St Patrick's College, Mackay

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St Patrick's College
St Patrick's College crest.png
Mackay, Queensland
Type Independent
Motto Seek Christ
Religious affiliation(s) Catholic
Established 1929 (founded as St Patrick's Christian Brothers College)
Principal Janelle Agius
Grades 11-12
Gender Coeducational
Enrolment 480 (2012)
Campus Urban
Colour(s) Blue, White, Red & Gold

St Patrick's College is a co-educational Catholic school in Mackay, Queensland, Australia . St Patrick's is the only school in Queensland that offers education only to Years 11 and 12. The college's motto is "Seek Christ", which reflects one of the College's main aims, to develop the person spiritually. The current principal is Janelle Agius.


St Patrick's College was founded in 1929 as St Patrick's Christian Brothers College, an all-boys school run by the Congregation of Christian Brothers. The school was situated on the Gregory Street site which is the main campus of the current school. From the 1870s, the River Street site of today's St Patrick's College was occupied by St Joseph's Convent School (later St Patrick's Convent School). On the closure of the convent primary school, the Christian Brothers' College obtained the use of the River Street land. On the River Street side was CBC's primary school and on the Gregory Street side was CBC's secondary school. In 1987 St Patrick's became what it is today. Our Lady of Mercy College (an all-girls school) became Mercy College, a co-educational school for junior high school (Years 7-10) and St Patrick's became a co-educational school for Years 11 and 12 only.

Cultural life[edit]

There is a wide selection of cultural activities available within the college. Many students exhibit talent in public speaking, drama, music and the visual arts. St Patrick's College provides students with opportunities to further their creative skills, and encourages participation in cultural activities both in the college and the wider Mackay community.

The college participates in interschool debating and encourages students to enter competitions such as Lion's Youth of the Year, Youth Speaks for Australia, Rostrum Public Speaking and so on. The college has established an enviable record in the areas of dramatic performance, debating and public speaking, with St Patrick's being State Champions of Queensland in the Apex Debating Competition in 2005 and 2006, and National Champions in 2004. Debating is arguably the school's most successful extracurricular, non-sporting activity.

St Patrick's College provides opportunities for students to develop their musical talents and provides opportunities for performance. Musical tuition is available through the college in brass, woodwind and percussion, and Music is available as a subject to study. Students have the opportunity to play in the stage band and concert bands which are combined bands with Mercy College Mackay. The St Patrick’s choir has attained a high reputation in the community and the handbell ensemble (being one of the largest in the southern-hemisphere) is a unique and challenging musical experience for students. In 2006, the handbell ensemble attended the World Handbell Symposium in Brisbane and were delighted to receive the top mark in Youth strand for their performance. In 2009 co-curricular arts students travelled to New Zealand for the Rhapsody Rotorua music festival and the 25th Australasian Handbell Symposium.

St Patrick's is well-renowned in the community for its high-quality bi-annual theatre productions, which have included adaptations of The Wizard of Oz, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, West Side Story (2006), Godspell (2008) and All Shook Up (2010). In 2012 the college presented an adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webbers' Cats, becoming one of the first schools in Australia to perform the production.

The college also hosts a cultural dinner and cultural soiree to showcase and acknowledge students’ talents and achievements. The lunchtime comedy theatre is one of the year’s attractions. St Pats regularly produces musicals or theatre restaurants, and participates in the Mackay Festival of the Arts.

Spiritual life[edit]

At St Patrick's College, all students must study a religion subject, and the college views those subjects as having the same status and importance as all other subjects in the college. Students have a choice to study either:

  • Religion & Ethics or
  • Study of Religion or
  • Cert III in Christian Ministry and Theology

Both subjects are approved by the Queensland Studies Authority (QSA) and results from both subjects will appear on students’ senior certificates. Results from Study of Religion can contribute towards students’ O.Ps. Results from Religion & Ethics, however, do not contribute towards a student's O.P score.

As St Patrick's College is a Catholic school, the College participates in various liturgies, masses and other Catholic events. While it is not a requirement to be Catholic to be enrolled at the College, all students are expected to be respectful and reverent during times of prayer within the College.

Sporting life[edit]

St Patrick's students are encouraged to participate in the many sports offered within the college. They can choose to study the subjects Physical Education or Recreation Pursuits in Years 11 and 12, which cover the theoretical and practical sides of sport. Physical Education contributes towards a students O.P score, but Recreation Pursuits does not.

An aquatics carnival, athletics carnival, triathlon, and a cross-country involve students in inter-house competition. The College sees these carnivals as an important part of school life and attendance is compulsory. In addition, there are inter-school carnivals and trials days in the following sports:

St Patrick's is well represented each year in various sports at the highest level possible for school sport. St Patrick’s reputation for sporting excellence has been hard won and provides a source of pride not only for immediate members of the college community but the wider community as well.


The houses at St Patrick's College are all named after significant members of the Catholic Church. Rice is named after the founder of the Christian Brothers, McAuley is named after the founder of the Sisters of Mercy, Colin is named after the founder of the Marists (Society of Mary), and Chisholm is named after an Australian pioneer who helped numerous poor women on the wharves of Sydney. As of 2004, the houses have been separated along gender and year level lines, for example, in 2004 Rice house was year 12 boys.

The houses are:

  • Rice – Colour: White.

Named after Blessed Edmund Ignatius Rice, the founder of the Christian Brothers.

Named after Catherine McAuley, a Catholic nun who founded the Sisters of Mercy.

  • Colin, – Colour: Red.

Named after Jean-Claude Colin, founder of the Society of Mary (Marists).

Named after Caroline Chisholm, social reformer and pioneer in Sydney.

Notable Alumni[edit]



  1. ^ Retrieved 2013-06-18.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ "Pride and the pasion". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2013-06-18. 
  4. ^ "Pride and the passion". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2013-06-18. 
  5. ^ "Nick Ffrost surges home with first medal for Mackay". The Daily Mercury. Retrieved 2013-06-18. 
  6. ^ Retrieved 2013-06-18.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ Retrieved 2013-06-18.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ . Daily Mercury Retrieved 2013-12-06.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ "Gold Coast's cultural future plotted in shifting sands". The Australian. Retrieved 2013-12-06. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 21°08′22″S 149°11′04″E / 21.13944°S 149.18444°E / -21.13944; 149.18444