Latest News 2023


A group of St Paul's Year 11 Physics students attended the Aero Club at Kempsey Airport.

This was a valuable learning experience where the students heard a presentation on the physics and forces behind the operation of an aircraft, how to read weather maps and use that information to determine the safest flying variables when taking off and landing. Students also had the opportunity to closely view a Bell 214B helicopter, a Foxbat and a Cessna 172 aircraft.

A highlight of the excursion was having time on the Dynacon flight simulator where the students could put their physics concepts into practice. Thanks to Brian Chow, the Aero Club team and everyone who made this learning experience possible and to Ms Jade Tildsley and Mr Glen Northey for accompanying the students. 




St Paul's Year 11 student, Jorja Barnett, applied for the Waverley Station Scholarship, which received close on 50 applications this year. This scholarship is the Beef Bonanza's highest award.

Jorja had to submit a video and written application and was shortlisted for an interview. We are very proud to announce that Jorja was selected as one of the two winners of the Scholarship which will allow her to travel to Waverley's King Island Station in early 2024 to spend a week working with the staff on the property - a truly amazing opportunity.

Congratulations to all the students of St Paul's Agriculture team who achieved fantastic results at the Upper Hunter Beef Bonanza. A special thanks to Mr Graham Bramley, Ms Lisa Frewen and the parents and families who were a tremendous support.



St Paul's students from Year 8-10 participated in the 'Let Your Voice Be Heard' writing program over 10 weeks. All their hard work culminated in an incredible evening performance of their individual scripts which was thoroughly enjoyed by parents/carers, families, friends, College staff and Catholic Schools Office Education Officer, Joanne Stuart.

The students worked closely with Teaching Artist and ex-student, Lachlan Bray, throughout Term 3 to develop their ideas into a script. The wide range of topics, from police procedurals to fantasy and dystopian worlds, period drama to a strangely surreal world where a playwright’s character comes to life, were brought to life through a staged reading of each piece, performed by the fellow writers. The night was an overwhelming success and the smiles on the students’ faces at the end of the night said it all.

We would like to extend our thanks to the Diocese of Lismore Catholic Schools Office for the Arts Partnership funding which allowed us to run such a worthwhile project.



Congratulations to St Paul's Year 12 students who celebrated their Graduation Mass at the end of Term 3 and their Major Awards Ceremony which recognised the many achievements of the year group across 2023.

St Paul's College staff and students extend grateful thanks to the sponsors of the Major Awards Ceremony - thank you for your continued support and generosity!





St Paul's Creative and Performing Arts faculty (CAPA) presented the 2023 HSC Showcase at the College.

The exhibition showcased the artworks of the Year 11 and HSC Visual Arts students and featured music and drama performances. Thanks to all students and staff involved for making the evening a huge success and to the Year 12 Hospitality students for catering the event.



St Paul's College is proud to highlight the remarkable achievements of our Year 12 Hospitality students as they finalise their practical-based competency assessment tasks.

These committed students have demonstrated their hospitality skills, showcasing the culmination of their hard work and dedication throughout the year. The practical-based competency assessment tasks are a critical component of the Hospitality curriculum, allowing students to put their theoretical and practical knowledge into action. From mastering culinary techniques, to catering for the recent Vocational Education Advisory Group and refining their barista skills, our students have truly embraced the challenges and opportunities presented by these assessments.

For more information on the VET courses offered at St Paul's College, please visit the link HERE



St Paul’s College honoured NAIDOC Week early with a ceremony and cultural activities for the students, including basket weaving, arts and crafts and tasting bush tucker.

The College community celebrated St Paul’s Feast Day with a special Mass and an Awards Ceremony acknowledging the achievements of students and long-term members of staff.

A lot of fun ensued on the last day of Term 2 during the St Paul’s Feast Day celebrations. Students and staff enjoyed a range of activities including a Talent Show, Tarp Volleyball, Sponge Relay and Gumboot Toss and could purchase a delicious lunch from one of the local food trucks.

All these events build community and highlights how special the St Paul’s community is and how it adds value to the lives of our students, the College staff and the local community. 


Congratulations to St Paul's Year 9 and Year 11 Drama students who performed brilliantly at the Kempsey Eisteddfod - a testament to their dedication and commitment to their performances. With thanks to Mrs Amanda Jordan for her support and for accompanying the students.



HSIE_trip_8.jpgSt Paul’s Year 11 students studying Legal Studies, Ancient History, Modern History, Business Studies and Food Technology, attended an excursion in Sydney to deepen their understanding of their chosen subjects and to engage in real world learning opportunities.

