Mentor group names

Year 7




Saint Thomas Aquinas (c.1225-1274) was born of noble parents in Roccasecca, Italy, near Casaino.  He attended the University of Naples from 1239-1244, when he joined the Dominican Order.  He was ordained a priest in 1250.  He was one of the greatest medieval philosophers and theologians. His most famous work was Summa Theologica in which he systematically explained Christian Theology.  According to St. Aquinas, all people desire happiness, but they can satisfy this desire only through direct communion with God.  Thomas believed that governments had a moral responsibility to serve people and they must not violate human rights - life, education, religion and reproduction.  He taught that all just laws must not contradict divine law. 




Father James Dixon (1758-1840) was born in Ireland and transported to NSW as a result of the Irish rebellion in 1798. In 1803 Governor Philip Gidley King, influenced by the uneasiness of the Irish at not being able to practise their religion, granted him conditional emancipation and permission to minister as a priest.  He was made prefect apostolic of New Holland, the first Catholic ecclesiastical appointment in Australia, and celebrated the first public Australian Mass in Sydney on 15 May 1803. Dixon continued to practise privately in the colony until 1808 when he obtained permission to return to Ireland, and became a parish priest in 1819.




His Eminence Sir Norman Thomas Gilroy (1896-1977) was born in Glebe in Sydney to working class parents of Irish descent, and became the Archbishop of Sydney and first Australian-born Cardinal.  Much of his energy was devoted to Catholic education. By 1971 he had 366 schools with 115,704 pupils. Beyond a conviction of the necessity for schools, he had no theories of education.  He was a priest for 53 years, a bishop for 42 years and a cardinal for 31 years.




Blessed Mary MacKillop (1842-1909) also known as Saint Mary of the Cross, was an Australian Roman Catholic nun who, together with Father Julian Tenison Woods, founded the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart and a number of schools and welfare institutions throughout Australasia with an emphasis on education for the poor, particularly in country areas. Since her death she has attracted much veneration in Australia and internationally. She was canonised on 17 October 2010. She is the only Australian to be recognised by the Catholic Church as a saint.




Reverend Mother Concepta O'Donohoe O.P. (?-1958) was the foundation Prioress (Principal) of San Clemente High School.  She and a group of Dominican Sisters opened the school with 50 children in April 1917 in a house at the corner of Kerr and Bull Streets.  In 1919 the school moved to the present site.




John Bede Polding (1794-1877) was the  first Roman Catholic bishop in Australia (from 1835), where eight years later he became the first archbishop of Sydney. Polding joined the Benedictine Order in 1811 and was ordained priest in 1819. Consecrated bishop, he arrived at Sydney in 1835. There he divided his territory into missionary districts and swiftly provided them with priests, churches, and schools. He procured help for his bishopric through visits to Europe. Appointed archbishop in 1843, he became primate of the Catholic Church in Australia.




Julian Tenison Woods (1832-1889) was ordained a priest in Adelaide and sent to work in the Parish of Penola in South Australia. In 1861, Julian met Mary MacKillop. Together in Penola in 1866, they founded the Sisters of St Joseph dedicated to the Catholic education of the children of the poor and to other pressing social needs. Later that year, Julian was appointed Director of Catholic Education and asked Mary to come to Adelaide to assist him in developing an organised system of Catholic education with schools staffed by the Sisters of St Joseph.




Father John Joseph Therry (1790-1864) a pioneer priest was born in Cork, Ireland. He was ordained priest in 1815 and was dispatched with Father Philip Connolly as official Roman Catholic chaplains for the new settlement of NSW.  He worked untiringly under many Governors, but not until Governor Bourke's time did he gain equal treatment for all religions.  He founded the church of St Mary's, Sydney, later to become St Mary's Cathedral.

Year 8




Sir Joseph Banks (1743-1820), naturalist and patron of science was passionate about botany. He accompanied Captain Cook on the 1768 expedition  when Australia was discovered, collecting plant specimens such as the Banksia, which was named after him.  Linneaus' suggestion of naming the new country 'Banksia' was not adopted. Banks advocated using Botany Bay as a penal colony.  After the settlement was established at Sydney Cove, he encouraged further investigation of the natural history of the area and became the acknowledged authority on matters of natural history relating to New South Wales.


Chisholm (1)


Caroline Chisholm (1808-1877) was a British-born Catholic and philanthropist. In 1838 she and her husband settled near Sydney. There were many unemployed immigrant labourers at this time, and Caroline Chisholm established a home in Sydney for destitute immigrant girls, for whom she found jobs in the countryside. Her first report on her work was the most sizable publication by an Australia-based woman to that date. From 1846 to 1854 she worked in England raising funds for the immigration of families to Australia.  She  returned to Australia in 1854 worked for better living conditions in the goldfields.




