Latest News 2024


St Paul's Year 12 Geography students travelled to Cassegrain Winery for their case study focused on Viticulture and Wine Making.

The students were given a guided tour of the winery and Alex Cassegrain, Senior Winemaker, very generously spent time with the group explaining the process from grape to bottle. This experience was invaluable to the students and their HSC studies. We are very grateful to Alex from Cassegrain Wines for his time and sharing his wisdom. Thanks to Mr Peter Garty and Mrs Lesa Morrison for accompanying the students.



St Paul's Year 11 Chemistry class travelled to Singleton to visit Dyno Nobel, a chemistry lab that researches and develops explosives.

Students learned about the chemical processes involved, witnessed scientists at work in the lab and shared lunch with the staff. The excursion finished with a blast demonstration where students could safely see the impressive impact of a relatively small explosion on thick steel plates. Thanks to Mr Brendan Goswell and Ms Bethany Rennes for accompanying the students.



St Paul's Year 11 Human Services - Aged Care students have been learning how to deliver individualised, person-centred care using the mannequin recently purchased by the College.

The use of the mannequin helps students learn how to care for an adult person with chronic illnesses and injuries by facilitating simulation and scenario based training. It allows students to plan, perform tasks and assessments, and deliver care whilst being in a safe environment. To find out more about Human Services - Aged Care and other Vocational Training Programs available at the College, please visit the link here.



Congratulations to St Paul's Agriculture Team for their impressive achievements at the annual Wingham Beef Week across 13-17 May.

Thank you to Mr Graham Bramley, Ms Lisa Frewen and the parents and families for their support of the students.



A group of St Paul's students from Year 9 and 10 attended the Science & Engineering Challenge (SEC) at Melville High School.

SEC is a nationwide STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) outreach program presented by the University of Newcastle. Students work in teams covering eight different challenges ranging from designing a bridge to communicating with coloured lights. The students performed well with multiple teams achieving first and second in the team challenges and St Paul's College coming third overall.



A group of St Paul's students from Year 7-11 competed in the da Vinci Decathlon held at St Columba Anglican School in Port Macquarie.

This is an academic competition based on 10 elements of da Vinci's contributions to mankind. Throughout the day, students applied their knowledge and worked collaboratively in teams of eight to solve a range of problems ranging from Art and Drama to Mathematics and Engineering. Well done to St Paul's students for achieving fantastic results against 36 teams from the Mid North Coast region.



Congratulations to St Paul's Year 9, 10 and 11 Drama students for their outstanding performances in the Shakespeare Carnival.

Students from Year 10 and 11 were selected to progress to the regional level of the carnival where they performed in Armidale on 15 May. Congratulations to the Year 11 students who now progress to the State level of the Shakespeare Carnival. We wish you the best of luck!




Vincent_Court_6a.jpgStudents from St Paul’s Year 11 Catholic Faith in Action classes have been attending Vincent Court for half an hour every Wednesday morning throughout Term 1.

The purpose of these visits has been to affirm the human dignity of the residents and to help our students and staff appreciate the value of their own lives. Students have completed a written biography on a Vincent Court resident, which formed part of their assessment. This time at Vincent Court has built relationships with the residents who have in turn shared their wisdom and stories with the students. Our students have shown mature conversation skills and some have even presented impromptu piano and dance performances!

We extend our gratitude and appreciation to all the staff and residents of Vincent Court for this special time spent with you this Term, you have added extra joy and meaning to the lives of our Catholic Faith in Action students and staff.


Student_Leadership_session_2.jpgSt Paul's Year 11 students speak up for what is important to them in the Kempsey Shire.

Four St Paul's Year 11 students attended a Student Leadership session at Kempsey Shire Council at the start of Term 1. The students were invited, along with their peers from Kempsey High School, Melville High and Kempsey Adventist School, to be involved in a workshop with several Councillors. The Mayor, Mr Leo Hauville, addressed the students about the operations of the Council in the Kempsey Shire. The students then workshopped a presentation that they delivered at a Council meeting on Tuesday 19 March. Our students did an incredible job representing the College and presenting the issue of a lack of staffing and access to care in the Kempsey medical sector. Well done Mia Quinn, Ollie Hill, Brianna O' Donnell and Isabelle Preston.



Art_and_Drama_excursion.pngSt Paul's Year 11 and 12 Art and Drama students travelled to Sydney for three days of inspirational experiences

The Art students started off by attending the Art Gallery of NSW where the Art express exhibition was held. This exhibition displays the best of the 2023 HSC Art Majors. In the evening students attended the Onstage performances at the Seymour centre, showcasing the best of the HSC Drama Group and Monologue performances.

The second day was very busy with many opportunities presented to the students to further engage and inspire. The Art students were taken to two art galleries starting with The Museum of Contemporary Art followed by The White Rabbit Studio. Meanwhile, the Drama students attended The Sydney Theatre Company followed by an engaging professional theatre workshop with the Australian Theatre for Young People.

