340 Rattray Street
|Motto|| Latin: Ipsa Duce|
(With Her As Our Guide)
|Established||1989; 32 years ago (original secondary schools: 1871, 1876, 1897 and 1976)|
|Ministry of Education Institution no.||536|
|Deputy Principal||Steve Read|
|Assistant Principals||Katrina Kerr-Bell, Mike Campbell, Trish James|
|School roll||632 (March 2021)|
Kavanagh College is a Catholic, state-integrated, co-educational, secondary school located in central Dunedin, New Zealand. The school was founded in 1989 as the successor of several other secondary (and one intermediate) schools the oldest of which was founded in 1871. Kavanagh is the only Catholic secondary school in Dunedin and is open to enrolments from throughout the entire city. The school's proprietor is the Bishop of Dunedin.
Kavanagh College began operations in 1989 on the former sites and in the former buildings of St Paul's High School (formerly called Christian Brothers High School), the Christian Brothers Junior School and St Dominic's College, between Rattray and Tennyson streets, the three sites being adjacent to each other. The college is named after the fourth Catholic Bishop of Dunedin John Patrick Kavanagh (Bishop, 1957–1985).
Due to a lack of space, the junior classes were accommodated at "south site" (formerly Moreau College) until 1993 when a new 18 classroom block was completed million. Further redevelopment in the 1990s saw the completion of a biology laboratory in an extended science block, the construction of a new auditorium accommodating 411 people and remodelled library, music studios and offices.at a cost of $4
In 2011, Kavanagh College expanded from its restricted main site by purchasing buildings and a carpark on the opposite side of Tennyson Street from Otago Polytechnic and thus increasing the area of the college by 25%. Two of the buildings were demolished, their sites becoming a green area used for school recreation. One of the buildings was kept and used for 6 classrooms. That building (on the corner of York Place) has a historic connection with the important New Zealand artist Colin McCahon as that was where he was trained.
The college's silver jubilee (25 years) was celebrated on 25 October 2014 with a well-attended Mass at the Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin. This was also a celebration of the sesquicentennial of Catholic education in Dunedin (150 years), with each of the city's parishes and schools participating. When Mass came to an end, a plaque honouring the college's three founding orders – the Christian Brothers, Dominican Sisters and Sisters of Mercy was blessed and subsequently placed at the college.
Kavanagh college is a large central city co-educational school which serves the entire city of Dunedin as the only Catholic secondary school in that city. It is an integrated school with a "special character" in terms of the Private Schools Conditional Integration Act 1975. This special character is broadly the connection of the school with the Catholic faith. Preference of enrolment is given to students who have established a link with the Catholic Church through baptism or membership of a parish. Preference is decided by the appropriate parish priest in each case. A preference certificate from the student's parish is required for each student with their application for enrolment at the school. Under the Act, the school may enrol "non-preference" students but the enrolment of such students is restricted to 5% of the total roll. The College does not have an enrolment scheme which means that there is no restriction on enrolment because of a student's location of residence. The main contributing schools to the college are the Catholic parish schools of Dunedin. Enrolments come from both urban schools and rural schools.
Kavanagh honours former students who died in war. Many former Christian Brothers students died on war service during the First World War. For example, there were at least 83 war deaths from an average school attendance in 1893–1895 of 256 boys meaning that 32.42 percent of boys enrolled at that time died overseas in action.49 ex-students of the Christian Brothers died in World War II .
Kavanagh college emphasises cultural accomplishment including drama group and a Television Network (or K.T.V.N, which stands for Kavanagh Television and Video Network). A Cultural Awards ceremony is held annually to celebrate cultural achievement. Each year all Kavanagh College students are given the opportunity to participate in the annual musical. The students can participate in the cast, band, or technical crew. The annual musicals are as follows:
Kavanagh College participates in many sporting codes. It has a particular reputation as one of New Zealand's leading rowing schools.
