St Patrick's College, Townsville

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St Patrick's College is a Catholic Girls' Secondary Day and Boarding School located in Townsville, North Queensland, Australia.[1]


St Patrick's College was founded in 1878 by a group of Irish nuns from the Sisters of Mercy order. Their foundress Catherine McAuley, began the Sisters of Mercy in 1831. The Sisters were pioneers of education in North Queensland, and the college stands as a monument to their contributions. With onset of World War II in the Pacific, St Patrick's vacated the College buildings located on The Strand for use by the allied war effort, namely the W.R.A.A.F units.[1] The Wartime College and boarding students were moved to different locations, West End and Ravenswood respectively.

During the 1960s and 1970's the college adapted to educational requirements of exam criteria developed by governmental Educational Departments. Later government grants brought new infrastructure providing a library, new science laboratories, social science and language facilities and later computer technology.[1] Current students can participate in the numerous extra curricular activities common to most modern high schools, including national sporting competitions and UN youth summit.[2]


Two mid twentieth century graduates are Madge Ryan and Valma Weetman. Valma Weetman joined the R.A.A.F and became a Corporal during her first two years issuing kits in a Sydney airmen Depot. She was one of several ladies selected to appear in news articles promoting women recruitments into the defence forces.[3] Madge Ryan moved south to pursue an acting career. After time with the Australian Broadcasting Commission, she moved to London working as a stage actress. One of her notable roles was the character Pearl in the Summer of the Seventeenth Doll.[4]


  1. ^ a b c "St. Patrick's College". Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  2. ^ "Townsville students attend UN youth summit". ABC North Queensland. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  3. ^ "Introducing you to three smart girls". Sydney Morning Herald Jan 16, 1955. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  4. ^ Frizzel, Helen. "Four Madge Ryans". Sydney Morning Herald 17 July 1968. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 

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Coordinates: 19°15′05″S 146°48′57.2″E / 19.25139°S 146.815889°E / -19.25139; 146.815889