Educating Young Women for the Future

Catherine McAuley is proud to be part of Catholic Schools Parramatta Diocese’s system of 80 Catholic primary and secondary schools operating across Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains providing more than 43,500 students with a high-quality, low fee Catholic education.

Situated on the land of the Burramatta people and founded by the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta, Catherine McAuley Westmead is a Catholic girls’ school with a strong Mercy charism. There are currently 1200 students enrolled in the school, with over 350 of these in Years 11 and 12.

Catherine McAuley is a vibrant, diverse and multicultural community with an expert, innovative and dedicated teaching staff.

Our approach to learning prioritises the skills required for young women to actively participate in a dynamic world as autonomous lifelong learners who are connected, adaptable, discerning and articulate. An extensive extracurricular program provides a holistic education, and enables students to experience success and achieve excellence in a wide variety of areas.

Our approach to learning

Learning  - Catherine McAuley Westmead

Our Mission

Catherine McAuley Westmead is a Catholic girls’ school in the Mercy tradition. Inspired by our founder, Venerable Catherine McAuley, we aspire to a God-centred way of life which respects and affirms the dignity of each person. In embracing our Catholic Mercy heritage and charism, we:

  1. commit to excellence and innovation in girls’ education
  2. empower young women to be courageous and actively involved in social justice
  3. value our diversity and inclusiveness
  4. build community through hospitality
  5. foster the development of the whole person.

Our Values

Catherine McAuley Westmead is committed to Catholic values that are the touchstones of the Mercy heritage and charism. We value:

Values of Mercy - Catherine McAuley Westmead

We reach out to others in need, treat all with respect and reverence and act with compassion in all that we do.

Values of Justice - Catherine McAuley Westmead

We commit to living justly by engaging in action for social justice and by celebrating our diversity and inclusiveness.

Values of Excellence - Catherine McAuley Westmead

We strive for our personal best in all we do.

Value of Integrity - Catherine McAuley Westmead

We lead lives which integrate our personal beliefs and values with those of the school.

Value of Courage - Catherine McAuley Westmead

We stand up for our beliefs by putting our values into practise.

Value of Hospitality - Catherine McAuley Westmead

We create a community where all feel welcome, through openness to people, ideas and challenges.


A Strong Tradition

Founded by the Mercy Sisters, Catherine McAuley Westmead has a strong Mercy charism.

A Strong Tradition - Catherine McAuley Westmead

The school began on the present site in 1966, as a Catholic secondary school for girls in Years 7 to 10. Years 11 and 12 were introduced in 1986. Today it offers comprehensive education for girls from Years 7 to 12. The school operates within Catholic Education, Diocese of Parramatta. We pride ourselves on being authentic followers of the vision of the Venerable Catherine McAuley.

Catherine McAuley was born in Ireland in 1778, and knew hardship early in her life. After the death of her parents Catherine and her siblings relied on the charity of relatives for survival. Catherine was a courageous, compassionate woman whose early experiences shaped her life’s work in caring for the disadvantaged. An inheritance enabled her to establish a centre to assist the poor of Dublin, known as the House of Mercy.
Her faith in the God of Mercy, her commitment to the Good News of Jesus Christ, led her to dedicate herself to serving the poor, sick and uneducated. Throughout her life she was deeply aware of the human suffering caused by social, economic and religious injustice.

Catherine’s community at Callan in Ireland was invited by Cardinal Moran to work in Australia, and the Sisters arrived in Parramatta in 1888.

When a new Catholic school for girls was opened at Westmead in 1966 under the charter of the Sisters of Mercy, it was a fitting tribute to name the school in honour of Catherine McAuley. The values of the Sisters of Mercy still guide the school and its community in the 21st century, as the school motto encourages students ‘to strive for higher things’.


Principals of Catherine McAuley


Sister Mary Eugene Dobson rsm



Sister Mary Anne Ryan rsm

1967 - 1973


Sister Mary Sophie McGrath rsm

1974 - 1977


Sister Edith Angel rsm

1978 - 1981


Mr Jan Jolley

1982 - 1984


Sister Barbara McDonough rsm

1984 - 1987


Mr Michael Keating

1988 - 1995


Mrs Hilary Johnston-Croke

1996 - 2005


Ms Margery Jackman

2005 - 2014


Ms Laetitia Richmond

2014 - 2019


Mrs Mary Refalo

2019 -

Our Policies and Procedures

Catherine McAuley has a number of policies and procedures that govern various aspects of our school life.

School Annual Report

Providing parents, carers and the wider community with information about various aspects of school performance and development.

We invite you to join our vibrant learning community

Contact us today to find out how to enrol.

What we offer

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How to enrol

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Contact us

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