These experiences are extremely valuable for the students' senior studies in Art and Drama - we look forward to seeing their creative flair this year!


St Paul's Year 12 students from all Science disciplines attended an intensive three days of immersive science experiences.


On the first day of the excursion, students travelled to Sydney with their teachers Miss Jade Tildsley, Mrs Amy Tovey and Mr Doug Gately and spent the afternoon at the Australian Museum. Day 2 was at the world class Australian Nuclear Science & Technology Organisations (ANSTO) nuclear research facility at Lucas Heights. Here the students were involved in subject specific workshops and toured the facility, which included a nuclear reactor for the production of medical isotopes and a variety of other research tools in nuclear physics, medical and environmental research. Mr Johns (College Principal) was able to join the excursion for the tour of ANSTO and a shared evening dining experience at the Palace Restaurant in the CBD.

On the final day of the excursion, students and staff had the opportunity to attend the Ash Wednesday early morning service at St Mary’s Cathedral near Hyde Park. This was a lovely way to start the busy day ahead with an opportunity for reflection leading into the period of Lent. The students then spent time at the University of Sydney where they participated in a kickstart Science workshop in either Biology, Chemistry or Physics tailored to each HSC course. Before they left the university, our students were taken on a tour of the university's main facilities. These tours provided students with a general orientation of university life and study and often assist students in making decisions about their future career paths and whether or not they may wish to consider a pathway through tertiary education. The students had a great time over the 3 days and for many, the sights and sounds of the city are a welcome and exciting break from their school routine.


St Paul’s College Principal, David Johns, welcomed new teachers at a special induction day in January. A highlight of the day was a Mass in the College Chapel with Macleay Valley Parish Priest, Fr James Foster.


Donna Swan is excited to be taking on the role of Leader of Learning, Creative Arts and Languages at St Paul’s in 2024.

Growing up in the Valley as part of the well-known Swan family, Donna completed her initial secondary schooling at St Paul’s before moving to Coffs Harbour for Years 11 and 12.

A talented musician, Donna obtained her degree at the Conservatorium of Music in Sydney. Specialising in the pipe organ, she also plays instruments including the flute and saxophone. A member of Kempsey’s Silver Band for eight years, Donna will be teaching music at the College along with her leadership role. “I love sharing the special relationship that each student has in the creative arts and helping them develop their talents”, said Donna.

Having spent the past five years teaching at the Catholic College in Tamworth, Donna has moved to South West Rocks to be closer to family and looks forward to her son being able to spend more time with his grandparents.


Olivia Eberhaut is not only new to the Valley and the College but will take up a new position of Youth Minister at St Paul’s.

Previously a Youth Minister in a Sydney parish, Olivia was involved in youth groups at Oakhill Catholic
College in Sydney and taught catechetics to Catholic students in state schools. After leaving school she was involved in youth ministry in Castle Hill parish before being employed as a Youth Minister in Ryde parish.

Seeking new challenges and keen to share her faith, Olivia has made the move to Crescent Head.
“Faith has been central to my whole life and I want to present faith in a way that connects with young people,” said Olivia.

Adam_Clay.jpegADAM CLAY
After 20 years as a teacher at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Kempsey, Adam Clay is taking on an exciting new role at St Paul’s College in the Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) department.

One of Adam’s main roles will be assisting Year 7 students transition to high school. He will have a 
particular focus on helping indigenous students to achieve both learning and cultural goals. Inspired by his father, from the Kamilaroi nation, and his brother and sister who have all made significant contributions to the Macleay community. Adam wants to make a positive impact on the lives on the indigenous students at
St Paul’s.

Adam, who attended St Paul’s as a student, obtained a Diploma in Aboriginal Studies at TAFE and achieved
his teaching degree at Australian Catholic University.


Meg Ryan takes up the role of teaching English to students from Years 8 to 11 in 2024. She believes that her experience in the wellbeing team at St Columba’s in Port Macquarie is a strength that she will bring to St Paul’s students.

Meg said she loves teaching country kids and she loves teaching English.
“English is critical as stories are timeless and universal and students are able to access new experiences and learn empathy”, said Meg.

Meg, who also runs a cattle farm with her husband at Turners Flat, said it is great to be back teaching in
the Valley. Originally from Tamworth, she loves horse riding and is involved in dog rescue.


Jorja Barnett  - College Captain


Elected as one of two St Paul’s College Captains for 2024, Jorja Barnett said she felt very grateful and honoured that her peers and teachers believed that she could lead the College community. She commenced her secondary education in Year 7 at St Paul’s after completing her primary years at St Joseph’s Primary in Kempsey.

