St Monica’s College, Cairns

Written by: Meghan Peters | September 27, 2018


In 2020, St Monica’s College will celebrate 130 years of service to the Cairns community – 130 years of guiding, educating and challenging young women to reach for the stars, stretch beyond their boundaries and achieve their full potential.

As Cairns’ longest established school, St Monica’s follows a faith-based education under the Sisters of Mercy tradition. Predominately a girls’ secondary college throughout those 130 years, the school’s values are strongly influenced by the beliefs and teachings of Venerable Sister Catherine McAuley, who founded the Sisters of Mercy in 1831. The college began offering boarding in 2003, when it entered into a shared arrangement with St Augustine’s, which continues today.

A Commitment to Social Justice

Reflective of their Mercy heritage, the college fosters a strong sense of social conscience in their students, emphasising the value of giving back to those less fortunate or in need. Students actively engage in volunteer work for many charitable organisations including Caritas, Project Compassion, Catholic Mission, the St Vincent de Paul Society, Mercy Works (the social action arm of the Sisters of Mercy) and Rosies. By working with and supporting these organisations, the college instils in its students the belief that giving back to the community is a normal part of life.

Success in every Arena

In the spirit of promoting academic, artistic and athletic excellence, the teaching staff at St Monica’s College encourage their students to step outside their comfort zones and engage in extracurricular activities to develop their confidence and build on their individual strengths and talents. These include sport, outdoor activities, performing and visual arts with emphasis on music, art, dance, drama, debating and public speaking, community service, camps and retreats and language exchange programs.

An instrumental music program is available at the College with opportunities to perform in the biennial College musicals with St Augustine`s College, bands, ensembles, College choirs and the yearly St Monica`s ‘Live’. St Monica’s College music groups performed at the recent Queensland Catholic Schools Music Festival bringing home six gold and two silver medals. 

In our rich sporting programs, students from St Monica`s have the opportunity to compete in interschool, district, regional and state competitions in swimming, cross country, athletics and a wide variety of team games. St Monica’s has won the interschool athletics and swimming carnivals multiple times in the last few years, this year winning the individual women’s and combined school athletics and swimming trophy.

The college also boasts an impressive resume of outstanding academic achievements spread over multiple disciplines, attaining multiple State and National awards. In the last three years, the college has placed first twice and second once in the Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prizes, a competition where students must present a scientific concept in a way that is entertaining and educational to the public. Last year, a student shone brightly as the voice of St Monica’s College, winning the 2017 National Winner for the Lions Youth of the Year competition, national finalist in both Rostrum Voice of Youth and Plain English Speaking Award, the StuditaliA Prize, the Premier’s Anzac Prize, and rounding off her achievements with the Queensland Government’s TJ Ryan Memorial Medal.

Beyond the Schoolyard – The ‘Old Scholars’ Association

St Monica’s Catholic College Alumni ‘The Old Scholars’ continues the school’s fond associations and friendships long after the schooling years are finished. The Old Scholars help graduates stay connected with the community, the school and their colleagues. Functions and reunions are held frequently at the college with healthy attendance from past students.

The St Monica’s College Alumni is run by an advisory committee of past students and current staff and provides assistance in organising reunions and keeping everyone up to date with college happenings. The alumni is currently going through a reformation process in the leadup to the 130 year anniversary celebrations, bolstering reinforcements for the exciting projects and events that will take place during the anniversary year.

Building the Foundation for a Bright Future

At St Monica’s Catholic College, we pride ourselves on our ability to shape and nurture young girls to achieve their full potential and depart our school as bright, confident, independent young women. Each student will take their own journey – we provide the support and guidance to ensure they achieve their very best along the way. Both day and boarding students have access to these wonderful opportunities.

If you want to give your daughter the strongest foundation for a life of achievement, we welcome you to join our family at St Monica’s Catholic College. You will be amazed.


St. Monica’s College is a Catholic secondary school for young women catering for day or boarding students, Years 7 to 12, located in the heart of Cairns. Those considering enrolment in Year 7 for the 2020 school year should complete and return their enrolment forms to the Enrolments Officer by March 2019. Places are limited. Please contact the Enrolments Officer on 0740424800 or for further information.


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