William James Farrer (1845 - 1906) was a British-born Australian agricultural researcher who settled in Australia in 1870. In 1875 he was licensed as a surveyor and worked in the land department of New South Wales for 11 years, after which he retired to his home and began experimental wheat breeding. The New South Wales agricultural department appointed him wheat experimentalist in 1898. He developed several varieties of drought- and rust-resistant wheat that made possible a great expansion of Australia’s wheat belt. Later developments in wheat breeding owed much to his methods.  




John Flynn (1880–1951) was a Presbyterian minister who founded what became the Royal Flying Doctor Service, the world's first air ambulance. He was a missionary in Victoria, central Australia and the Northern Territory and reported on the living conditions of outback settlers and their need for medical services. He initiated and supervised the ‘Australian Inland Mission’ which provided a network of ministers, nurses and volunteers for outback communities. In 1928, Flynn achieved his long-term vision of providing aerial medical care with the launch of the first flight of the Aerial Medical Service. It was renamed the Flying Doctor Service of Australia in 1942, with 'Royal' added to the title in 1954.


Kingsford Smith


Sir Charles Edward Kingsford Smith (1897– 1935), often called by his nickname Smithy, was an early Australian aviator. In 1928, he earned global fame when he made the first trans-Pacific flight from the United States to Australia. He made the first non-stop crossing of the Australian mainland, the first flights between Australia and New Zealand, and the first eastward Pacific crossing from Australia to the United States. He also made a flight from Australia to London, setting a new record of 10.5 days.




Henry Archibald Hertzberg Lawson (1867–1922) was an Australian writer and poet. He was born on the goldfields, the son of the poet, publisher and feminist Louisa Lawson and a Norwegian immigrant. He wrote short stories and ballad-like poems, illuminating the lives of rural, working Australians of the colonial period. He travelled extensively, and was frequently published. Lawson is often called "Australia's greatest short story writer." 




Andrew Barton "Banjo" Paterson (1864–1941) was a bush poet, journalist and author. He wrote many ballads and poems about Australian life, focusing particularly on the rural and outback areas, including the district around Binalong, New South Wales, where he spent much of his childhood. Paterson's more notable poems include "Waltzing Matilda", "The Man from Snowy River" and "Clancy of the Overflow".




William Charles Wentworth (1790–1872) was a poet, explorer, journalist and politician, and one of the leading figures of early colonial New South Wales. He was part of the expedition which found a way over the Blue Mountains and discovered the arable inland. He was the first native-born Australian to achieve a reputation overseas, and a leading advocate for self-government for the Australian colonies.

Year 9




The Awabakal people are the traditional custodians of the land where San Clemente lies.  Awabakal means people of Awaba which in ritual language is the word for Lake Macquarie, meaning flat or plain surface. Their land was recognised as extending from the Hunter River in the north to the southern end of Lake Macquarie or the Tuggerah Lakes. It extended to the Sugarloaf Ranges and the Watagan mountains in the west.  They lived on fishing and gathering of shellfish, as well as hunting animals and collecting fruits and tubers.  




Robert Charles Carrington (1843-1928) was educated at Eton and Cambridge. He entered the army and was a member of the House of Commons. He was ADC to the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), in 1885 was appointed governor of New South Wales where his term was to span much change and trouble. He arrived in Sydney to find the colony in the grip of drought, economic recession and political crisis; he left in 1890 after the maritime strike had opened a phase of new industrial conflict. Throughout, Carrington proved an able and tactful governor.




Henry Dangar (1796-1861) was an explorer, surveyor and pastoralist. He was the first of six brothers to emigrate as free settlers to NSW, became a successful pastoralist and businessman, and also served as a magistrate and politician. In 1822 Dangar was transferred to Newcastle to survey the Hunter Valley in preparation for free settlement. He prepared the plans of King's Town (Newcastle) and in the next two years measured and marked out village reserves, church lands and allocations for settlers along the lower branches of the Hunter River, continuing exploration to the north.




Glenrock is a State Conservation Reserve near Merewether, comprising over 500 hectares of natural coastline with beaches, rainforest walks and a lagoon. The early European pioneers named it "Glenrock" because of the rugged nature of the glen. 


Kooragang Island In 1871


Kooragang is the largest suburb of Newcastle, comprising the industrial Kooragang Island and nature reserves.  The island was created in 1951 by reclaiming land, combining a number of smaller islands in the Hunter River estuary. The original islands were separated by mud flats and various channels and were first explored and surveyed by Europeans in 1801. Larger islands included Ash Island, Upper Moscheto, Moscheto Island, Dempsey Island, and Spit Island. The traditional custodians of the islands are the Worimi and Awabakal people.  