During the trip, the Legal Studies students visited the NSW Parliament House and were lucky enough to observe an appeal matter being heard before the Supreme Court of Appeal. The students relished the opportunity to witness first-hand the formality, structure and procedure of the Court in action, an experience which will be useful as they continue to progress through the syllabus content. All the Year 11 HSIE students joined a guided tour of the Sydney Jewish Museum, where after a short presentation, could enjoy the museum exhibits and had the opportunity to hear a personal account from a Holocaust survivor.

The Ancient History and Modern History students enjoyed visiting the Australian National Museum and the Chau Chuk Wing Museum at Sydney University. The students were able to engage in a hands-on workshop at the Chau Chuk Wing Museum, developing their investigation and analysis skills and gaining a deeper understanding of the historic world. Guides at each museum shared in depth information with the students, providing them with valuable knowledge and insight into key content areas that will assist them throughout the HSC.


The Business Studies and Food Technology students experienced a three-course lunch and a facilities tour at the Apprentice Restaurant – TAFE NSW. This was followed by a behind-the-scenes tour of the Novotel Sydney Central, where students learnt about the operation of a large hotel, conferencing, back-of-house and human resources systems. Witnessing the inner workings of a bustling hotel, provided the Food Technology students with a deeper understanding of the intricate processes involved in delivering exceptional hospitality experiences. The students also visited the Sydney Produce and Flower Markets, where on a guided tour, they learnt about the different business structures within the facility and about sourcing quality ingredients.

A highlight of the trip for the Business Studies students, included a visit to the Sydney Cricket Ground, which enhanced their knowledge of operations, marketing and human resources at the SCG. The students also enjoyed a visit to Taronga Zoo for a special presentation about the Zoo’s business within the newly developed learning and education centre.

The Food Technology students visited the William Angliss Institute, a renowned Food and Hospitality training centre. They were provided with a tour of their state-of-the-art facilities, witnessed students in action at the Institute and enjoyed a delicious breakfast prepared by the students in training.

We are grateful to all the venues and establishments who made this excursion a remarkable learning experience. A special thanks to Ms Kerri Dakin, Mrs Laura Vonholdt, Ms Tess Meehan, Ms Kate Anderson, Mr Chris Franey and Mrs Jodene Barnett for accompanying the students.



A group of Year 7-11 students from St Paul's College participated in the Mid North Coast Regional da Vinci Decathlon in Port Macquarie across 16 - 17 May.

Throughout each day, students worked collaboratively to solve various challenges across a range of academic disciplines including: Science, Creative Producers, English, Ideation, Mathematics, Engineering, Art and Poetry, Cartography, Code Breaking and Legacy.

Thirty four teams from schools across the Mid North Coast were in attendance and competition was fierce. All year groups excelled in several areas with the groups demonstrating excellent teamwork and problem solving skills. The Year 9 group was awarded first place in their age group and St Paul's College finished 5th overall.

All participants enjoyed the day immensely and conducted themselves creditably on behalf of themselves and the College.

Thanks to Ms Bethany Rennes, Mr Chris Franey and Ms Tess Minett who assisted the teams on the day.


Sci_Engineering_2.jpgSt Paul's College participated in the Science and Engineering Challenge in Kempsey where a group of Year 9 and 10 students worked together to participate in a range of design challenges, including bridge building, efficient network layout, scheduling, communication, vehicle suspension and building design.

The students excelled in several areas with the groups demonstrating excellent teamwork and problem solving skills. The College team finished 5th overall and identified several areas where they can improve and are eager to return next year. The students who attended were commended by the organisers for their outstanding attitude and courtesy on the day. Thanks to Mr Glen Northey for accompanying the students on the day.



A group of Year 12 students from St Paul's College studying Chemistry, Physics, Biology and Earth and Environmental Science, attended a series of Science venues and workshops in Sydney to deepen their understanding of a range of scientific disciplines. 

Students visited the Powerhouse Museum, Australian Museum, the Museum of Human Disease, undertook a tour of the campus of the University of New South Wales and attended workshops and a facilities tour of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO). At each venue students were able to appreciate real world examples of Science relevant to the syllabi they are studying as part of their preparation for the HSC.

The visit to ANSTO (Australia’s only nuclear reactor) on the final day brought all disciplines together in a world class facility applying nuclear medicine to both the medical, environmental and research fields. Students also enjoyed the opportunity to experience city life during their meals together over the three days.

