A place to belong

As part of a system of Catholic schools in the Diocese of Parramatta, our students are treated with dignity and respect. Their safety and wellbeing are our top priorities. The wellbeing and safety of all students is central to the purpose of Catholic education and we acknowledge that healthy relationships and exceptional pastoral care are core to each child’s positive experience at school.

Schools in the Diocese of Parramatta have a strong focus on pastoral care, and in addition the support of our school counsellor, additional resourcing is provided for wellbeing initiatives overseen by the Wellbeing Coordinator. The Wellbeing Coordinator is supported by staff on the Wellbeing and Behaviour Team, Leading Counsellors as well as K-12 System Counsellors in the implementation of these wellbeing initiatives.

Catherine McAuley is committed to providing a learning environment where students can thrive, feel safe and supported, and are nurtured to grow, belong and be confident.

Catherine McAuley equips students with the knowledge and skills to cultivate their wellbeing through Religious Education, health, and wellbeing classes. We believe this sense of wellbeing and connectedness promotes healthy personal development in students and contributes to their academic success.

We support the social and emotional welfare of students and their families through effective strategies, recommendations, policies and procedures, guidelines and tools. Our strong focus on pastoral care includes school counsellors and wellbeing initiatives to support students.

The creation of a warm and inclusive community where all feel safe and valued, is a key focus of life at Catherine McAuley.

Wellbeing - Catherine McAuley Westmead


Complementing our academic program, the pastoral care program supports and encourages the development of each student through:

House, Liturgy and Social Justice
Student Representative Council

Peer Support
Individual Guidance and Counselling
Youth Forums
Peer Tutoring
Seminars Addressing Current Issues
Merit system

Pastoral Care Initiatives

Pastoral care programs at each year level are designed to help build resilience, independence and courage within each girl.
House system

All students belong to a house-based homeroom group which meets each day. This enables the interaction and participation of each student and teacher in a personal environment.

Year and House groups meet on a regular basis to acknowledge and affirm students’ achievements. The Catherine McAuley Houses are:


Caritas House - Gold

Caritas is the Latin word for charity or loving actions. Serving others, especially those in most need, was central to Mother Catherine’s work for the poor of Dublin, and is a key focus of the Mercy tradition.


Clare House - Orange

Clare House is named after Sister Clare Dunphy who was the leader of the first Sisters of Mercy to come to Parramatta in 1888. Sister Clare and eight other Sisters of Mercy came from Callan Convent in Ireland. These Sisters are our Founding Mothers.


Coolock House - Green

Coolock is the name of the house and suburb where Catherine lived from her late 20s to her late 40s. Here she took care of an elderly couple (Elinor and James Callaghan). When they died, they left Coolock House to Catherine, who sold it (for approx. $1.5million in today’s money) and built her House of Mercy in Dublin.


Dobson House - Purple

Dobson House is named after Sister Eugene Dobson, the first principal of Catherine McAuley. Sister Eugene taught across many subject areas and is well known for her strong commitment to girls’ education. Her perseverance was a key factor in the establishment of our school.


Mercedes House - Blue

Mercedes is the Spanish word for Mercy. The Sisters of Mercy began many works of Mercy in Spanish-speaking countries in South America. Mercy or Mercedes describes God’s loving kindness to all people.


Ryan House - Pink

Ryan House is named after Sister Mary Anne Ryan, the second principal of Catherine McAuley. Sister Mary Anne is fondly remembered for her gentle presence, her wonderful geography teaching and her love of nature. She established many of the gardens we enjoy here at school.


Veritas House - Red

Veritas is the Latin word for truth. The Mercy tradition calls on all of us to be true to ourselves, to others and to God. Being true is about knowing what really matters, and having the courage to live out in our lives, what we believe in our hearts.

