St John the Evangelist Catholic High School, Nowra

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St John the Evangelist Catholic High School
St John the Evangelist Catholic High School is located in New South Wales
St John the Evangelist Catholic High School
St John the Evangelist Catholic High School
Location in New South Wales

Coordinates34°53′47″S 150°36′21″E / 34.896400°S 150.605946°E / -34.896400; 150.605946Coordinates: 34°53′47″S 150°36′21″E / 34.896400°S 150.605946°E / -34.896400; 150.605946
Other nameSt John's
TypeIndependent co-educational secondary day school
MottoLatin: Pax Christi
DenominationRoman Catholic
Patron saint(s)Saint John the Evangelist
Established1989; 30 years ago (1989)
FounderSisters of the Good Samaritan
OversightRoman Catholic Diocese of Wollongong
School code838
PrincipalSandra Hogan
Enrolmentc. 1,000
Campus typeRegional
SongPax Christi
Feeder schoolsSt Michael's Catholic Primary School

St John the Evangelist Catholic High School, or the colloquial St John's, is an independent co-educational secondary day school, located in Nowra, New South Wales, Australia. The school provides a religious and general education to Catholic and non-Catholic families alike. Administered by the Catholic Education Office of the Diocese of Wollongong, the Catholic systemic school caters for students from Year 7 to Year 12 and serves the Shoalhaven and surrounding regions.

St John's has approximately 1,000 students, most of whom come from Catholic families. This is in contrast to the local government high schools, which are well in excess of 1,000 students.[citation needed] Many of the school's students do not live in the Nowra area, and travel by bus each day from around the Shoalhaven.[citation needed]


St John's was founded in 1989, as Catholic families in the region wanted a secondary school for their children. Up until 1967 there was a Catholic secondary school provided at St Michael's school, but it was closed due to financial hardship, and Catholic students then had to attend the local state high schools, Shoalhaven High School and Nowra High School, with some families opting to send their children to the Catholic boarding school in the Southern Highlands, Chevalier College. For twenty years local Catholic families were without a secondary Catholic school.

St John the Evangelist High School was founded in 1990. The first principal was Carmel Bambridge. The Sisters of the Good Samaritan had worked in the Nowra Parish since 1893, particularly in the area of the Catholic Education in St Michael's School and State Schools of the region. The Good Samaritans were founded in 1857 by Archbishop John Bede Polding to work with convict women, and then moved into the field of Catholic Education. Polding's patron saint was St John the Evangelist, and as a Benedictine monk he adapted to the rule of St Benedict for the Good Samaritan Congregation; the Benedictine motto is pax the Latin word for "peace". The official feast day for the school is that of St John the Evangelist which is celebrated on 27 December each year. Since this falls during the summer school holidays, the feast day is celebrated near Pentecost.


The following individuals have served as College Principal:

Ordinal Officeholders Term start Term end Time in office Notes
1 Carmel Bambridge 1990 1992 1–2 years
2 Frank Leonard 1992 1997 4–5 years
3 Noel Meadows 1997 2001 3–4 years
4 Catherine Slatery 2001 2001 0 years
5 Karen Young 2001 2008 6–7 years
6 Neil McCann 2008 2015 6–7 years
7 Sandra Hogan 2015 incumbent 3–4 years

House system[edit]

Benedict – Yellow (formerly Cuthbert)
Originally named after Australian athletics great Betty Cuthbert, the House name was changed in 2005. Named after St Benedict.

Chisholm – Red (formerly Bradman)
Originally named after Australian cricketing legend Sir Donald Bradman, the House name was changed in 2005. Named after Caroline Chisholm.

MacKillop – Purple
Formed in 2005 as the fifth house and named after St. Mary MacKillop the founder of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart

McCabe – Blue (formerly Goolagong)
Originally named after Australian tennis great Evonne Goolagong Cawley, the House name was changed in 2005. Named after Bishop Thomas McCabe, the first Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wollongong.

Polding – Orange
Formed in 2006 as the sixth house and named after Archbishop John Polding the first Roman Catholic Bishop in Australia and founder of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan.

Purcell – Green (formerly Elliott)
Originally named after Australian athletics great Herb Elliott, the House name was changed in 2005. Named after Monsignor John Purcell, the Parish Priest at the time of the schools' opening and also one of the founders of the school.


St John’s offers a wide range of subjects. In years 11 and 12, students begin to work towards the Higher School Certificate (HSC), which allows them to either enter university, TAFE, college, or the workforce. Whilst the HSC years are not compulsory in NSW, they are popular for students at St John’s, as many students leave St John’s post-HSC to study at the University of Wollongong. As with all Catholic schools in the Catholic Diocese of Wollongong, religious education is compulsory in all years.

See also[edit]


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