Catherine McAuley Catholic College announced as Hunter’s newest secondary school

Catherine McAuley Catholic College, Medowie, which will open in 2020, has today been announced as the official name of the Hunter’s newest school which aims to cater to the demand for Catholic education in the Port Stephens region. 

This is the second new school name announcement of 2016 for the diocese, which follows the announcement of St Bede’s Catholic College, Chisholm, earlier this year in May.

Bishop of Maitland-Newcastle, Bill Wright, announced the name of the new school this morning on the Medowie Road site where the planned school will be built. As part of the announcement, Bishop Bill unveiled a foundation stone and plaque to reveal the new school name.

Present at the unveiling were Director of Catholic Schools, Ray Collins, Member for Port Stephens, Kate Washington, principals from across the diocese, parent representatives and student representatives from three local Catholic primary schools who will form part of the first Year 7 cohort.

Bishop Bill said the characteristics of a school under the patronage of Catherine McAuley, grounded in the Mercy traditions of justice, excellence, integrity, courage, hospitality and mercy had inspired the college’s name.

“Catherine McAuley presents a strong and relevant female identity of the Catholic Church and a lift story which can speak to adolescents and young adults in a secondary school,” said Bishop Bill. “In this Year of Mercy, Catherine McAuley Catholic College is a great gift of Mercy to the Diocese and recognises the Mercy Sisters’ historic contribution to the Peninsula.”

Director of Catholic Schools, Ray Collins, said Catherine McAuley is an inspiring role model who devoted her life to Catholic education and health, and the name is well suited to the geographic area of the school, as well as the identity planned for the college.

“The school will be dedicated to fostering a commitment to excellence and lifelong learning in the lives of all students and honours the magnificent contribution of Catherine McAuley and the Sisters of Mercy to the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle,” said Mr Collins.

“Students attending the college will be supported and encouraged to be open to new ideas and build their lives centred on contemplation and service, just like Catherine McAuley.”

The school will eventually cater for 1,200 students, Years 7 to 12 and will feature state of the art learning centres, including a library and recreation areas.

“STEM will be a key focus of the learning at Catherine McAuley Catholic College, this focus responding to the unique local context, geography and presence of RAAF, water and other associated industries,” said Mr Collins. “Learning at the college will be underpinned by a positive, proactive approach to wellbeing and development of the whole person.”  

The decision to build a new co-educational Years 7-12 secondary school at Medowie was one of 12 recommendations from the Study into the Provision of Secondary Education, announced last year.

Initial expressions of interest for enrolment or enquiries in 2020 can be made by contacting Mrs Karen Millsteed, P 4979 1223 or by visiting

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Alyssa Faith Image
Alyssa Faith

Alyssa Faith was the Communications Manager for the Catholic Schools Office, Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle from 2016 - 2017 and a regular contributor to Aurora and