerns.

Will young secondary students be safe on a university campus?

Newman Catholic College will function separately from the university as a fully functional Catholic college in the Diocese of Cairns, with the College mindful of its responsibility to provide a safe educational environment for its students.

What are the benefits to Newman Catholic College of the partnership with James Cook University?

The partnership will provide exciting extension and mentoring opportunities and transition programs for students of Newman Catholic College.

Will other Catholic secondary colleges in the Cairns Diocese benefit from the partnership between Cairns Catholic Education and James Cook University?

The benefits of the partnership, including exciting extension and mentoring opportunities and transition programs, will extend to students of all Catholic secondary colleges in the Cairns Diocese.

What are the benefits of the partnership to both James Cook University and Cairns Catholic Education?

It is an exciting and challenging opportunity for both JCU and Cairns Catholic Education to develop partnership programs which are successful, sustainable and mutually beneficial. Mutual benefits of co-location to Newman Catholic College and James Cook University include shared use of facilities, extension, mentoring and transition opportunities for students, opportunities for teacher education and professional development, identification and recruitment of graduate teachers, and university research.

Will Newman Catholic College have an academic focus?

Newman Catholic College will not be a select academic school but will apply the same principles of inclusive practice as every Catholic school in the Cairns Diocese and provide multiple pathways for students.

Will Newman Catholic College offer specific pathways or areas of excellence?

Curriculum as Newman Catholic College will centre on design, digital and inquiry-based learning. It will be strategic in its intent to promote the development of skills such as problem solving, critical analysis, creative thinking; a curriculum that is innovative, digital and design focused and forward thinking.

Will students at Newman Catholic College be able to do VET subjects and how will those VET subjects differ to other Cairns Catholic colleges?

Newman Catholic College will not seek to reproduce options available at other Catholic colleges, such as a Trade Training Centre, but will focus on options not currently available e.g. aviatronics, aviation and drones, and blurring the boundaries between traditional secondary and tertiary pathways. High-quality complementary education and training opportunities will be created through student placements and internships. How Cairns Catholic secondary colleges may collaborate with subjects is yet to be determined.

Will Newman Catholic College be affordable?

As a Catholic school, Newman Catholic College strives to be as affordable as possible so that those wishing to access a Catholic education can do so. Tuition fees are set by Cairns Catholic Education and all other costs are covered by levies set by the College. 2022 Tuition fees and levies have not yet been set, however there has been no increase to 2020 fees for 2021, in response to the expectation that many families will continue to experience financial hardship as the regional economy continues its recovery from the coronavirus impacts.

It is Cairns Catholic Education’s policy that no child is denied a Catholic education because of financial inability to pay. Sibling discounts apply for students in one or more Catholic schools or colleges in the Cairns Diocese, and generous fee concessions are available for those experiencing genuine financial hardship. In these pandemic troubled times, tuition fee concessions have increased from the usual 70 per cent to 100 per cent for holders of means-tested concession cards, including those on Jobseeker, to ensure no child’s education is interrupted because of financial difficulty.

Those who are financially distressed but do not hold a concession card may also seek special consideration. All families who seek fee relief can be assured that their enquiries will be treated with respect, sensitivity and confidentiality. New families are eligible for the same concessions, so there is no reason for financial concerns to prevent families joining Newman Catholic College and the Cairns Catholic Education community.
The expectation that families that have not experienced financial hardship continue to pay their fees, supports Cairns Catholic Education’s commitment to provide ongoing high-quality education for all students and assistance to families in genuine need.

With Newman Catholic College to be built in stages, will Year 7 students who start in 2022 have all the facilities they need?

Yes, the Stage 1 build of Newman Catholic College will accommodate the educational needs of Year 7 students in 2022 and Year 7 and 8 students in 2023. Each additional stage build will add facilities to cater for additional students as the College adds a year level every year until it reaches Year 12 in 2027. Read more about the Design Concept and Staging.

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