By Emilie Ng
CATHOLIC parents living in Brisbane’s western suburbs have a new secondary school option for their sons with the official opening of Ambrose Treacy College, Indooroopilly.
Ambrose Treacy College replaces St Joseph’s Nudgee Junior College, an independent Catholic school for boys in Years 4 to 7.
The new college offers classes for Years 4 to 12, with senior years beginning at Year 8 this year and expected to graduate in 2019.
Principal Michael Senior, who also led Nudgee Junior College, said closing the school and opening a new junior, middle and senior school was necessary to deal with statewide decision to move Year 7 from primary into secondary schooling.
“We saw that there was a need to change because otherwise the school would be in survival mode,” Mr Senior said.
“When they announced that Year 7 would go into high school, that meant that 25 per cent of our population was leaving the traditional primary area.
“So we needed to make sure that we adapted to the change.”
Mr Senior said with the opening of Ambrose Treacy College, parents would now have a secondary Catholic school option for boys.
“There is no other Catholic option for parents, for boys, in the western suburbs in high school,” he said.
“Basically if you live in the western suburbs at the moment, you have to leave if you want your son to have a Catholic education.
“So we made the decision that we were going to close the school down and look at it as a whole new school.
“It’s been a big change but also a very exciting change.”
Many Nudgee Junior College students have stayed on to become Ambrose Treacy College students, while new students have also arrived as the school introduces senior classes for the first time.
“Our first day, last Wednesday (January 28), we had boys returning, new boys, continuing families and an added buzz around the school that made it such an exciting time,” Mr Senior said.
“There can never be another group who said they were here on the first day of the new school.”
Ambrose Treacy College takes its name from one of Australia’s founding Christian Brothers.
The new college was also one of the first mainstream schools started by Edmund Rice Education Australia, Mr Senior said.
“We just thought it was important to recognise the wonderful legacy the Christian Brothers have left to all of our schools, so we decided to name it after the first Christian Brother,” he said.
Ambrose Treacy College will celebrate their opening Mass with Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge at St Stephen’s Cathedral on February 13.
The school will have an official opening ceremony on March 24.