All attending Year 12 teachers, Mr Matthew Wilson, Miss Jade Tildsley, Mr Douglas Gately and Ms Rayleigh Keith appreciated the professional learning opportunities that the venues provided.

The students were excellent ambassadors for St Paul’s College and were a credit to themselves and their families.


St Paul's Agriculture Team have achieved fantastic results after an intense round of competitions at the Wauchope, Kempsey and Macksville Shows held in the last week of the Easter holidays.


The Team has shown an outstanding commitment to the task and are strongly supported by their parents/carers. They have participated in training sessions throughout the holidays and have been rewarded with some incredible results in the showring. Agriculture Primary Industries teachers, Mr Graham Bramley and Ms Lisa Frewen, are extremely proud, not only of their results, but the way in which the students have conducted themselves. "We have been approached by several cattle studs asking us to show their cattle and this is a testament to the Team's professional approach", said Graham.

The Agriculture Team is extremely lucky to have the involvement of parents who provide an amazing level of support, including transporting livestock; packing gear; transporting equipment; grooming animals and taking photos. The success of the Agriculture Team is a joint effort by the students, parents and staff of St Paul's College.


St Paul's Drama department was fortunate to again host the Shakespeare Carnival this year during the first week of Term 2.

Shakespeare_Carnival_1.jpgThis is a state wide competition organised by the Sport for Jove Theatre, showcasing students across NSW as they tread the boards and creatively engage with Shakespeare's works on the stage as actors, dancers, musicians and designers.

Students in Year 9 and 11 performed scenes from Shakespeare's “A Midsummer Night's Dream” and “Romeo and Juliet”. Each performance was well rehearsed and impressive to watch. The audience were certainly taken on a journey with laughter and joy followed by tears. After a difficult deliberation by our host judge, Ms Jennifer Igerl, the winners emerged. Congratulations to Phoebe Laws and Logan Hill for winning the Duologue section and to Sasha Shipp, Ellia Baywood and Amelia Perry for winning the ensemble section. These students will compete at Regional level in May, hopefully then progressing on to State titles.

Congratulations to all of our Drama students for their impressive performances. This was a very successful competition and the students are commended for their dedication and commitment to their performances.


ANZAC_Kempsey_Edited_1.jpgA large number of St Paul’s students commemorated ANZAC Day by participating in marches and ceremonies held in Kempsey, South West Rocks, Macksville and Crescent Head.

St Paul’s College also held a special ANZAC Day service on the first day of Term, Monday 24 April, where all students commemorated the ANZACs who have lost their lives fighting for our freedoms and peace. Lest we forget.


A group of Year 9 and 10 students from St Paul’s College participated in a full day sprint on the Ethics and Applications of Artificial Intelligence.

IMG_0981.jpgThe students worked online under the guidance of facilitators from Australia Awards PNG and the University of Melbourne with 500 students and educators from across Australia and Papua New Guinea participating. This partnership fosters communication and collaboration between students, developing intercultural understanding and problem-solving skills.

The students completed an Artificial Intelligence and Ethics Jigsaw activity in order to empathise, define, ideate and pitch their ideas via a Google meet with four schools in PNG. Thereafter, they had a chance to ask questions of their partner schools.

Thank you to Mr Glen Northey for facilitating the students from St Paul’s and to the students themselves, including Matthew Chow, Eva Croker, Emma Miller, Ryley Kennard, Alana Ennis, Benjamin Riley, Hayden Brack and Eli Baywood who represented the College with enthusiasm and expertise. The students have been able to reflect on the differences in the educational opportunities between our two countries but have also appreciated that together they have shared aspirations and hopes for the future.


St Paul's Year 7 Belonging Day for 2023 was a spectacular event.

belonging_day_2.jpgStudents participated in a range of activities and games throughout the day and listened to both Fr James Foster and the Principal Mr David Johns who spoke about how they belong to our wonderful community and how they have an impact on our College. Students then had the opportunity to actively participate in small group sessions with our senior Ministry Leaders where they were asked to speak about their influence within the College.

Thanks to the efforts of Mrs Di Mascord, Mr Mitch Robins, Mr Roger Shipton, Mr Matthew Mitchell, Mrs Barica Rafton and Youth Ministry Officer, Max Winn, the Year 7 students were engaged in their belonging liturgy at the start of the day to the sharing of afternoon tea with parents/carers and staff as the day concluded.

