Aquinas College is a co-educational Catholic College that is situated on 40 acres of land on the border of Southport and Ashmore at the northern end of the beautiful Gold Coast. The school is situated adjacent to Guardian Angels Primary School (P-6). Aquinas' deep history in Southport dates back to 1901 with the formation of Star of the Sea College.
Archbishop Duhig laid Aquinas College's foundation stone on November 17, 1963. Following a decade of advocacy for a Catholic secondary school for boys, and in line with significant population growth throughout the Gold Coast, Aquinas Christian Brothers' College opened in 1964.
Father Keith Turnbull, CM, Parish Priest of Southport Catholic Parish strongly supported the College and the founding Christian Brothers. The first Christian Brothers were led by Brother Bernard Murphy, first Principal and superior of the Brothers Community for six years from 1963-1969. Commencing with eight Brothers on staff, progressively other lay teachers joined the College.
Brother Murphy and the Christian Brothers of that era emphasised the value of hard work in all aspects of school life. Sport and exam results were championed, as was the importance of school spirit.
Following significant growth in student numbers, many new classrooms were built, including a library and upgraded staff amenities. A staff of fifty teachers, including six brothers, administered the College made up of over 500 students from Years 5-12.
In 1984, Aquinas' demographic changed with the opening of Guardian Angels Primary School. At this point, Aquinas became a secondary school only, delivering an education from Years 8-12. In 1988, the Christian Brothers withdrew, and the administration of Aquinas College entered a new era with the appointment of its first lay principal, Mr Ed Riley.
In 1990, the Sisters of Mercy announced the closure of Star of the Sea College. To support the Catholic education of the girls, Aquinas College became a co-educational school, with the first girls attending in 1991. Under the leadership of Aquinas' second lay principal, Mr Terry Enright, the college's enrolment rose again to over 600 students.
Throughout the 1990s, Aquinas College continued to establish itself as a leading co-educational school on the Gold Coast. A gradual increase in the school population brought with it improved academic and sporting standards.
In the early 2000s, significant changes occurred in the area of Vocational Education and Technology. Aquinas students had “multiple pathways" to employment through school-based traineeships and the ability to complete many nationally recognised training courses while still at school.
More recently, Aquinas College has moved rapidly into a period of consolidation and development. New buildings and renovations have been undertaken as the College caters for a comprehensive curriculum. As a contemporary Catholic College, Aquinas promotes a dual charism, grounded in the traditions and values of the Mercy Partners and Edmund Rice Education Australia.
Aquinas College has evolved into a quality contemporary co-educational Catholic school. The College has retained much of its original vision and mission. The future of Aquinas College is one of faith, courage, compassion and belonging, grounded in the College's motto, Pro Deo.