Ryan Catholic College was established by the Catholic Diocese of Townsville in 1979 to serve the rapidly developing areas on the outskirts of the city and the corridor development of the Upper Ross area.
In order to foster a sense of community and to provide a support for family life, the College was planned as a co-educational institution from its inception. It was Townsville’s first co-educational Catholic College for children from Preschool to Year 12.
Named after Bishop Hugh Ryan (the long-serving Catholic Bishop of Townsville), Ryan started in January 1979 with 74 boys and girls in Years 1, 2, 3 and 8. Early newsletters called for parents’ help with tree planting, the first school fair, playground equipment and outdoor seating. It truly was a community effort in establishing the school. The first Principal was Barry Taylor, who led a staff of 5. By 1980, Years 4, 5 and 9 had been added and, as our reputation grew, additional groups followed until we received full Year 1 to 12 status in 1983. In 1992, a two-stream pre-school was added. A separate kindergarten is situated on the expansive premises.
The Junior Campus was opened in 2001, beginning with a new intake of Year 1 students. 2004 saw a full complement of students from Preschool (later Prep) to Year 4. In 2015, a dedicated Middle School Precinct for years 5 to 8 was opened and blessed, comprising both general and specialist learning areas, including state-of-the science and art textiles. The Precinct is located on the Junior Campus, with four streams in each year level.
The past 40 years have seen rapid growth in the Townsville outer suburbs, and Ryan Catholic College is now Townsville’s largest Catholic College, with enrolments of almost 2,000 students and 255 staff. The school’s size means students are offered a great depth in academic, sporting and extra-curricular pursuits. The school maintains a special caring culture by supporting individual students and their families and offering students the broadest range of academic, sporting and pastoral care available.
From humble beginnings as a small community school which opened in 1979, Ryan Catholic College has become Townsville’s leader in the provision of Catholic education.