St Ursula’s College, Yeppoon, is under the canonical sponsorship and civil ownership of Mercy Partners. The ministry was entrusted to Mercy Partners by the Presentation Congregation on 12 June 2014.
The Mercy Partners ministerial PJP assumes the role of the canonical sponsor of St Ursula’s College, Yeppoon. The civil relationship is that Mercy Partners Limited is the sole Member of the organisation that operates the Ministry. The day-to-day operations of St Ursula’s College, Yeppoon, remains under the governance of their Board.
Mercy Partners commits to ensure that their ministries flourish as Catholic ministries that contribute to the emergence of a world where the healing, liberating and life-giving mercy of God is experienced.
St Ursula’s College Board of Directors
In 1992, the Presentation Sisters incorporated the College as a Company, St Ursula’s College Limited, and established a Board of Directors. This was done with careful preparation and ongoing formation.
The Presentation Sisters, like many Congregations, faced the challenge of declining numbers and looked for a governance model to meet the needs of the future. When the decision was made to incorporate the College, the Sisters developed a constitution that provides for the governance of the College through an appointed Board of Directors. St Ursula’s College is thus a ‘stand alone’ Religious Institute School, unlike other Secondary Schools and Colleges in the Rockhampton Diocese that are controlled by the Diocesan Catholic Education Office (DCEO) and, ultimately, the Bishop. Of course, St Ursula’s enjoys valuable working relationships with the DCEO.
In June 2014, the Canonical sponsorship of the College was transferred from the Presentation Sisters to Mercy Partners. The College continues in the Presentation tradition under the guidance of the St Ursula’s College Board and with the dedication and commitment of the Principal, College Leadership Team and staff.
The College Board has a membership of 8 Directors:
- Mrs Ann Marie Pawsey MEdL, BA, DipEd, Grad Cert RE (Chair)
- Mrs Bridget Wells BA LLB GDLP (Director)
- Ms Jayne Maresse BBus (Accounting), CA (Director)
- Mr Tim Cole CA (Director)
- Mrs Julie Payne BCom (Acc), GradCertBusAdmin, GradCertEd, FCPA (Director)
- Mr Anthony Arnold BA LLB (UQ) DipModLang (UNE) (Director)
- Mrs Louise Cook BHLTSC, DAPPSC, GradCertComm&PrimHlthCareNsg, GradCertCritCareNsg, MACN (Director)
- Ms Gloria Malone AdvDipManagement (Director)
Mrs Angela Noy; Company Secretary
Unless they choose otherwise, members remain on the Board for a maximum of nine years, served on a rotational basis.
College Leadership Team
- Principal – Deborah Ryan
- Acting Deputy Principal (Teaching & Learning) – Luke Tree
- Deputy Principal (Spiritual & Pastoral) – Deidre Pascoe
- Business Manager – Peta Tomkins
- Acting Director of Operations & Analytics – Laura Kann
Heads of School
- Junior School – Megan Slade [email protected]
- Middle School – Kelly Melvin [email protected]
- Senior School – Kathy King [email protected]
Heads of Department
- Arts and Instrumental Music Coordinator – Ms Shannon du Plessis [email protected]
- Acting Design and Technology and eLearning Coordinator – Mrs Nicole O’Neill [email protected]
- Mathematics – Mr Kevin Wallis [email protected]
- Science – Mrs Kim Reddy [email protected]
- Social Science (including Business and Library) – Mr Mark Avery [email protected]
- English – Ms Debbie Owens [email protected]
- Religious Education (including Ministry) – Ms Kathy Strelow [email protected]
- Health and Physical Education – Mr Daniel Ramirez [email protected]
- Languages – Mrs Emily Willis [email protected]
Head of Inclusive Education – Jenny Balanay [email protected]
College Counsellor – Lisa Pyper [email protected]
Registered Training Organisation Manager – April Acworth [email protected]
Sports Coordinator – Krista Vatubua [email protected]
Community Support Officer – Katrina Whitham [email protected]
Head of Boarding – Kerry Thompson [email protected]
Parent Engagement Network
The Parent Engagement Network (PEN) is an integral part of the College community. Our PEN provides the opportunity for parents to share their opinions on issues relevant to the College and assist in improving the educational opportunities available for their children.
New and continuing parents and carers are encouraged to join the St Ursula’s PEN.
The Committee aims to:
- Keep parents and carers informed about educational issues;
- Provide a forum for exchange of information and for consultation and discussion;
- Promote parenting programs, parent/teacher interaction, and parent support;
- Foster a sense of belonging, i.e. parents as part of the College Community; and
- Support College activities through fundraising or attendance in an official capacity.
Executive Committee Members 2023
President: Jo Couper
Vice President: Natalie Salisbury
Secretary: Kellie Hill
Treasurer: Maria Harms
Boarding Representative: Sharryn Gilmour
Diocesan Delegate: Natalie Salisbury
At St Ursula’s College, each student belongs to one of four College ‘Houses’ for the duration of their enrolment: Kennedy (Green); Madden (Red); Nagle (Blue); and Shiel (Yellow).
The House system provides a structure for competition in Sporting and Cultural activities at St Ursula’s College. Smaller groups within each House also meet twice weekly for pastoral care activities and mentoring under the guidance of a staff member, in a set area. Students are encouraged to regard their House Group Teacher as their primary staff contact person. The House Group Teacher’s role is to take a special interest in the welfare of those students in the group and to report to parents on the general progress of those students in their care.
Where a student is experiencing difficulties, she could approach:
- The Subject Teacher (if the problem relates to a particular subject) or her House Group Teacher;
- Head of Junior School (Year 7 & 8), Head of Middle School (Year 9 & 10) or Head of Senior School (Year 11 &12);
- Deputy Principal Spiritual & Pastoral, or Deputy Principal Learning & Teaching.
At St Ursula’s College, Yeppoon, we cultivate an environment of belonging, so that each and every member of our community knows they are respected and welcome. A culture which empowers and encourages each student to seize leadership opportunities, know their self-worth, and reach their potential is evident throughout the College. Our staff are dynamic and dedicated professionals who specialise in the education of young women. A prominent and active well-being program supported by three Heads of School, a School Counsellor and a School Nurse, is based on the principles of Positive Psychology and Growth Mindset, and ensures that girls are well supported as they navigate adolescence.
The multicultural atmosphere of the College fosters a sense of belonging and inclusion among all students. Students and staff from various cultural backgrounds share their knowledge and skills within the College Community and are appreciated for their contribution to campus life. Harmony Day is celebrated annually, and the Cultural Captain, a Student Leader, works with staff to create opportunities to celebrate cultural awareness and acknowledge diversity in a respectful and affirming manner.