Independent and FREE - 2021 Best Online Publication

Why the name of Coast’s newest school is so special

Independent and FREE – 2021 Best Online Publication (Qld Country Press)

Why the name of Coast’s newest school is so special

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'Wonderful connection': why the name of Coast's newest Catholic school is so special

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A new Catholic school to be built in the Sunshine Coast’s fastest-growing community has been given a name with “a wonderful connection” to the local parish.

Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE) has also unveiled designs for the purpose-built co-educational facility, which will eventually cater for up to 1900 students from Prep to Year 12.

The school, to be located at Nirimba in the Aura estate, will be called Notre Dame College.

BCE Acting Director Dr Doug Ashleigh travelled to the site for the special announcement.

“Notre Dame College – in French it means ‘Our Lady’, and the Parish up here is called Our Lady of the Rosary in Caloundra – so it is a wonderful connection,” Dr Ashleigh said.


“While we don’t yet have a date the school will open, we are working with our planners and our funding bodies,” he said.

An artist’s impression of the new Catholic school earmarked for Aura.

“This is a priority school, and we will be moving on it as quickly as we can, starting with our Prep and Year 7 students, and building the school up from there.

“We already have a very engaged community here who have filled out around 100 expressions of interest for their children to attend in the future.

“This interest is testament to the growth in this community.”

Dr Ashleigh unveiled the 10-hectare site in the “prime centre” at Nirimba – south of Aura Boulevard.

BCE Acting Director, Dr Doug Ashleigh, and Father Joshua Whitehead visit the school site.


He said the proposed school was part of an ongoing response to accommodate the community’s education needs and the increasing number of families moving to the area who are seeking a Catholic education for their children.

Father Josh Whitehead, the priest appointed to the Aura Catholic Community, said the opportunity to provide both top quality Catholic education and a sense of belonging and community for families existed within new communities.

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“Our dream is to create an inclusive Catholic community moving into the 21st century where it’s okay to be where people are at in their faith journey and build a new culture on this greenfield site,” Fr Josh said.

This year, enrolments in BCE schools are at an all-time record, with more than 77,000 students. During the past 10 years, BCE has grown to establish 11 new schools across South-East Queensland. About 20 per cent of students in Australia attend Catholic schools.

Register your interest now to receive updates about the proposed new P-12 Catholic school at Aura here.