The Otago settlement was established in 1848 and had an overwhelmingly Presbyterian character. There were very few Catholics there. However, in March 1861 gold was discovered at the Lindis Pass and Gabriel Read made public his successful discovery of gold at Tuapeka in June. The situation dramatically changed. Every steamer reaching Port Chalmers or Bluff was packed with would-be miners, many of whom were Catholics. Accordingly, Bishop Viard (Bishop of the Catholic diocese of Wellington in which Dunedin was located at that time) appointed Father Delphin Moreau SM, who had visited Otago in April 1859, to be its first resident priest. Mass was said in the courthouse until St Joseph's Church was completed in July 1862. In 1864 the Catholic population of Otago was estimated at over 15,000; chapels (many of them rough and ready) sprang up in the diggings and main towns, and schools came into existence. A school was opened in 1863 and was called St Joseph's School (it still exists as a primary school). "When the old wooden Provincial Government buildings were replaced by new brick ones, the former were sold. Father Moreau secured some of them for his school. One large room was put on the side of the Rattrey Street gully, below the church. It was divided into two parts – one for the boys and one for the girls. Other parts of the buildings were used as a coach house and stables.In 1864, the boys at the school were taught by Mr Shepherd and the girls were taught by Miss Campion. In 1870 Mr Shepherd still taught the boys and the girls were taught by Miss Conway. "Father Moreau took a great interest in the schools and was constantly among the children in the playground, always wearing his cassock which was green with age; he knew every child and was loved by them all. His hope was to obtain brothers and nuns to staff his schools."
On Monday 20 February 1871, the Dominican Sisters who had arrived with the first Catholic Bishop of Dunedin, Patrick Moran, on 11 February, took charge of the girls' school. On 27 February a High School, St Dominic's College, for day pupils was opened. This school also took a small number of boarders. There were 27 boarders in a total roll of approximately 200 in 1971, the centennial year of the college.The college existed in architectural splendour until 1976 being attached to the neo-gothic St Dominic's Priory (completed 1877), one of leading architect Francis Petre's "earliest commissions and one of his finest works" and being adjacent to Petre's St. Joseph's Cathedral, Dunedin (completed 1886).
On the morning of Sunday, 2 April 1876, four Irish Christian Brothers arrived in Dunedin at the invitation of Bishop Moran to establish a secondary school for boys. "They were met by Bishop Moran and a group of Catholics and driven rapidly to Dunedin where, at 11.00 am Mass, Brothers Bodkin, Dunne, Healey and McMahon were introduced to the people." A school for boys was built on Rattray Street. In 1915 a new brick building fronting Tennyson Street replaced the original school. The name of the school changed to Christian Brothers High School in 1928. Rapidly rising rolls in the 1950s led to the diocese purchasing properties in both Rattray and Tennyson Streets and converting them to classrooms." It was clear that the rebuilding of Christian Brothers High School was not sufficient and that a more permanent solution was called for. This occurred in 1964, when a fine new building was erected fronting Rattray St, and Christian Brothers High School became St Pauls High School. The school celebrated its centennial in 1976. The older school building, housing the primary department, became a separate entity and was known as Christian Brothers' Junior School. The Christian Brothers lived opposite the school. The school closed in 1989.
On the morning of Sunday, 17 January 1897, the Sisters of Mercy arrived in Dunedin from Ireland at the invitation of Michael Verdon the second Catholic Bishop of Dunedin. The sisters established themselves in South Dunedin and in April 1897 opened a high school for girls. It was opened " ... with the very small roll of four pupils." This was the beginning of St Philomena's College.
To help relieve the pressure on the Christian Brother's Rattray Street school roll a second school, St Edmund's, was opened in South Dunedin in 1949. This was a primary school for boys from about 9 years of age to 12 years of age (Standard 3 (Year 5) to Form 2 (Year 8)). The school closed as part of the reorganising of the Catholic schools in Dunedin in 1989.
Early in the 1970s the roll numbers at both of Dunedin's Catholic girls' colleges, St Dominic's and St Philomena's, showed a slight reduction. At the same time, the demand for a greater variety of options for girls, particularly in the upper secondary classes, was gradually increasing so that it was becoming more difficult to maintain a full secondary school with a roll of less than 500. "It also had to be taken into account that the buildings at St Dominic's in Rattray Street were deteriorating and the cost of repair or renewal was considerable." The buildings at St Philomena's were newer and in a much better condition. It was therefore decided to merge the two schools on the St Philomena's site in 1976. The new college was called Moreau College after the first resident priest of Dunedin.Moreau College was closed in 1989 and its students transferred to the new Kavanagh College.
In 1989 the new Catholic co-educational school, Kavanagh College, resulting from the amalgamation of Moreau College for girls and St Paul's High School (i.e. the Christian Brothers School) for boys, commenced. The senior classes of St Edmund's School (i.e. years 7 and 8) transferred to the new college. The junior classes (Years 5 and 6) were accommodated in Dunedin Catholic primary schools and St Edmund's closed. The religious orders of Dominican Sisters, Christian Brothers, and the Sisters of Mercy were the teaching foundation of the amalgamation. Vincent Jury was appointed as the first principal of the new college. He was the last of the 23 Christian Brother Principals to exercise authority in Rattray Street in the 115 years from 1876 to 1991. The decision to end the tradition of Catholic single-sex education in Dunedin (especially the closing of Moreau College) and to combine the Catholic secondary schools into a co-educational college was controversial especially in relation to senior staff appointments at the new college.
