Catherine Mcauley Catholic college


Medowie, NSW

Catherine McAuley Catholic College embodies contemporary architectural design and pedagogical approaches.  The symbology of the Holy Trinity, which drives a future radial layout, the backbone of the design. The entry to the College and the streetscape is of great importance and efforts have been made to create an identifiable pedestrian circulation path from Medowie Road drawing people into the site. Secure lines have been incorporated behind the line of the building pods, with the play areas and socialisation spaces located away from the street frontage.

The first of the High School Buildings with a canteen and café which encourages parents to stay after drop off and become involved; and the Chapel with a capacity for 500 local parishioners to attend. These buildings although spread along the site are linked by a well thought out landscaped ribbon to the frontage of the site, an introduction to the Catholic Community precinct as planned once the full masterplan is complete. 

The development of the College, which first opened its doors to students in 2021, responds to the local community’s educational, faith and social needs. It achieves this through innovative designs that harbour contemporary teaching pedagogies, including student-led learning, promoting environmental stewardship, honouring the traditional custodians of the land, and providing a welcoming and safe space for the community to gather.

These spaces have been created by incorporating services installations which allow for future flexibility and changes. The form of the building and façade is broken down with the incorporation of an aluminium batten screen, which also provides solar protection to the glazing on the north-eastern façade.


The innovative structures support the College’s pioneering delivery of the NSW curriculum, which it achieves through its Core + philosophy. Core + provides students with choice, agency and ownership throughout their learning journey by giving them permission to explore and develop their strengths, passions and interests. 

There are a diverse range of spaces encompassing one person nooks, spaces for small collaborative work, large project group work or whole group discussions with the ability to open learning areas up to each other to enable combined discussions with a number of groups together accommodating demographic and pedagogical change. These spaces can be used for learning, play and socialisation, and are located across the whole of the site. 

This diversity in learning spaces both internally and externally will enhance students and educators’ everyday experience of the college and has an aim to result in a collaborative approach to learning of both the students and the educators.