Our Story

Penola Catholic College is a Catholic co-educational school for students from Year 7 to Year 12 which incorporates a traditional HSC pathway for Years 11 and 12.

We have just under 600 students enrolled 7-12. Our junior school, Years 7-9 consists of 460 students and our senior school,Years 10-12 consists of 120 students.




Our Mission


Penola Catholic College is a 7-12 co-educational school with a strong learning culture that meets a diverse range of learning needs. We aim to ensure our students receive all the support they need to meet and exceed their personal learning goals and to embark on further study or entry into the workforce. Through our modern learning environment we seek to encourage students to be passionate and resilient lifelong learners who are creative, innovative and responsible citizens of a global community.




Our Vision


Penola Catholic College Emu Plains Vision 01

Walking in the tradition of Mary MacKillop, we promote the values of courage, compassion, integrity and hope.

Penola Catholic College Emu Plains Vision 02

Our framework for learning is designed to promote engagement, empowerment and enterprise skills in all stages of learning.


Our school community nurtures the growth of people from diverse cultures and backgrounds, challenging students to be independent, kind and resilient, encouraging an active participation in parish and community life.

Penola Catholic College Emu Plains Vision 04

Our college community values the dignity of each person and thus promotes respect and care for self, others and our environment.




Facts & Figures



All students studying the HSC Pathway successfully achieved this


81% offered University placements


HSC and NAPLAN results indicate outstanding growth for all students in recent years




Our History


Formerly known as McCarthy Catholic College (named for early Irish settlers and lay Catholics in the region), our school was established in 1986 as a senior secondary college, becoming 7-12 in 1999.

In 2010 McCarthy Trade Training Centre (TTC) was established on-site, allowing students to achieve their HSC and begin an apprenticeship.

Today, McCarthy Catholic College is a school ‘on the move’ employing contemporary learning practices that engage and excite today’s learners such as Project Based Learning and Flipped Learning.

In 2020 the TTC became part of CathWest Innovation College, retaining the McCarthy name for its Emu Plains campus. The college was renamed Penola Catholic College, to mark its future as a stand-alone college with a new vision for learning. The college draws strength from the values and example of St Mary MacKillop and Penola is the place where she and Father Julian Tenison-Woods started a school, beginning their work of extending the opportunities of education to thousands of Australian children and young people.




Why not contact the school to enrol today and
discover the many benefits of joining the Penola community


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