The following persons were educated at Kavanagh College or any of its predecessor schools.
Lawrence is a small town of 474 inhabitants in Otago, in New Zealand's South Island. It is located on State Highway 8, the main route from Dunedin to the inland towns of Queenstown and Alexandra. It lies 35 kilometres to the northwest of Milton, 11 kilometres northwest of Waitahuna, and close to the Tuapeka River, a tributary of the Clutha.
St Kevin's College in Oamaru, New Zealand, is a Catholic, coeducational, integrated, boarding and day, secondary school. It was founded by the Christian Brothers in 1927 for boys and became a co-educational school in 1983 when the Dominican Sisters closed down their school at Teschemakers. The College became a state integrated school in 1983. The Christian Brothers ceased to be on the teaching staff of the college in the late 1990s but remained the school's proprietor, and so appointed representatives to the college board, until 2019 when they transferred the ownership of St Kevin's College to the Bishop of Dunedin.
The Diocese of Dunedin is one of the thirteen dioceses and hui amorangi of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. The diocese covers the same area as the provinces of Otago and Southland in the South Island of New Zealand. Area 65,990 km², population 272,541 (2001). Anglicans are traditionally the third largest religious group in Otago and Southland after Presbyterians and Roman Catholics.
St Peter's College is a Catholic secondary school for boys, located in Auckland, New Zealand, in the central city suburb of Grafton. With a roll of over 1300, the school is one of the largest Catholic schools in New Zealand. St Peter's College was established in 1939 as a successor of Auckland's earliest school and of St Peter's School, founded in 1857. The Outhwaite family, who acquired the land around 1841, donated the site of the college. The Christian Brothers provided staff for the college for 70 years.
Sacred Heart College is a secondary school in Auckland, New Zealand. It is a Catholic, Marist College set on 60 acres (24 ha) of land overlooking the Tamaki Estuary in Glen Innes.
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Liston College is a college in Henderson, Auckland, New Zealand, for year 7 to 13 boys and offers a Catholic education to its students. It was the second school opened by the Christian Brothers in Auckland. It was named after Archbishop Liston (1881–1976), the seventh Catholic Bishop of Auckland (1929–1970). The school was founded in 1974 to serve the Catholic families of West Auckland and to absorb the growing number of boys who travelled daily to St Peter's College in central Auckland.
John Paul College is a secondary school in Rotorua, New Zealand. It caters for year 7 to 13 boys and girls and offers a Catholic education to its students. It was opened in 1987 and combined two existing schools, Edmund Rice College and MacKillop College. The school was founded to serve the Catholic families of Rotorua. John Paul College was named for Pope John Paul II.
The Congregation of Christian Brothers in New Zealand is part of the Congregation of Christian Brothers, a Catholic religious institute, and has been established in New Zealand since 1876. Its particular charism is the education of boys and in New Zealand it has been responsible for eight schools and has launched other educational initiatives.
South Dunedin is a major inner city suburb of the New Zealand city of Dunedin. It is located, as its name suggests, 2.5 kilometres (1.6 mi) to the south of the city centre, on part of a large plain known locally simply as "The Flat". The suburb is a mix of industrial, retail, and predominantly lower-quality residential properties.
St Joseph's School is a school in Oamaru, the largest town in North Otago, in the South Island of New Zealand. It was established by an order of Catholic nuns — Dominican Sisters — who started teaching in Oamaru in 1882. It is associated with St Patrick's Basilica, Oamaru
John Bartholomew Callan was a New Zealand judge. He was a Justice of the Supreme Court (1935–51).
Hugh John O'Neill was the Roman Catholic coadjutor Bishop of Dunedin (1943–1949).
James Whyte was the third Roman Catholic Bishop of Dunedin (1920–1957).
Michael Verdon was the 2nd Catholic Bishop of Dunedin (1896–1918).
John Patrick Kavanagh was the fourth Catholic Bishop of Dunedin (1957–1985).
There have been a number of Catholic Church sexual abuse cases in New Zealand, linked to Catholic schools.
Dominic Fursey Bodkin was a Christian Brother and a Catholic educator in Australia.