Our History

St Monica’s College is a school of the future for girls established within the Catholic Church culture and shaped by the rich history and traditions of Mercy.

When the Sisters of Mercy arrived in Cairns and established the college in 1890 they based their values on the work of the venerable Catherine McAuley, the founder of the Sisters of Mercy. This order had its beginnings in 1831 when Catherine McAuley responded to the needs of the poor and uneducated in Ireland. She had a particular devotion to the needs of disadvantaged, young women using the transformative power of education to offer them hope.

As part of this rich history, St Monica’s College was established to use education as a powerful tool to expand opportunities and reshape lives. As both a primary school and a coeducational school in the early years, over time it emerged as a secondary college transforming young girls into caring, competent women willing to contribute more fully to their community. In contemporary times, St Monica’s College maintains this charism and uses it to both preserve our past and give us a vision for the future.

Catherine McAuley’s mission calls us to challenge young women of the 21st century to be key players in our increasingly complex world. Our Mercy values invite us to be Christ-like as we move forward in our lives – to heal, to liberate and above all, to show mercy.