The Cathedral School

Secondary Boarding and Day School for Boys and Girls


Jane Passmore, Registrar


(07) 4722 2005


154 Ross River Road, Mundingburra QLD 4812


The Cathedral School offers AIEF Scholarships for boarding students.

The Cathedral School – 2021 Report
Ian Gamack, Principal

The Cathedral School of St Anne & St James is an Anglican co-educational school set on a welcoming and growing campus with approximately 1050 students from Prep to Year 12. Of our total student population, we have 146 boarding students attending Year 6 to Year 12. Our leafy campus, well known for our enormous and much-loved raintrees, is also home to our Early Learning Centre (ELC). Our ELC, which also offers a kindergarten program, caters for children as young as six weeks old to school age.

In 2021, The Cathedral School had an enrolment of 68 Indigenous students, 50 of which were boarding students. AIEF Scholarship Students accounted for 29 of our Indigenous population ranging from Year 7 to Year 12. Our Indigenous students come from some of Australia’s most remote communities including Alyangula, Driver and Pine Creek in the Northern Territory and Queensland communities including Bowen, Bamaga, Cardwell, Cloncurry, Coen, Cooktown, Croydon, Julia Creek, Moa Island, Mt Surprise, Mt Isa, New Mapoon, Normanton, Palm Island, Pentland, Thursday Island, Weipa and Yarrabah.

Our school’s Indigenous Student Engagement and Learning Program focuses on a holistic approach to developing independence in learning and life. Students are cared for in an environment where they are challenged and inspired to explore, learn, and grow so they are equipped to make wise decisions as informed members of society. Our team focuses on assisting Indigenous students from their initial enrolment in Year 7, throughout their schooling, as well as connecting students to post school employment and tertiary options.

At the commencement of 2021 the Indigenous Student Engagement team investigated the avenues and approach to providing academic support. A new and successful program was introduced in Term 2, strengthening our early identification of learning needs and required support. This ensured tailored assistance could be offered to suit specific student’s needs. The initial focus was on assessment and identification of formative or other issues affecting improvement in literacy. Based on results we now have an intensive one on one program in place to improve reading and writing levels, as well as developing skills in comprehension and evaluation of written text. We are happy to report that the school has seen improvement across many subject for the majority of our students throughout the year.

In 2021 we continued providing in class support with Engagement and Learning Support staff present in a variety of classes. These support staff work closely with our Indigenous students, the classroom teacher and other key school staff to ensure students are independently approaching their lesson and academic requirements. The focus has been on building student’s confidence and approach to their lessons as well as developing skills which will enable students to be proactive learners.

At the commencement of 2021 we were fortunate to connect with and form a successful relationship with the Indigenous Education Research Centre (IERC) at James Cook University. This welcome relationship has enabled our senior students in Year 10 to Year 12 to visit the campus for a tour of the facility and meet Professor Martin Nakata, Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Education and learn about university life.

This relationship also led to the appointment of Mrs Sharon Cook as the Head of Indigenous Student Engagement and Learning at Cathedral. The central goal of this role is to develop the independent learning abilities of our Indigenous students. Her leadership has been instrumental in raising the ambitions and expectations of our Indigenous students throughout 2021.

The following students applied and were accepted to attend the 2021 JCU Winter School in July: Charlotte Smith, Ella Taumafai, Dakota Callope, Tanaya Hastings and Kirsty Grieve.

The Summer School in November received much interest by our Year 12 Graduates and we are aware that at least one graduate, Ashley Hammond, applied for a place in the Summer School. Ashley also received an early offer for university entrance in 2022 with James Cook University.

In 2021 AIEF students participated in a variety of events in both the day school and boarding houses. Some student highlights include:

  • Kirsty Grieve and Tanaya Hastings held the positions of Boarding Captain in Girls Boarding.
  • Ashley Hammond, Kirsty Grieve, Tanaya Hastings, Carcia Nallajar, Tymaniah Newman, Keira Young and Amaziah Murgha all played a lead role in our Indigenous Student Council assisting with the planning of events and celebrations.
  • Indigenous students played the lead role in organising Harmony Day this year. Their chosen activities highlighted the cultural diversity and inclusiveness within the school community
  • NAIDOC Celebrations in Term 2 included a week of activities including a flag raising ceremony with didgeridoo performance, traditional dance, painting, music, weaving and storytelling. Documentaries were shared around traditional land ownership and we heard from one of our parents about their family’s story. The week was led by middle and senior school students and was thoroughly enjoyed by the entire school community. Sessions and performances were conducted at the ELC, Junior, Middle and Senior schools. The final day concluded with all staff and students enjoying traditional foods including kangaroo, crocodile, coconut curry chicken, sop sop, semur chicken as well as damper. All sessions were met with great enthusiasm and excitement and our Indigenous students were exceptional in the sharing of knowledge and culture.

Thank you to AIEF who have continued to keep in close contact with scholarship students throughout the year, allowing them to build and strengthen relationships with students as they progress through their time at Cathedral. As COVID restrictions continued to impact on travel, career sessions for Year 11 and 12 students were undertaken online. Students all participated with great enthusiasm. Year 10 and Year 11 students looked forward to the mentoring sessions planned to wrap up the year and prepare for 2022.

The 2021 graduates, Kirsty Grieve, Tanaya Hastings, Dwight Croft-Ellis and Ashley Hammond were again impacted by COVID restrictions and undertook their Graduation Ceremony and the Learn It! Live It! Work Readiness Workshop online. Both events, although conducted remotely, were inspiring, motivational, and relevant for our students. Congratulations to AIEF for ensuring such a special occasion despite the inability for the events to be held in person.

We look forward to continuing our partnership with AIEF through the Scholarship and Pathways Programs to ensure that students make the most of the opportunities presented to them and realise their full potential.

AIEF Scholarship Program Details
Yarrabah, Thursday Island, Charters Towers, Bowen, Palm Island, Miles, Batchelor, Croydon (QLD), Townsville, Katherine, Bamaga, Dauan Island, Normanton, Cloncurry, Pormpuraaw, Coolalinga, Yarrabah, Innisfail, Alyangula, Wollongong, Yorke Island, Mornington Island, Saibai Island, Cooktown, Tamworth

AIEF Student Class Year Breakdown at The Cathedral School 2021

In 2021, AIEF Scholarship Students at The Cathedral School were spread across Year 7 to Year 12.



Indigenous Secondary Students 2021

In 2021, the 56 Indigenous students enrolled at The Cathedral School, Townsville were representative of 9.0% of the total population of 624 students.

AIEF Scholarship Students 2021


In 2021, AIEF Supported 28 students at The Cathedral School, Townsville.

Retention and Year 12 Completion 2021

In 2021, the retention and Year 12 completion rate at The Cathedral School, Townsville was 97%.

Note: Attrition rates do not imply underperformance as students may leave a school for a variety of reasons including changes in personal circumstances such as family relocation interstate, personal or family health issues, or moving to a school that is more suited to the needs of the student.

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