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Good Shepherd Catholic School opened its doors in January 1996 with an enrolment of 81 students in Year levels from Preschool to Year 3. Our school has built a rich history since those early years.
Fr Michael Lowcock holds a public meeting in April to discuss the possibility of opening a new Catholic school in the Upper Ross area. In October, a joint meeting is held between the Holy Spirit School Finance Committee, Ryan Catholic Community School Finance Committee, and Catholic Education to discuss possibilities for financing a new school.
The Diocese of Townsville conducts a feasibility study and recommends to the Holy Spirit Parish that there is sufficient need to support the construction of a new Catholic primary school in the Upper Ross and that it should purchase a plot of land on which to build it.
Led by Rod Donaldson, the Upper Ross Catholic Community School Steering Committee is established to oversee the development of a new Catholic school in the area. A ten hectare site on Allambie Lane in Rasmussen is identified as the proposed site for the new school. Paul Rush, from Dillon Architects, is commissioned to design the school buildings.
Due to the increasing population of Townsville, the Holy Spirit Parish is divided into two new parishes. The planned site for the “Upper Ross Catholic Community School” is located in what is now the Good Shepherd Parish. Good Shepherd Parish priest, Fr Dave Lancini, has already emerged as a dedicated advocate for the school, but Holy Spirit also contributes to the costs of its establishment.
On 19 June, Bishop Raymond Benjamin uses an end loader to turn the first sod on the site of the planned Upper Ross Catholic Community School. A competition is held in which the region’s Catholic school students design logos for the new school. Taking inspiration from the shepherd’s crook which appears on multiple winning entries – and the recent establishment of the Good Shepherd Parish – the steering committee elects to change the name of the new school to the Good Shepherd Catholic Community School.
At a ceremony on 19 May, Good Shepherd Catholic Community School is blessed and officially opened. Its motto is “Love, Faith and Learning.” The school pioneers in a number of initiatives, such as the Life Education Breakfast Program and the adoption of multi-age classrooms. There are 81 students at the school in its first year, from preschool to Year 3. In each year that follows, a new grade is added to the school. The first principal of the school is Paul Cosgriff.
On 11 August Fr Dave Lancini, an important patron of the Good Shepherd Catholic Community School, celebrates 25 years in the priesthood. Work is completed on stage 2 of the Good Shepherd Catholic Community School. Five new classrooms are built, with a sixth serving as a spare to be used in later years. New toilet facilities are completed, as well as extensions to administration, covered areas and parking facilities. Landscaping projects are also completed on the school site.
In October, stage 3 developments are blessed and opened by Bishop Raymond Benjamin. While the original master plan was for a two-stream school, population growth in the area along with increasing demand for places within the school, have led to the plans being revised to accommodate a three-stream school.
The Good Shepherd Community Centre is opened and blessed by Bishop Michael Putney. In May, three new classrooms are opened and blessed by the Bishop. As part of Australia’s centenary of federation celebrations, gold-medal-winning Olympian, Susie O’Neill visits the Good Shepherd Catholic Community School.
Ed Burke is welcomed as the new principal of the Good Shepherd Catholic Community School.
Good Shepherd Catholic Community School transitions from multi-age classes to single-year-level groups.
The school holds its first annual “Riverway Ramble” fundraising event.
The Bishop Benjamin Hall is blessed and opened.
In October, shade structures are installed over the junior play equipment.
The Good Shepherd Catholic Community School welcomes Glenda Scrase as its new principal.
Upgrade to the front of the school to introduce The Good Shepherd Flock. Upgrade to Prep to Year 2 classrooms and new senior playground installed.
Introduction of the Good Shepherd Catholic School Way and Sherlock the Sheep, our school mascot.
Creation of Yalga Sacred Space and Yarning Circle.
New junior playground installed and extension to I Block.