Boarding Life

Our History

The Cathedral College's Residential Campus has only been operating under that name since 1991 when The Cathedral College was founded after the Range College and St Joseph’s Christian Brothers’ College were closed in 1990.  In 2014, the name was changed to The Cathedral College Boarding Campus.

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However, a history of the involvement of the Sisters of Mercy at The Range is necessary to understand the great tradition on which this "new" Boarding facility is built.

On August 4 1873, the Sisters of Mercy arrived in Rockhampton and so began the story of their role in the education of girls in the Diocese of Rockhampton. During those early years, the Sisters offered boarding accommodation and education to young women from outlying areas of the Diocese at their first convent, known as St Brigid's, in Kent Street Rockhampton.

In 1895, under the direction of the first Bishop, Dr John Cani, the Sisters took up residence at the Athelstane Range overlooking the growing town of Rockhampton. The Range Residential College, then known as The Range Convent High School, had begun. A Boarding section formed part of the Range complex and it is noted in the College Annuals that the Boarders of those early years formed close bonds of friendship with the Sisters. The new convent and school were placed under the protection of Our Lady of Good Counsel. The miraculous picture of Our Lady of Good Counsel is to be found in a church in the town of Genazzano in Italy. When the new boarding residence was built in 1920 to accommodate increasing enrolments, it was named Genazzano.

In 1955, when foundations were prepared for the present Convent Chapel, the old wooden chapel was relocated as a temporary dormitory for junior boarders. This building was named Coolock, after the Dublin home of the founder of the Sisters of Mercy, Catherine McAuley. The new Coolock was opened in 1968, offering single room accommodation to Senior students, with kitchen and dining facilities also for all students. At the close of 1988 with the help of Government funding, there was extensive upgrading of facilities, especially in Genazzano.

In 1989, the lay Director of Boarders was appointed by the Director of Catholic Education. It is the Director of Boarders, now known as the Assistant Principal: Boarding, who is responsible for the overall management and operation of the Boarding Campuses.

The Range Convent High School closed at the end of 1990 as did St Joseph’s Christian Brothers’ School. With the opening of The Cathedral College in 1991, the Boarding School continued with boarding students travelling to The Cathedral College by bus for their day schooling.

Since 2001, The Cathedral College has offered boarding accommodation for boys. This decision was made so that parents would have the choice to send their sons and daughters to the same College for their secondary education. Initially, the boys were accommodated in a section of Bethany in Agnes Street but in 2003 the Boys' Residential was moved to the former Munro Home situated in Upper Dawson Road. In 2014, Boys' Boarding moved to their state-of-the-art facility at Derby Street on the site of the Day Campus.