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From extremely humble beginnings in 1993 in a greenfield site, consisting of just one building (the one on the right), to the 2012 complex you see below, St Joseph’s College echoes the expansion of Banora Point and South Tweed.

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Architect’s conception of what the College would look like in 1993. With St James Primary, such views are impossible.

Aerial view of College with South Tweed and Coolangatta in the distance in 2012. Lake Kimberley is to the right.

St. Joseph’s College began as a functional school on Wednesday, February 3rd, 1993. On this day eleven staff from ten different schools,115 students from a variety of schools with their parents committed themselves to St. Joseph's College, a commitment that began in the Parish several years before this first day. It was exciting for the Parish to have its own Secondary College. After all the dreaming, planning and saving, finally it was reality.

The arduous task of establishing the day to day running of the College and its further development was given to Mr. Chris Shirley (the Principal) and Mr. Ian McDonald (the Assistant Principal).

Chris was appointed to the position of Principal when the school site was dirt and shrub. In the six months before the arrival of students much planning was required. Stage one (the TAS block) was completed for the start of the school year. 

Staff and students worked physically hard in developing the school grounds — tree planting, laying turf, moving dirt and bark, mowing lawns, tending the gardens. Whatever needed to be done they were there at the front leading the way with courage and endurance. The parent body supported them with keen interest and loyalty. Fond memories of Orientation days, the first day, camps, liturgies, the Australia Day barbecue and the small intimate school community are shared by those present during 1993. For such a small school there was plenty of activity with band, music, sport and debating as well as the normal curriculum that was offered. Students, parents and teachers worked constantly to establish a school of which all would be proud.

Teresa Brierley

The years listed on the left take you to the home page of that particular year. Then follow the arrows for more detail.  As we ferret through the school archives and solicit pictures and info from students and teachers, much more will be added. Check in from time to time to see the new additions.

If you have information, stories, reminiscences or names which could make this site more accurate or interesting, please email us at

20years@sjctweed.org