Mother of Good Counsel is a parish based, urban school, situated in the North of Cairns. The school was founded in 1936 when Fr Phelan, an Augustinian priest, foresaw the need of priority for the Catholic families in the local area to have available some form of formal religious and educational instruction. A two storey cement Church-School was erected. The school was located on the lower floor consisting of four classrooms. Under the care of the Sisters of Mercy, the school began on 16 April, 1936 with nineteen children enrolled on the first day.
By 1969 many more classrooms had been built and the school had an enrolment of 250 students. In 1976 the convent was closed and the first lay principal was appointed. In 1986 the Marist Brothers took charge of the school and served the local community until 1990.
Historically, the school has served the residential suburbs of North Cairns, Edge Hill and Whitfield, but with the development of new schools in the Northern Beaches area and the southern corridor of Cairns, the demographics have changed and families have moved away from the area. Mother of Good Counsel now has a large catchment area due to the position of the school on the outskirts of the city, making it a convenient location for parents traveling to work. Many parents work in hospitality, administration, airport services and the medical profession. The school population is culturally diverse and has a wide socio-economic mix.
With the growth of the Cairns area, what were formally older single dwellings occupied by an ageing population close to the city, have now become multi-unit sites occupied by young families. Following strong local demand, the school in 2008 provided a second Prep class. This second stream has continued and the school has grown to become a two stream school. The school is constantly supporting the increase of student enrolments. The school has experienced an exciting period of growth, having refurbished its Multi-purpose Hall, built additional classrooms and specialty rooms, as well as a new contemporary library, erected a permanent roof cover over its existing basketball court and extended its covered eating area for the senior school.
The school has a strong record of success in achieving good academic outcomes in the areas of Literacy and Numeracy. This is due to the high caliber of staff, strong parental support and up to date learning facilities. Student access to contemporary teaching / learning and hands-on materials continues to grow, with both Maths and Interactive Technologies a recent focus. Students in every class have ongoing access to laptops and iPads, which are considered everyday tools in the classroom.
Mother Of Good Counsel School strives to foster successful learning based on both the Gospel values and tradition of the Mercy Sisters and stands firm on its capacity for effective, life-giving relationships and collaboration involving all those within its school community. The school looks forward to working closely with all associated with the school.