We look forward to the participation of our Year 7 students in ministry throughout their time at St Paul’s College.



St Paul's Year 11 student, Kayla D., is working as a school-based trainee with Coastline Credit Union at their Central Kempsey branch, through a partnership with the Aboriginal Employment Strategy (AES).

In addition to working with Coastline once a week, she will also attend extra work experience days during the school holidays to complete her Certificate ll in Workplace Skills.

Coastline Credit Union has provided this opportunity for local students through their partnership with the Aboriginal Employment Strategy (AES). The AES is a national Aboriginal recruitment and group training company that empowers Indigenous people through brokering employment opportunities and supporting candidates to have successful careers through mentoring, training, coaching and specialist support.

This is a fantastic opportunity for a hands-on learning experience as students are introduced to the workforce. We wish you all the best Kayla!



It was an exciting day for Year 7 and 12 students on 16 February 2023 when one of Australian’s most admired mental health advocates, Olympian and TV presenter, Johanna Griggs AM visited St Paul’s College.

A Board Member of Beyond Blue, Johanna talked to the students about the importance of resilience and making choices. She shared some of the challenges she had faced in life as a competitive swimmer and in the equally competitive world of TV presenting. She told the students not to be afraid of change and with more than 60% of young people suffering from anxiety she urged them to seek help from their peers, teachers and parents.

Johanna has been host of Better Homes and Gardens for the Seven Network since 2005.  In 2021 she hosted her 7th Olympic and 2nd Paralympic Games for the Seven Network.  She was part of the Seven's 2022 Winter Olypmics’ coverage.

Prior to her move to television she represented Australia in swimming, winning Bronze at the Auckland Commonwealth Games in 1990, and a silver at the 1991 World Championships.

We are very grateful to Johanna that she took the time to visit us at St Paul's.  



Staff from St Paul's College, joined with their colleagues from St Joseph's Catholic Primary, at a special Mass to mark the beginning of the new school year on Friday 27 January.

Celebrated by the Parish Priest of the Macleay Valley Parish, Fr James Foster, the Mass included a special blessing for the staff.  

The two school Principals, David Johns (St Paul's College), and Guy Campbell (St Joseph's Primary) acted as Ministers of the Eucharist. 

New staff were presented with the book "The History of the Catholic Church in the Macleay Valley". 



Making Christian life relevant for young people is one of the exciting challenges facing St Paul’s new Leader of Evangelisation, Matthew Mitchell. 

Matthew believes that young people are looking to create meaning as they face a world that is much more complex than ever before.   He said he wants to support them on their spiritual journey as they struggle to find truth amid all the information with which they are constantly bombarded.

Originally from Sydney, Matthew was most recently Leader of Pastoral Care at Ignatius Park College in Townsville.  He said he and his wife and two young sons are looking forward to building their lives in the Macleay where he has strong family connections. 



Seventeen year old Maxwell Winn is prepared for the challenges of his new position as Youth Ministry Officer at St Paul's College, Kempsey.  

Maxwell said that while he is aware of the challenges, he is looking forward to growing his own personal faith and to help students connect with their spirituality during his 12 month appointment.

Having graduated from St Paul's in 2022, Maxwell believes he is in a unique position to help students be proud of who they are and to be comfortable with themselves.

"Faith gives me purpose and helps to strive to be a better person and I want other young people to feel that energy", said Maxwell.

He plans to start a university degree in psychology and business in 2024 and in the future wants to work with young people and people in hospital and correctional facilities who need support.



The decision of which job offer to accept was an easy one for new teaching graduate Jasmin Northey.  

Jasmin, who will be teaching Science and Art, undertook her prac teaching at St Paul's and said she knew how great the College was so her decision to accept St Paul's over three Melbourne offers was quick.

"I am very much looking forward to the support and experience I will gain at St Paul's", said Jasmin.

Jasmin is very familiar with the College community as her father, Glen, teaches Computing and Maths at the College. 

Glen said he is very proud "Dad" and delighted Jasmin wanted to work with him at St Paul's.  



St Paul's new teacher of English, Paul Posterino, said that English is such an important subject for young people to embrace.

Paul, who will be teaching students from Years 8, 9 and 10, said that English is the basis of our communication. 

"It opens up all kinds of opportunities to understand the world and to be understood", said Paul.

Originally from Victoria, Paul loves sport, the beach and nature.  

Bringing his family to make a home in the the Macleay is very much the lifestyle he is seeking.  

Paul's son will be starting Year 7 at the College this year.