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for 2021


“If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow” (John Dewey).

Catherine McAuley Catholic College will be an example of the very best that Catholic education can provide. ‘United in Mercy’, the College will be a person centred, faith-filled and inspired learning community. It will strive to empower young people with the knowledge, skills and capabilities to live hopeful and meaningful lives in a world that is rapidly changing.

At Catherine McAuley, education will be about much more than results. We are obligated to help our young people understand who they are as learners, what they are capable of and how they can contribute to the world – every young person should feel like a success.

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As a foundation school, Catherine McAuley is in a unique position to adopt the most modern and successful teaching and learning practices to provide a more engaging and versatile educational environment for secondary students. The College will be ambitious with its approach to learning, characterised by research-informed practice, personalised student pathways, STEM and local industry partnerships.

Situated in the Port Stephens suburb of Medowie in the Hunter Region of NSW, the architectural design will respect and engage with the unique environmental features of the area including indigenous sites, wetlands, flora and fauna and the beautiful bushland setting. This environment is uniquely placed to nurture those qualities needed by young people to not just survive but also thrive in change, both in life and career.

Catherine McAuley Catholic College will open in 2021 with classes for Years 7 and 8, with a vision to cater for up to 1190 students by 2025.

The $110 million masterplan for the site includes the secondary college, an early learning centre and a primary school.

Download CMCC Prospectus here.

Foundation Principal

Principal Scott Donohoe

Scott has been an educator for over 20 years, working in schools across all sectors including Government, Independent and Catholic. He completed his education at St Joseph’s College in Hunters Hill and later returned there to play a key role in the boarding life of students.

Scott was appointed to senior roles at Aiglon College (Switzerland) and Knox Grammar School (Sydney), before moving to Newcastle with his family in 2012. Scott joined the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese as Assistant Principal at San Clemente High School in Mayfield and spent the last three years as the school’s Principal.

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“It is a great privilege to be appointed as Foundation Principal of Catherine McAuley Catholic College, Medowie. A new secondary school brings with it a number of exciting opportunities. A blank canvas allows us to reimagine learning with a vision to make it more engaging and meaningful. To provide education, in a faith-centred environment, that is relevant for young people today entering a very different world from what most of us experienced growing up.

In the past, our education system has supported students for a linear career pathway. This approach today narrows the possibilities for our young people who each have their own unique strengths, passions, interests and purpose in life. We need to redefine what individual success means, expand our view of student achievement and support our young people with multiple pathways while at school.

Catherine McAuley will be driven by the question, ‘What do our students need to learn to thrive in life after high school?’ There is an increasing need for young people to be critical, creative and agile thinkers, with the ability to communicate and collaborate with a variety of people. These qualities will be aligned with learning at the College, developing both quality of character and quality of work in each individual.

I look forward to serving the families of Catherine McAuley Catholic College. A College where Gospel values, lived through the Mercy tradition, will be at the heart of the community.

Our initial intake of Years 7 and 8 students in 2021 will be the ‘trailblazers’, collectively building a culture that will be admired and cherished by many students who will follow in their footsteps in the years to come.”

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Key Features

The architectural brief for Catherine McAuley Catholic College (CMCC) articulates an exciting design vision.

“The new secondary school should be a bold statement from the Diocese, expressing its commitment to the stewardship of the environment and the promotion of Catholic education in our region. It should be built to reflect the adaptability and development of enabling technologies and be both highly functional and environmentally responsive.”

News & Events

Upcoming events for Catherine McAuley College for 2021 include:


  • First day for students – Wednesday 3 February
  • Opening Mass 9am College Chapel – Friday 5 February
  • College Photo Day – Wednesday 17 February
  • College Swimming Carnival – Thursday 18 February
  • Year 7 Camp – Monday 22 – Wednesday 24 February
  • Check-in and Family BBQ 5pm College grounds – Wednesday 3 March

Latest News


Archaeological excavations commenced on-site in late August 2019, with the major building works anticipated to be completed by late 2020. Students are expected to be utilising the new facilities at the start of the 2021 schooling year.



Catherine McAuley Catholic College will be publishing newsletters for parents at regular intervals as the school is constructed and finalised. Below are links to the latest CMCC newsletters:

College Prospectus

Our Unique House Structure


Families seeking to enrol their child at Catherine McAuley Catholic College for Year 7 or 8 in 2021, can fill out this form: