Frequently Asked Questions

QUESTION: Will my child be welcome?
ANSWER: MacKillop celebrates the fact that we offer more places in Year 7 than any other secondary school in Canberra. Roughly 40% of our students belong to a faith tradition other than Catholic, over 30 primary schools are represented at MacKillop, and our low fee structure and significant financial support of families means that we are a genuinely inclusive community.

QUESTION: Will there be a place for my child?
ANSWER: While MacKillop would love to accept every applicant, the College is directed by Catholic Education to strictly adhere to the Cathollic Education Commission’s Enrolment Protocols. Although people wanting a place at MacKillop are strongly urged to submit an application, and the College has recently made offers to students of all priorities, it is wise when applying for any Catholic Secondary School to nominate a second school of choice. MacKillop occasionally has waiting lists for Year 7, so we urge every family interested in joining the College to get their forms in before the end of the Enrolment Period (for the main intake of Years 7 and 11).

QUESTION: Will co-education benefit my child?
ANSWER: Yes! Learning is a lifelong experience. Learning in kindergarten and early childhood centres is co-educational, most K-6 primary schools are co-educational, and CIT and university are both co-educational, as is the work place.

Boys and girls learn together at MacKillop, promoting a mutual respect for gender difference, cohesive intellectual energy, and a learning community that best reflects the society our students belong to and are being prepared to one day lead.

QUESTION: How will the faith life of MacKillop benefit my child?
ANSWER: The faith tradition of your family will be respected and honoured. MacKillop respects the contribution each student, teacher, and their families can make to building an inclusive, welcoming faith life that promotes the life, teaching, and example of Jesus Christ and the Church He gave us.

At the heart of a MacKillop education is the idea of a loving God; the trust, affection, consideration, and sacrifice we show each other are some signs of the presence of the Kingdom of God in all of us.

QUESTION: What will the teachers be like?
ANSWER: The teachers of MacKillop vary in age, experience, academic background, interests, and cultural pursuits. They are united in their dedication to the Catholic mission of the College, the achievement of optimum results for their students, the creation of a positive learning environment, and to ensuring that no child slips through the cracks in this large, vibrant school. The best thing about MacKillop is the staff.

QUESTION: How will I be included in my child’s MacKillop education?
ANSWER: Parents are listened to at MacKillop! Of course we have regular academic and pastoral reporting, information evenings, a College Board with strong parent representation, open assemblies, welcoming liturgies, newsletters, and the website, which are all available to parents.

A parent can expect to be able to meet with and talk to their child’s teachers, have phone calls promptly returned, emails responded to, interviews arranged, and to have their questions, hopes, concerns, and anxieties listened to and acted upon. At MacKillop, we recognise parents as the first and best teachers of your children.

QUESTION: Is there bullying at MacKillop?
ANSWER: Sadly, bullying is found everywhere and MacKillop students may experience it in sporting teams and local clubs, part time employment, in the world of cyber and analog relationships, and at school. At MacKillop, bullying is approached in a forthright and open manner; we talk about what bullying is, help students identify bullying, work to build a culture where it is safe to tell and challenge, provide counselling support, communicate with parents, and include restorative practices, which are aimed to build a climate of trust, respect for difference, and inclusion. Bullying is not typical of the MacKillop experience but we don’t pretend that it doesn’t exist. Were parents to detect incidents of their child being bullied, they are warmly encouraged to approach the school immediately and with confidence.

QUESTION: Is MacKillop too big?
ANSWER: MacKillop may be the biggest secondary school in Canberra, but its two-campus setup means that the student population is relatively small. This means that staff are able to teach within an intimate learning environment that benefits each and every student.

QUESTION: What projects do you have in plan for the near future?
ANSWER: In recent times, St Mary MacKillop College completed the construction or implementation of several projects that have enhanced the resources at the College’s disposal. These include the development of a Trades Training Centre, which has extended the College’s stellar Vocational Educational facilities, brand new Science Laboratories at Isabella, the refurbishment of the Wanniassa Campus Library into a state-of-the-art facility, and refurbished science laboratories and classrooms at Wanniassa. The canteen at Wanniassa and the external areas on the northern side of the school have also received upgrades.

In 2018, the Isabella Campus will turn its old Science building into an Academic Resource Centre.