Recognition of students

Students who act as Ambassadors for Catherine McAuley may be acknowledged in a variety of ways including:

  • The Catherine McAuley Award which is presented to the Year 12 student who has made an outstanding contribution to the life of the school
  • The Ambassador for Catherine McAuley Award which is presented to one student of Years 7-11
  • Service to the School Awards
  • Service to Culture Awards
  • Acknowledgement at school assemblies
  • Acknowledgement at year group assemblies
  • Articles in school newsletters
  • School Leaders’ Awards
  • Diary commendation
  • Year Co-ordinator commendation
  • Student Merit Awards leading to Principal’s Award
  • Displays of work
  • Recognition on reports
  • Year / Homeroom Awards
  • HSC High Achievers Board
  • Honour Roll: Captain and Dux.
Student charter
As a student member of this community, I can expect to have a right to:
Therefore, I have a responsibility to:
Have my gifts and talents respected and nurtured. Develop my gifts and respect and support the gifts of others.
Contribute positively to the life of the school community. Contribute positively to the school community and acknowledge the contribution made by others.
Be accepted for who I am. Accept the uniqueness of each individual.
Experience effective, competent, empathetic teaching in a Catholic environment. Contribute to a positive learning environment by allowing teaching and learning to take place.
Be able to learn to the best of my ability. Strive to learn to the best of my ability.
Experience a healthy and clean environment. Keep the school environment clean and healthy.
Experience a safe environment. Follow safety procedures and the School Behaviour Code and eliminate bullying and harassment.
Be treated with compassion, integrity and dignity. Treat others as I would like to be treated with compassion, fairness and dignity.
Have the opportunity to participate in appropriate decision making. Participate and encourage others to have a voice in the school community.
Student Leadership

There are many opportunities for students to develop and show leadership skills at Catherine McAuley. Whilst some students are elected by their peers and teachers to leadership positions, every student is encouraged to show initiative and leadership and to be an ambassador for Catherine McAuley. Whilst some students are elected by their peers and teachers to leadership positions, every student is encouraged to show initiative and leadership and to be an ambassador for Catherine McAuley. The school provides opportunities for students to develop their confidence and skills through:

  • Leadership programs
  • Performing Arts evenings
  • Debating
  • Sporting competitions
  • Liturgies
  • Social justice activities
  • Hospitality
  • Peer Support Program
  • Peer mentoring
  • Girls Student Alliance Network
  • Student Representative Council
  • Public Speaking
  • Youth Forums
  • Strong Sisters Group - indigenous students.

Student Representative Council

The Student Representative Council is elected by students and represents all year levels.

The SRC strives to give students a voice in the extended school community. Their aim is to represent students’ interests in a manner that is beneficial to the whole school community.

Peer Support Leaders

All Year 9 students are trained as Peer Support Leaders during Term 4. After training, students are invited to nominate themselves as Peer Support Leaders for the following year. Approximately 40 students are selected from this group.

Peer Support Leaders help with the transition of the new Year 7 students into secondary school life. During Term 1, Peer Support Leaders meet with their groups once a week. After this, the groups and their leaders meet on an informal basis. Leaders are always available to help individual members of their group.

Transition program

Catherine McAuley recognises the importance of a smooth transition from primary to secondary school. We facilitate this change with a formal transition program, beginning in Year 6 and continuing through Year 7.

The program includes:

  • Orientation day
  • Year 7 induction day
  • Peer support program
  • Year 7 Family Welcome Evening
  • Peer mentoring program

Building child safe communities

We are committed to providing children and young people with school environments where they are safe, informed and participate, and where the adult community works together with them towards making this happen.

How CSPD schools protect child safety

Building child safe communities

Building Child Safe Communities - Catherine McAuley Westmead

We care about every student!

Contact Catherine McAuley today to find out how we can help your child..

Our vision

Transforming the learning of each student every day.

Our difference

Discover what sets us apart from other schools.

How to Enrol

Let us help you get started on the enrolment process.

Contact Us

Have a question? Our friendly school staff can help.

Cookies help us improve your website experience.
By using our website, you agree to our use of cookies.