St Teresa’s Catholic College is a non-selective Catholic Systematic Secondary school operated under the auspices of the Brisbane Catholic Education office. Its charism is a dual focus combining the spiritual and educational philosophies of the Catholic Church’s Carmelite (St Teresa of Avila) and Marist (St Marcellin Champagnat) traditions.
The College moved to its present site in 2005 with ongoing building works enhancing the College each year. The buildings are connected by covered walkways thanks to Federal Labour Government money under the National School Pride Funding for Secondary Schools. These were completed in early 2010.
Currently, the College has 850 students from Year 7 to Year 12.
At present St Teresa’s has a teaching staff of 70 teachers and an ancillary staff of 44 teacher aides/ school officers/ cafe/ library/ groundstaff and 6 music tutors. It has an active Middle School programme and a strong Vocational education opportunity for those students in the Senior School who wish to pursue school-based apprenticeships. It also has obtained some very strong ATAR results.
The College has taken a Learning Services structure where access to teacher aide support is available to all students who are in need of assistance. It provides a wide range of extra and co-curricular activities that are outlined on other pages on the website and in the College Prospectus.
In 2018, the College changed its structure from horizontal year level based cohorts to a vertical house group structure. A fifth house Cana was introduced with Avila, La Valla, Penola and Pomona houses continuing.
Continuous advocacy since the building of St Thomas More Primary School, by the Parish Priest, Father Meaney, resulted in a meeting being called in 1996 to gauge interest in establishing a Catholic Secondary School in the Noosa area. Due to the tremendous response (approx 200 people) at the meeting, a committee was formed. After numerous letters, phone calls, census results, and surveys of parents in both the private and public sectors, which overwhelmingly indicated support for a Catholic Secondary school, Catholic Education began the search for appropriate land.
The Parish Priest approached the Director, of Brisbane Catholic Education, to assist and sponsor the establishment of a secondary college within the Noosa District area. The Parish Priest indicated the Catholic community’s desire to establish a college in partnership with Brisbane Catholic Education. The College has a strong community orientation and link with the Noosa District Catholic parish communities.
The 7-ha site selected is located on Sea Eagle Drive, Noosaville, adjacent to the Noosaville State Primary School. An environmentally sensitive development was the focus of the College with an emphasis on the preservation of landscape features wherever possible.
The College takes its name from one of the most remarkable women of the church: St Teresa of Jesus. Made Patroness of her native Spain in 1617, St Teresa was canonised in 1622 and today is regarded as the patron saint of writers. She was awarded a Doctorate of the Church for her spiritual writings and these tests are still widely referenced for guidance in transforming the spiritually intractable and those seeking a deeper inner experience of God’s word. St Teresa was both a reformer and a founder within the Carmelite order. She made a vow always to follow the more perfect course, although the atmosphere prevailing at the monastery was less than favourable to the more perfect type of life to which Teresa aspired. Eventually, her deeply felt spirituality shone through and Teresa was later to found several monasteries and convents and improve the spiritual condition of the community.
The central form of this logo is based on an episode from her younger life where she was overwhelmed with intellectual visions, ecstasies and extraordinary graces (not at all unlike rapidly growing children). This image has most appealed to the artists and biographers and has been adopted here to represent the power of knowledge polarising a youthful central figure. This knowledge though, is linked to the heart, not the brain and symbolises the importance of God’s love in the development of a deeper understanding of the world. With the sky and sea between, the figure responds to its environment with vigour and joy – this is clearly no passive observer, but a participant in higher learning in a lush and sunny environment; an image deemed to be the ideal representation of what St Teresa’s College will offer. The chosen motto: “Dare the Dream” succinctly captures this sense of joy and striving without resorting to historical cliché. “Teresa dared the dream, (she) shows us the courage and daring we need to leave the comfort zone and the warrior energy required to keep our dream alive. (She) often repeated: We must translate our dreams into deeds, our words into works, and our aspirations into action.” Together they place the College very much at the vanguard of a revitalised and relevant Catholic education system.
The central figure – also quite symbolically – can be freed from the formal element of the shield (below right) and sits equally as well in an independent and unbound form. This extension of the central logo form will be used quite widely in school stationery, website identity, embroidery and other mediums.
The energy and growth that are presented here, are vital elements for the community in Noosa and the very presence of St Teresa’s College sends a positive message for future growth and development throughout the region.
*Bielecki, Tessa. Teresa of Avila: Mystical Writings Crossword Publishing Co, New York, 1994.