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'Amazing opportunity': more details about Coast's newest school revealed

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Enrolments are open, construction is about to commence and a foundation principal has been announced for the Sunshine Coast’s newest school.

Construction of Stage 1 of the Prep to Year 12 Notre Dame College at Bells Creek is starting this month and will continue throughout 2024 ahead of opening in January 2025.

Brisbane Catholic Education executive director Dr Sally Towns has announced former Unity College principal Dan McShea will be the foundation principal of the college.

“Notre Dame College is our newest flagship Sunshine Coast school in the heart of the growing Aura community,” she said.

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“Dan McShea is an experienced educator with deep roots in the community.

“The school, its community, its construction and formation are in good hands in his leadership.”

Mr McShea said he was looking forward to creating the new Catholic co-educational college.

“It’s an honour and an amazing opportunity to lead a Prep to Year 12 school of this magnitude from its inception,” he said.

“I could not be happier to be involved in establishing the school’s culture and building a community of excellent educators and school leaders.”

Father Joshua Whitehead said his Caloundra Catholic Parish community was looking forward to welcoming and embracing new college families.

“This is an exciting time for the Catholic community on the Sunshine Coast and it’s a unique opportunity to connect with many families and teachers who are new to the area,” Fr Joshua said.

An impression of how the college will look once it’s operational.

“Notre Dame College will be an inclusive Catholic community built for people who are at different places in their faith journeys.

“We’re building on the long tradition of Catholic schooling on the Sunshine Coast, and we’re excited to be starting with such experienced people developing this new school.”

Notre Dame College will have the capacity to welcome a cohort of up to 200 students at the beginning of the 2025 school year in Prep, Year 1 to Year 3 and Year 7.

The college will welcome 15 school staff initially and continue to grow each year to cater for more than 1800 students and employ 280 staff upon completion in 2030.

Fr Josh, Mr O’Riordan and Mr McShea survey the site.

Stage 1 of the college, which is on a 7.9-hectare site on Aura Boulevard, will include five buildings comprising of general learning areas and administration block, a sports court and car park.

Mr McShea said a temporary school office at Stockland Baringa would become the centre for student enrolment interviews, staff recruitment and a place for welcoming new families prior to school buildings being completed.

The Notre Dame College motto will be ‘Compassion, Courage and Hope’.

Student enrolments are now open for 2025 to 2027. To enrol or for more information see the via the school’s website.

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