Our Story

McAuley College opened on the 25 January 2017 with 36 inaugural Year 7 students. Prior ​to the building of Stage One, the site was blessed by the Archbishop of Brisbane, Most Reverend Mark Coleridge on Friday 22 April 2016. On the 17 November 2017, the College was officially blessed by the Most Reverend Mark Coleridge and officially opened by Mr Scott Buchholz, MP, Federal Member for Wright.​
In 2018, the College welcomed for the first time two cohorts of students, Year 7 and Year 8.  During this​ year Stage Two of the masterplan was built adding six additional teaching spaces to complete the Ellen Whitty Block, an extension to the Catherine​ McAuley Administration Centre and four speciality classrooms as part of the new Senior Design hub, including two Science laboratories, a Drama and Music room with three individual Instrumental Music spaces.  These spaces were officially opened and blessed on Friday 22 February 2019.  In that same year, the College grew to 152 students across Years 7 to 9.

Early in 2020, The Oakland Shed was enclosed and a College Gym was set up. In the same year, the College completed its Junior school, delivering Year 10 for the first time. The College had just over 200 students. This year saw many disruptions, as the impact of COVID was first felt, and the College delivered an alternate education program (AEP) for a number of weeks. The place of technology as a tool of delivery online teaching was firmly cemented across this year. 

In 2021 and 2022, the Senior School was established with Year 11 and Year 12; our inaugural Year 12 Student Leaders were appointed and a curriculum designed that valued both ATAR and Vocational Pathways.

The College itself, was the result of many years of advocating by the local community, and in particular the Parish of St Mary's, under the leadership of Fr Bernie Gallagher, with the hope that one day the students of the Scenic Rim would be able to continue their Catholic education in the local community​.  And so it came to be... McAuley College.  The name is reflective of the religious identity and spiritual charism of the Sisters of Mercy.  It recognises the work of Catherine McAuley in establishing the Sisters of Mercy and the legacy that the Sisters of Mercy have left to the Catholic communities of Beaudesert and Boonah.
Catherine McAuley​ founded the order of the Sisters of Mercy in Ireland in 1831.  Catherine McAuley recognised the needs of those who were marginalised and oppressed by unjust social attitudes and practises of her day.  She responded by establishing a House of Mercy in Dublin, which provided educational, religious and social services for women and children who were at risk of homelessness through exploitation and entrenched poverty.​​​​

The Sisters of Mercy have been important contributors to the educational mission of both Parishes of St Mary’s Beaudesert and All Saints' Boonah since the time of their arrival in the area.  St Mary's Primary School, Beaudesert, was established in 1901 and administered by the Sisters of Mercy until 1996.  All Saints'​ Primary School, Boonah, was established in 1957 and administered by the Sisters of Mercy until 1989. During these years a strong Catholic ethos evolved, alongside a rich community spirit that still exists today.​
​The Sisters in Australia have committed to the tradition of ministerial religious life, which Catherine had entrusted to all Sisters of Mercy. This meant that wherever they served, whether in growing cities or towns or remote 'outback' places, they tried to respond to the human needs for evangelisation, education, health care, welfare services, and a myriad of pastoral services.  This commitment to service is very apparent in the Beaudesert and Boonah districts.​

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