McCarthy Catholic College

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McCarthy Catholic College
McCarthy Catholic College logo.png
Tamworth, New South Wales, Australia
School type Catholic, Day
Motto "Receive, Worship, Serve"
Established 2000
Principal Mr. Geoff McManus
Campus East Tamworth
Colour(s) Navy, White and Yellow

McCarthy Catholic College is situated in the city of Tamworth, New South Wales, Australia. McCarthy Catholic College was formed in 2000 through the amalgamation of "Our Lady of the Rosary College" (7-10) and "McCarthy Catholic Senior High School" (11-12), both previously in Tamworth.

About McCarthy Catholic College[edit]

McCarthy Catholic College is a co-educational high school, from years 7 to 12, and a systemic school in the Diocese of Armidale. It was formed in 2000 with the amalgamation of Our Lady of the Rosary College and McCarthy Catholic Senior High School. McCarthy Catholic College was named after Rev. Fr. Timothy McCarthy, who was the first resident priest in the New England region (1853 -1864), and continues the traditions in Catholic education of the Dominican Sisters and Christian Brothers who contributed to the culture of both the former schools.

Former Schools[edit]

The first principal of McCarthy Catholic Senior High School was Sister Patricia Rowe, who researched and suggested the idea of a Catholic Senior High School and also contributed input to the current school. In 1972, temporary accommodation was made available at St. Dominic's Marius Street, where the senior students from two schools, St. Dominic's College (for girls) and Christian Brother's College (for boys) held joint classes. These classes were combined in 1981 to form McCarthy Senior College. The junior classes in both schools formed Our Lady of the Rosary College. Both the latter college and McCarthy Senior College became McCarthy Catholic College in 2000. Important additions to the school have included the Library, special areas for Art, Home Science and Textile and Design, as well as extensions to the administration block. Early in 1989 the Library extension, a computer room, a further two class rooms and an audio/visual room were ready for use. The official opening of the science laboratory extension and the music complex was performed early in 1993, following work completed in 1992. The extension gave the school one additional science laboratory and additional staff facilities in the science area as well as a purpose music room with facilities for individual and small group practice, staff facility, store room and additional general class rooms.


McCarthy’s Logo is a combination of the Chiro Cross; the Southern Cross and the official McCarthy colours of navy, white and gold. The Chiro Cross is recognized as the symbol of Christ. In the Greek alphabet, Chi and Rho are the first two letters in Christ. They are represented by the letter X written over the letter P. The McCarthy logo is a variation of those two letters combined. The terms Receive, Worship and Serve are part of the McCarthy Catholic College Mission Statement.

Father Timothy McCarthy[edit]

Father Timothy McCarthy was born in Ireland in 1829 at Ballinhassig. After he completed his schooling he went on to study law for three years but later transferred to study Theology and Philosophy at St. Patrick's College, Carlow in his preparation for the priesthood. He was ordained in 1852 and was persuaded by an Australian priest visiting Ireland to relocate to Australia. After a few months in Sydney he moved to Armidale in September 1853. This young man at the time was a very fine horseman and was very involved and trusted when it came to Pastoral Care. He then became the first priest of New South Wales and the North Coast. Over time he had visited places such as Glen Innes, Nundle and the surrounding places of Tamworth. He was provided by the Government a small salary. With this he built himself a house nearby the old weatherboard chapel on the site of O'Connor High School. The Catholic congregation in Tamworth had been asking for its own resident priest, but this was not to be until 1864, after Father Tim had been transferred. However he did his best and what ever he could. In 1859, he organised the building of the first St. Nicholas' church in Tamworth. He had previously helped in establishing a small chapel in Walcha in 1854 and the first church in Grafton in 1857. Father McCarthy built a school in Armidale in 1861 and also funded the Armidale Reading Society. After some years he went to Sydney and in 1874 was made Dean of St. Mary Cathedral. Over any more years he toured the cities and the country raising funds but over this task, though successful in many ways, proved to be too much for him and was forced into retirement in 1878. He died after his return to his native Ireland, two weeks after being diagnosed with "congestion of the liver" on 25 August 1879, aged 50.

The Beginners[edit]

The Christian Brothers[edit]

The Christian Brothers have brought their own style of education to Australia. The Christian Brothers have helped us to look up to the stars. They are remember for their energy and contribution to the Catholic Church and the faith in Christianity. The involvement of the Christian Brothers in education in Tamworth has been significant during their 80 years here. It began with their considerable presence at CBC, then McCarthy Senior High, and more recently Rosary College.[citation needed]

The Dominican Sisters[edit]

In 1981, our first Aisling [clarification needed] Sister Theresa wrote, "Our aim at Rosary College is not only to equip students a future career, but to create a caring Christian Community". This message has been given new meaning over the years, through the special presence and spirituality of the Dominican Sisters.[citation needed]

The beginning[edit]

Catholic Education in Tamworth began with some small cottage schools conducted by Catholic lay women in the late 1860s. In 1876 the Dominican Sisters began their association with the "City of Peel" and beyond. Schools were opened on 16 January the first enrolment in the Primary School being ninety while the High School - St Dominic's Priory - began with ten students. In 1882, St Dominic's Convent was opened and in 1910, the St. Nicholas Primary School was built in order to provide adequately for the 400 pupils attending the schools. Girls and boys attended St. Nicholas in Infants/Primary - Kindergarten to Year Four - with St. Dominic's starting at Year Five. In 1925 the Christian Brothers was established and was attended only by boys. This meant that St. Dominics became a school only for girls. The St. Nicholas School was at this stage, located where the K Mart Plaza stands today in White Street. St. Dominic's Priory was behind the St Nicholas School dormitory house in the convent.

In 1972, McCarthy Senior Catholic High School (Years 11 and 12) was formed and catered for the co-educational situation. The school was named after Father Tim McCarthy who administered Mass in the area. June 1975 saw the school move to its present site in Tribe Street. In 1980, it was decided that a new co-educational high school would be formed, combining the Year Seven to Ten students of both Christian Brothers College and St. Dominic's. In 1981, St Dominic's and the Christian College were combined to form Our Lady of the Rosary College - a co-educational school for students of Years Seven to Ten. The school began (term one, 1981) on the St. Dominic's site awaiting the final construction of the new school buildings. These were built on a site on Warral Road, on the south western side of Tamworth. On Monday 13 July 1981, Sister Teresa led the school in prayer.[citation needed] The official opening of the school was on 11 October 1981.

The Opening and Completion of McCarthy Catholic College[edit]

The Blessing and Official Opening of the new school facilities at McCarthy Catholic College took place on 18 November 2004. The Government funding for the school had begun in 2001. The first stage consisted of eight new general classrooms, new spaces for textiles & design, food technology, technics, design and technology and computer graphics as well as a large amount of the undercover walkways. The first completion of moving the students was taken in the beginning of the year 2002 consisting of all the year 10 students. The aim was to get all the year 10 students into McCarthy for the beginning of the new year. With this completion of year 10 movements a lot of teachers were forced to move under threat the classes at the new school would be overcrowded, and that there would not be enough teachers. This was a huge year for the students of both McCarthy and Rosary. This was also the first time in 30 years that there had been another grade other than years 11 & 12 at the campus.

The next 2 stages, 2 and 3 where combined into one project because of the threat that abandoning the school between these stages could give a massive effect. This work included new administration and staff study building, new art, music and drama spaces and 2 general learning areas. The refurbishment of all the older buildings saw the creation of 2 new science labs, 3 computer labs, a larger library and 8 general learning areas. Stage 4 began in 2003 which consisted of 6 general learning areas and a massive multi-purpose hall complex. The completion of these buildings ended in July 2004. The opening of the school saw the great ceremony in the hall attended by many such as Bishop Luc Matthys. And on that day this new school we have today was created. In 2008, two additional classrooms and a COLA (Covered Outdoor Learning Area) were built to accommodate the schools growing population. A large perimeter fence was also completed in 2009 after vandals attacked the schools Performing Arts Centre (PAC) destroying most of the building after setting it alight early in the year. A new PAC was scheduled to be completed by the beginning of 2011.[citation needed]