Mayfield is named after Ada May (born 1874) one of seven daughters of the landowner John Scholey. He was an extensive landed proprietor, prominent businessman, colliery owner, and Mayor. He was a Justice of the Peace and member of the Newcastle Land Board, a division of the New South Wales Justice Department.




Redcliff is the building purchased by the Dominican Sisters to use as a convent in 1919, with a view to opening the school there.  Redcliff was originally owned by Frank Witherspoon, and was probably named after his town of birth in Britain.




John Shortland was a  naval officer, landowner and explorer. He first came to Australia with the First Fleet, returning to England after five years.  He returned with the new governor, John Hunter as first lieutenant. In 1797, while on his way to Port Stephens in pursuit of some runaway convicts, Shortland entered the estuary of the Hunter River. He named the river during his short stay (though for some years it was often referred to as the Coal River), made the first chart of the harbour in the form of an eye-sketch and collected some samples of coal. In a letter to his father, Shortland predicted that his discovery would prove a great acquisition to the settlement.

Year 10




Dame Marie Roslyn Bashir (1930 -) is the second longest-serving Governor of New South Wales. Born in Narrandera, New South Wales, Bashir graduated from the University of Sydney in 1956 and held various medical positions, with a particular emphasis in psychiatry. In 1993 Bashir was appointed the Clinical Director of Mental Health Services for the Central Sydney Area Health Service, a position she held until appointed Governor in 2001. She has also served as the Chancellor of the University of Sydney (2007–2012). Dame Bashir retired in 2014.




William Bligh (1754-1817) was a naval officer and Governor of NSW. He sailed under Captain James Cook on his third voyage, gaining important experience in navigation and charting and contributed to the official account of the voyage. In 1787 he took command of HMS Bounty. The crew mutinied and cast him and 18 others off in an open boat. They rowed to Timor, charting part of the 'north-east coast of New Holland' on the way. He returned to England and in 1805 was appointed Governor of NSW.




Sir Richard Bourke (1777-1855) was the eighth Governor of NSW. His most important administrative act was the introduction of State aid for all Church denominations. He advocated the early occupation of Port Phillip in 1837 and directed that a town called Melbourne be laid out on the banks of the Yarra. His was the first statue erected in Australia because of his great popularity.




Sir Thomas Brisbane (1773-1860) was educated at the University of Edinburgh and entered the army in 1789. He succeeded Macquarie as Governor of NSW in 1830. He was a conscientious administrator and encouraged coastal exploration which resulted in the discovery of the Brisbane River, the journeys of Hume and Hovell to Port Phillip and of Cunningham to Pandoras Pass, as well as immigration. A keen astronomer, he built Australia's first observatory at Paramatta and encouraged scientific and agricultural training. 



John Hunter (1737-1821), was an officer of the Royal Navy, who succeeded Arthur Phillip as the second governor of NSW and served as such from 1795 to 1800. Both a sailor and a scholar, he explored the Parramatta River as early as 1788, and was the first to surmise that Tasmania might be an island. As governor, he tried to combat serious abuses by the military in the face of powerful local interests.




Captain Philip Gidley King (1758 –1808) was the third Governor of New South Wales, and did much to civilise the young colony in the face of great obstacles. When the First Fleet arrived in January 1788, King was detailed to colonise Norfolk Island for defence and foraging purposes. As Governor of New South Wales, he helped develop livestock farming, whaling and mining, built many schools and launched the colony's first newspaper. But conflicts with the military wore down his spirit, and forced his resignation. 




Major-General Lachlan Macquarie (1762 –1824) was a British Army officer and colonial administrator from Scotland. He served as the fifth and last autocratic Governor of New South Wales from 1810 to 1821, and had a leading role in the social, economic and architectural development of the colony. He had a crucial influence on the transition of New South Wales from a penal colony to a free settlement and therefore played a major role in the shaping of Australian society in the early nineteenth century.  An inscription on his tomb in Scotland describes him as "The Father of Australia".




Arthur Phillip (1738-1814) was apprenticed into the mercantile service at 15 and joined the Royal Navy in 1755. In 1786 he was chosen by Lord Sydney as Captain-General of the First Fleet to NSW and Governor of the settlement. He reached Botany Bay in 1788 and finding it unsuitable he explored Port Jackson. This was more suitable and he named the area Sydney Cove. Phillip organised many explorations to find land for crops and cattle. He made friendly contact with the Aborigines and trained Bennelong as interpreter. The arrival of the Second and Third Fleets placed new pressures on the scarce local resources, but by the time Phillip sailed home in December 1792, the colony was taking shape, with official land-grants and systematic farming and water-supply.


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