History


The building of St Kevin’s School commenced in 1978 under the auspices of the Vincentian Fathers, Southport Parish. It was officially opened and blessed on March 11, 1979 by Archbishop Francis Rush under the leadership of Mrs Elizabeth Newlands ( Principal). The Parish boundaries were redrawn in 1979 and St Kevin’s became part of the Surfers Paradise Parish. Father Charles Casey was the Parish Priest during the early years of St Kevin’s. Forty Nine students in Years 1 and 2 were the pioneers who quickly established the excellence for which St Kevin’s is renowned. 1984 saw the first graduates move into secondary school.

In 1989, Mr Brian Dunlea was appointed Principal. He retired in 1994 after 40 years of teaching, the last 6 1/2 years at St Kevin’s. Mr Greg Benfield was Acting Principal until the appointment of Miss Judith Seery as Principal in 1995.

Our Pre School was a welcome addition to St Kevin’s in 1996 and was officially opened and blessed on August 13, 1996 by Reverend Kevin Burman OSA, Vicar of Education. This facility was made possible through the generosity of Parishioners of Surfers Paradise Parish, Mrs Vera McGrath and the St Kevin’s School Community.

In 2006 Ms Sue Curtis was appointed as Principal, and after an esteemed career, retired from Catholic Education at the end of 2015.  

Our present school enrolment stands at approximately 600 students from Prep to Year 6.  We are staffed by over 50 dedicated and committed Catholic Teachers, School Officers and Support Staff who, together with our present Leadership Team, Mr Peter Anderson, Principal, Mrs Vannesse Miller, APRE, (Assistant Principal Religious Education) and Mr Kevin Yates, APA, (Assistant Principal, Administration) promote an effective, relevant and authentic transmission of Christ’s message to all the children and families in our care.

Kevin, our patron saint, was a 6th Century Saint of Ireland, venerated particularly in Wicklow. As a young man, he was a great scholar and deeply spiritual. He became a hermit at first but later attracted companions founding the famous monastery and schools of Glendalough County, Wexford, Ireland. The ancient ruins of this foundation are still to be seen and admired in Glendalough.

 

Our School Motto: Strength With Kindness

Our School Song: Strength with Kindness - Andrew Chinn

 

An excerpt taken from the first school magazine published in 1979

 "Australia, unlike other countries, has little historical background, either in antiquity,
architecture or tradition but has one heritage, that is her unique position, her extraordinary indigenous environment, a landscape of primeval power and beauty." Alistair Knox.

One of the design philosophies adopted in the planning and building of St Kevin's School was, "to preserve, as much as possible, the natural character of the site existing prior to building".

The consultants involved in the project saw an opportunity of providing a school with a beautiful, easily maintained environment.  Every effort was made to uphold the stated philosophy and during construction the builder went out of his way to reduce to a minimum the impact of his operations on the site.

Some landscape rehabilitation has been implemented in and around the buildings.  It is intended that the type of treatment used will be carried through the whole campus as the school grows.  Colour through choice of plants used near buildings, has been introduced in these areas.

Hopefully, the children of St Kevin's will learn to truly appreciate the Australian bush; to detect the subtle changes with the seasons; to see the beauty of the many flowers; to enjoy the scents given off by the various plants; to learn to know the inhabitants of the "bush"; and to learn to protect Australia's heritage. 

DENNIS O'CONNOR

Landscape Architect