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Our Vision and Values

Catherine McAuley School seeks to fulfil Catherine McAuley's vision of providing quailty educational opportunities to all children in surrounding communities.

"Be ever ready to praise, to encourage, to stimulate, but slow to censure, and still more slow to condemn."
- Catherine McAuley

Our History

Catherine McAuley School was established in Craigmore, South Australia in 1996 to provide high quality Catholic Education in the Mercy Education tradition.

The school offers classes from Reception to Year 6 and we embrace the example set by our patron Catherine McAuley who founded the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy in Dublin, Ireland in 1831.

Our rich history has been built upon the work of Catherine McAuley and the Sisters of Mercy. The Sisters of Mercy established schools in the Elizabeth area in 1957 and maintains three schools in the City of Playford.  

Catherine McAuley’s values of Faith, Growth and Unity inspire our community today and lay the basis for our everyday work.

Our Patron Saint, Catherine McAuley

Catherine McAuley was born in 1778 into a loving, wealthy, Catholic family in Dublin, Ireland.

Her father was a very kind and devoted man who brought poor children to their house on weekends for instruction in the Catholic Faith. He died when Catherine was very young, but his compassion influenced her entire life. Over the coming years Catherine’s mother taught her independence, dignity and charm.

Catherine felt a strong call to devote her life to the service of the poor and the sick and the uneducated. Using her substantial inheritance, Catherine built the house of Mercy on Baggot Street in Dublin. This became a home for working girls and orphans and a school for poor children. Catherine also attended the sick and dying in their homes and walked the streets helping those in need.

In 1831 Catherine founded the sisters of Mercy. The assembly grew rapidly and the sisters were soon set up in other parts of Ireland and England. On 11 November 1841 Catherine passed away having established 14 houses. The sisters of Mercy came to South Australia in 1880 lead by Mother Evangelista and in 1957 brought Catholic education to the township of Elizabeth.

Catherine’s fidelity to the Gospels in all of her work and life inspires people today to live out Catherine’s mission of Mercy in action, in healing the sick and ministering to the poor, the abandoned and the oppressed.

Mercy Education Values

Catherine McAuley’s actions and beliefs are an inspiration for all schools who educate in the Mercy tradition. We have six core values that we deliberately and consistently encourage our staff, students and community to demonstrate. These are:

Compassion – Do not be a bystander but show compassion to one another. We encourage and practise compassion within our school and community by putting our Faith In Action with fundraising activities. We promote inclusion and kindness throughout our school.

Justice – Standing up for what is right and helping those who cannot do it themselves. Through our school policies and pastoral care, we create fairness and justice in our relationships with students, staff and families and in our daily interactions with others through words, actions and attitude.

Respect – We recognise and acknowledging the goodness in everyone and everything. We show respect and recognise we must earn our communities respect through our words, actions and attitudes. Students are encourage to celebrate the goodness of others at home, school and in the general community.

Hospitality - Being kind, generous and welcoming to our friends, family and those we know is easy. It takes courage to welcome the stranger. We remove barriers that stop us from extending hospitality to ensure we are an inclusive and kind community.

Service - Service means using our talents and gifts to help others. Service enriches our classrooms, our school and our broader community.

Courage – To act with courage takes strength, resilience and often the right words. Our school is a safe environment where children can learn to be courageous, whether through attempting difficult tasks, changing their behaviour, taking action against injustice, or tackling a personal difficulty. Courage comes in small acts and big steps.


Our school logo reflects the Mercy values and Catherine McAuley's teachings.


The Cross

The central feature of our logo is the Cross, which takes on the semblance of the shape of the outer edge of the Mercy Cross, which was the Order of Nuns founded by Catherine McAuley. The Cross is symbolic of Christ being at the very heart of our Christian faith. This is further emphasised through the use of a maroon colour blend that is so used as to present the cross as virtually glowing from its centre. This serves as a reminder that as we Christians have the privilege to be bearers of this light.


Stalks of Wheat are positioned to radiate from either side of the base of the cross, another gentle reminder that we walk alongside Christ. The stalks are together to represent the fact that in our growth we are not alone but that we are part of a Christian community. Wheat in itself carries much symbolism and is widely used to represent "The Bread of Life", nourishment not only souls through Eucharist, but also food in the physical sense.

Curved lines

These representative of the undulating surrounds in which the school is located. Apart from portraying movement and growth, these lines together with the wheat lend to the country-like atmosphere with the school.

Faith, Growth & Unity

Faith, Growth & Unity are an expression of our school as a community, each word having a number of reflections.

Faith. We are a community of faith and that we focus towards an education in faith.

Growth. We are growing a community and that the education of our students is an ongoing growth process.

Unity. We are a Christian Community united together and in unity with our campus, local and world communities.