Phone: (02) 9543 0188
Fax: (02) 9541 0398
Assistant Principal: Mr Stephen Gough
REC: Mrs Jodie Hughes
Aquinas College Menai is a co-educational, Years 7-12, Catholic High school, established in 1993. The present accommodation includes the Administration Building, College Library, general classrooms and the full range of specialist rooms. Construction of a multi-purpose hall and four more general classrooms has recently been completed.
The College Mission Statement reflects the hopes and dreams of the community. The College motto, “Enlivened by the Spirit”, is based on the four beliefs of Wholeness, Hope, Justice and Revelation.
Named after the learned Doctor of the Church, Aquinas College, Menai was opened by Cardinal Edward Clancy in 1993. This was to be a secondary school for the rapidly growing residential area which had formerly belonged to the parish of Sutherland. It was only in 1986 that Holy Family Parish, Menai was established, with Fr Denis Foley as parish priest. Holy Family Catholic Primary School was also started in 1986 and within five years had 400 students.
These students would soon require secondary schooling, and so in 1990 the Sydney Archdiocesan catholic Schools Board recommended that a secondary school be established at Menai. The next two years were spent in planning. A five-stage building program was envisaged, with use of demountable classrooms during construction.
Aquinas College opened with 50 boys and girls in Year 7, seven teachers and two ancillary staff, all under the leadership of the founding principal, Mr Peter Turner. Stages Two and Three of the building program were blessed on November 1996 by Bishop Geoffrey Robinson. New facilities then included a library, science laboratories, some classrooms and a staff area, at a cost of $5.6 million, of which $4.5 million was contributed by the local community. The final stage of the building program, a multi purpose hall and a four classroom block, was completed in 2006.
The College has continued to grow with the first Year 12 class completing their HSC in 1998. In 2005 the College had 975 students and 88 staff.
Aquinas College has a current enrolment of approximately 950 students. The majority of students come from English speaking backgrounds and the College attracts students from a range of socio-economic backgrounds. Pastoral care of students is a priority at Aquinas College. The College has clearly defined pastoral care structures and students are encouraged to participate in all aspects of College life.
Aquinas College has a staff of 85, with a reasonable balance between male and female teachers. Priority has been given to blending experience with youth. There is a strong staff commitment to the religious life of the College and professional development of staff has been ongoing across all areas of the curriculum. The College Executive consists of the Principal, Assistant Principal, REC, Curriculum Co-ordinator and General Co-ordinator.
Aquinas College is part of the Holy Family Parish, Menai. The Parish Priest, Father Phil Zadro, is an active supporter of the College and he enjoys the confidence of staff and students. The parent community is active, articulate and highly supportive of the College. They are keen to participate in all aspects of College life.
The College House Connections
The College is committed to ensuring that learning goes beyond the classroom and we strive to develop the physical, mental, spiritual and artistic talents of our students. It is expected that teachers commit themselves to the full life of the College and offer their talents for the betterment of students.
The system of vertical houses is designed to enrich the co-curricula life of the College. Each House has approximately 220 students from all year groups.
The Houses are led by Senior students elected as House Captains and assisted by a nominated House Co-ordinator. House activities are designed to add some fun to the experience of school and they create a positive climate of competition and rivalry between the four groups. Another objective of the House System is to develop opportunities for students of different ages to mix and work together with older students assisting younger students in some projects. These House connections have particular significance in the organisation and celebration of Aquinas Day. They also form the basis for the organisation of sporting carnivals.
MacKillop - Blue
Blessed Mary MacKillop born in Australia in 1842 was the founder of the Sisters of St Joseph. She helped pioneer the education of children in Australia. Her work is continued today by her sisters who work in places such as Gethsemane House in the city caring for the homeless.
LaSalle - Green
St John Baptist De La Salle is the Patron Saint of Educators and the founder of the La Salle order. De La Salle brothers continue to work in schools and organisations such as San Miguel which provides accommodation for homeless families.
Nagle - Gold
Nano Nagle was the founder of the Presentation Sisters. While still working in some schools the Presentation order also assist the homeless through organisations such as the Cana community located in the city.
Rice - Red
Edmund Rice was the founder of the Christian Brothers. The Christian Brothers still have a strong presence in schools but also cater for youth in need of direction such as the care provided through Bidwell drop-in centre in the west of Sydney.