Newman Catholic College is named for St John Henry Newman (1801–1890), one of the newest Catholic saints. John Henry Newman was an educator, theologian and poet, first an Anglican priest and later a Catholic priest and cardinal.  He is the first English saint in 300 years and was canonised as a saint in the Catholic Church in 2019. St John Henry Newman is recognised as one of the most influential figures of 19th century England.

One of his most influential works ‘The Idea of a University’ outlined his philosophy of education and the role of a university in education ‘to educate the intellect to reason well in all matters, to reach out towards the truth and grasp it’*. He also identified the need for a respectful relationship between a university and the Church, each maintaining their independence. Newman emphasised the importance of education, of virtue, of service, and of justice. He was a champion of education and a strong supporter of the need for intellectual freedom at the university level.

* National Institute for Newman Studies. (2007). Discourse 6: Knowledge viewed in relation to learning.

St John Henry Newman video


Newman Catholic College will embrace a Franciscan charism based on the spirituality of St Francis and St Clare who both lived in Assisi, Italy 800 years ago.

St Francis is one of the world’s most popular saints due to his contemporary relevance as the earliest ecologist and patron saint of animals. He was a mystic and a pilgrim who lived in simplicity and wonderful harmony with God, with others, with nature and with himself. Francis is deeply loved for his joy, his generous self-giving and his openheartedness, by both Christians and non-Christians

St Clare lived in Assisi at the time of Francis. Clare was born into a very wealthy family but after hearing Francis preaching the Gospels, promoting “Peace and Good” and seeing Francis devoting his time to the poor and sick, Clare joined Francis and lived a life of prayer and service. Clare is recognised as the co-founder of the Franciscan movement.

A Franciscan charism has particular relevance today in the example and teachings of Pope Francis.


The Newman Catholic College logo design is meaningful, being reflective of the College, its patron, its Franciscan charism, its location, and the significance of its co-location on the James Cook University site. It is a modern design to reflect a unique and innovative college.

Voice and Tone

Education demands radical transformation if we want students to become future ready, in the face of a more digitally enabled, uncertain and fast changing world. The logo symbol and fonts convey a modern, future-focused feel, to reflect a curriculum that is innovative, digital and design-focused, and forward thinking. Using clearly defined, strong lines to indicate strength of character, focus and direction, the separation of elements within the logo speak to St John Henry Newman’s commitment to defying boundaries, freedom of thought and speech.


Red and gold are symbolic of St John Henry Newman, being the colours of his personal coat of arms. James Cook University’s logo bears the same gold, and a vibrant blue. Therefore, Newman Catholic College’s colours of red, gold and blue acknowledge both St John Henry Newman and James Cook University.

  • Red – St John Henry Newman’s personal coat of arms.
  • Gold – St John Henry Newman’s personal coat of arms. Also links to the sun on the JCU coat of arms/logo.
  • Blue – The colour of the sea and the sky, two distinct elements of life in North Queensland. The colour of water, the giver of life, the water of baptism.  It is also a visual link to James Cook University.

Tau Cross

The tau cross is a T-shaped cross, sometimes with all three ends of the cross expanded. It is called a “tau cross” because it is shaped like the Greek letter tau which in its upper-case form has the same appearance as Latin and English letter T.

The tau cross is commonly associated with the Franciscan Order and its founder, St Francis of Assisi, who adopted it as his personal sign after hearing Pope Innocent III talk about the tau symbol. It is now used as a symbol of the Secular Franciscan Order.

With Newman Catholic College embracing the Franciscan charism, the inclusion of the tau cross in the College’s logo links to St John Henry Newman and is a connection to its unique relationship with James Cook University. The prominent position of the Tau cross in the logo, central to and forming part of the shield, highlights the Franciscan charism of the College.


Historically, many institutions, colleges and universities have included a shield in their logo, representing integrity, dignity, justice, and honour, as does James Cook University’s logo.  In the Newman Catholic College logo, the shield is shown in a more contemporary light to underscore these traditional values whilst embodying the ethos of a modern, future-focused learning environment. Its shape reflects that of a heart and speaks to the College motto.

Heart Speaks to Heart – A Motto to Live By

Heart speaks unto heart was the motto chosen by St John Henry Newman to go on his coat of arms when he became a Cardinal in 1879 and the motto that has been adopted for Newman Catholic College. Inspired by these words spoken by St Francis de Sales, Newman calls us to hear God speaking to our hearts and to listen for our mission from God.

At its simplest level, “heart speaks to heart” is a phrase that invites us to make time to be with God in prayer.  If we want to live love, we must draw from the source of life and love, from the Sacred Heart of Jesus. There was no other way, as Newman put it, to shine with God’s light. We speak to people’s hearts through our everyday actions.

Newman believed that, next to the power of supernatural grace, the greatest influence over the human soul is the example of goodness in another person.

Heart speaks to heart is a motto that is still so relevant today.

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