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Find your place to make a difference!

About Catholic Education Cairns

Our 30 schools and colleges educate almost 12,000 students across Far North Queensland – approximately 6,700 primary and 5,200 secondary – which is almost a quarter of all students in our region. 

Our Diocese spans 377,000 km2 and our schools extend from Tully in the south, west to Dimbulah on the Atherton Tablelands, and north to Waibeni (Thursday Island) in the Torres Strait. Most of our schools are within a two-hour drive of Cairns.

We have two P-12 colleges, 20 primary schools and eight secondary colleges – four offer boarding, one is co-located with James Cook University in Smithfield, and one provides youth assistance across three campuses in Cairns and Cooktown.

We are the largest non-government employer in the region, employing 1800 staff in teaching, non-teaching, professional and leadership roles.

We pride ourselves on fostering a strong sense of community spirit in a progressive and inclusive environment, with wide-ranging professional development opportunities and the latest technology and facilities, including modern physical education and arts amenities. Many of our schools have spacious auditoriums and sporting ovals, large undercover play areas and extensive music and arts offerings.

The first Catholic school in Far North Queensland opened in 1887 and for much of history our Catholic schools were staffed by religious orders. In modern times this is no longer the case, with ‘lay’ staff now operating all schools, including both Catholic and non-Catholic teachers.

Catholic Ethos

Catholic schools provide high-quality academic and vocational education as part of a faith and values-based holistic education – developing the whole child intellectually, spiritually, socially, emotionally, and physically. Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is a priority in Catholic schools in the Cairns Diocese and has been formally integrated into all areas of curriculum.

Students do not need to be Catholic or come from Catholic families or backgrounds. Enrolments are welcome from families that are supportive of the values associated with Catholic schools.

Although part of the non-government sector, Catholic schools have a foundational core belief to welcome the poor and marginalised and accordingly, keep fees as low as possible. Because of this caring outreach, Catholic schools view themselves differently to other non-government/independent schools, seeing themselves as distinctly Catholic, and not private schools. 

Safeguarding Children

Catholic Education Cairns is actively committed to fostering safe communities that recognise and uphold the dignity and rights of all children. We encourage open communication whereby families and communities are informed of relevant issues and participate in decisions about the safety of children.

Every person within Catholic Education Cairns who comes into contact, or works, with children seeks to uphold the dignity of all children and commits to establishing safe and supportive relationships. Catholic Education Cairns has documented policies and procedures to prevent risks to children and build a strong culture of safeguarding. Each school has at least two nominated Student Protection Contacts, to whom students can report any inappropriate conduct.  


Catholic education occurs in welcoming, inclusive, and connected communities. Our schools seek to provide a genuine, safe and caring experience of community, to encourage students to appreciate the intrinsic worth of who they are, to value diversity and treat each other with dignity, enabling students in turn to promote and respect the dignity of all.

Our schools recognise and value parents as the first educators of their child and work in close partnership with families. 

Inclusion & Diversity

Catholic Education Cairns offers a supportive, flexible working culture and values diversity in culture and religion, for both its students and staff. We employ people of all faiths and denominations, working together to produce excellent outcomes for our students.  We are accepting and respectful of individuals’ personal beliefs. All cultures and religions are welcome and you will feel part of a caring and inclusive workforce from the moment you join us.  

We value diversity of staff and students and foster cultures of inclusion that respond to needs, regardless of abilities, backgrounds, and aspirations. Hear their stories

Sense of Community

Our schools are known for their strong sense of community spirit in a progressive and inclusive environment.

Teachers who have come to work with us from other systems often remark about the strong sense of community, support and welcome they experience in the Catholic system. Hear their stories.

We invite you to be part of something bigger, to play a key role in building better communities for the future.  


Catholic Education in the Cairns Diocese offers a range of school types and therefore teaching opportunities. Collectively, our schools and Catholic Education Services provide a range of teaching, non-teaching, professional and leadership roles. Learn more at School Types & Employment Options or head to our Current Positions

Lifestyle, Work-Life Balance, Benefits & Incentives

We must mention that we’re located in the most beautiful part of the world! A great lifestyle AND career advancement can both be achieved in Far North Queensland with Catholic Education Cairns, where we value and encourage work-life balance.

Read more about why you will Love the Lifestyle and the Benefits & Incentives of working with us.