Jorja believes that the qualities that make her a good leader include her commitment to striving for equality and because she is perceived as an approachable person. She said she will endeavour to be the kind of leader that she looked for when she was younger, someone who listened and someone who acted. She said that she values inclusion and stressed the value of treating other people how you want to be treated. She said these values align with the Catholic values which are promoted through the attitudes of teachers and staff throughout the College.

With a a huge passion and talent for the agricultural industry, Jorja has won industry scholarships and awards. Her leadership qualities were recognised at the 2023 Wingham Beef Week when she was presented first place in the Bill Hobbs Award which is presented to a student who showed knowledge of and commitment to their agricultural future and studies whilst also exhibiting leadership amongst the school Ag team. Jorja was nominated by her teachers and had to undergo an interview where she talked about the College Ag program and her passion for the agricultural industry. She credits the agriculture teachers and facilities at St Paul’s which she says are outstanding. After graduation she plans to
undertake a year on a beef operation or station and gain as many certificates and skills as possible. She then wants to pursue a career in the agriculture industry, either through working or university study.

Evangeline Barton- College Captain


Evangeline Barton, known as Evie, started at St Paul’s in Year 7. Elected not only as a College Leader but also as one of two College Captains, Evie, who is originally from Long Jetty, said she was honoured to have been chosen. She believes her natural confidence is one of the key factors that make her a good leader. Comfortable speaking to large audiences, she is also comfortable with small groups and believes that her approachability helps her to make strong connections within the College and wider community.

As a College Captain, one of her goals is to assist every person within the St Paul’s community to have their opinions heard by those that can implement positive change. Evie said she very much values the support networks within the College which is seen through the formation of bonds with teachers and the mateship between students and the ability to further grow her Catholic faith, which allows her to remain grounded and grateful.

A talented dancer, Evie’s main extracurricular activity is taking dance classes a couple of afternoons a week and volunteering at local organisations, including the Vinnies shop in Kempsey and the All Saints Catholic Church. She said she was privileged to have received the Ron Muir Memorial award at the end of 2023 in recognition of her involvement with the community. Following graduation, Evie plans to move to Melbourne and study physiotherapy.

Ryley_Smith.jpegRyley Smith - College Leader

Ryley Smith, who completed her primary school education at Raymond Terrace Public School, lives in Nambucca Heads. Commencing at St Paul’s in Year 10, Ryley said she felt very grateful when she was elected as a College Leader and honoured that people saw her as a good role model. She believes that the qualities that make her a good College leader are her positivity and willingness to help anyone.

One of the things Ryley most values about the College is that it has helped her to build confidence, particularly in pursuing her dream of becoming a teacher. She also values the experience of learning with like-minded people who share the Catholic faith. Riley is looking forward to going to University and graduating as a primary school teacher.

Ashley Slapp - College Leader


Ashley Slapp, who is a South West Rocks local, completed his primary years at the Rocks before starting his secondary education at St Paul’s. Ashley said he was surprised and honoured to be chosen as a St Paul’s College Leader. He believes the fact that he is a good listener is an important quality he brings to the role. He is keen to make a difference during his term by making men’s mental health something that isn’t overlooked and creating more opportunities for males to take on leadership roles.

Ashley said the thing he most values about the College is the constant support from teachers and he believes that being a leader in a Catholic school means that he has the chance to connect with God and to help others grow their faith.

A talented golfer who has won multiple awards including club championships, Ashley plans to enlist in the army and become a medic.

Blake Gill - College Leader


Blake, who lives in Kempsey, completed his primary education at Aldavilla before commencing his secondary education at St Paul’s in Year 7. As one of six College leaders for 2024, he said he was and thankful to have been chosen. He believes his strongest qualities are that he is approachable, patient and a good role model for the College community.

He has two main goals for 2024, making the College a friendlier place to be around and creating more sporting opportunities. A keen Rugby player he has represented the College at Rugby Union.

Blake said he is learning a lot about people and the fundamentals of the world with physics and chemistry being some of his favourite subjects. He said his perspective of the world allows him to be grateful and optimistic.

Taylah Moffitt - College Leader


Taylah Moffitt, one of the many St Paul’s College students who call Crescent Head home, said she was shocked and proud when selected as a College Leader for 2024. She believes her qualities of honesty, cooperation, teamwork and communication enable her to be a good leader. As a Leader in 2024, her two goals are to help develop a stronger sporting community and enabling students to have opportunities to grow as individuals outside the classroom as well as inside the classroom.

Surf lifesaving and netball are two of Taylah’s main extracurricular activities. She has participated in representative netball teams and in surf lifesaving she is a fully qualified lifeguard. She was selected as the 2021 MNC and NSW female junior lifesaver of the year as well as being selected for the 2023/24 Australia Youth Panel as the NSW female ambassador. She was recognised as the 2022 Australia Day local hero award and was awarded the title of 2021 Kempsey Macleay Sports Person of the Year.

Taylah’s goal is to study for a bachelor's degree in international relations and international law and to work as a diplomat for Australia.