Orpheus Island Biology Excursion

Orpheus Island Biology Excursion

Each year, the Year 12 Biology students set out on a three-day field trip to Orpheus Island to study the ecosystem, basing themselves at JCU’s Research Station.

Story by James Haydon, Emily O’Callaghan & Sara Jalaleddine.

‘From the 16th to 18th of February, the Year 12 Biology students were enjoying the outdoors, using transects and quadrats to collect data in a Fringing Coral Reef Flat Ecosystem. This was one of the many activities that were planned for us.

Our camp to Orpheus Island began at 4am on Thursday the 16th of February. The alarm clocks went off and we raced to get ready to be at school by 5am. It was pouring rain. This was making our teachers, Mrs Smith, Mrs Morrison and Mr Farrell very concerned. However, we persisted and packed the bus ready to leave for Lucinda. The boat ride from here was eventful – well it depends on which boat you got to ride. Mr Farrell’s group had it easy, 50mins of travel and they had arrived at the JCU Orpheus Island Research Station. Unfortunately, the rest of us were left to a 90min trip and it was a rough ride!’

‘The itinerary was jam packed – arrival, induction, unpacking, and by 11am we were already seated in the lecture theatre starting our first lesson. We connected with Dr Allison Paley, a Marine Biologist and researcher in the fields of coral biology and coral eco-physiology. That afternoon we completed our first snorkel off Pioneer Bay. We were all given a different area to survey, across deep, mid, and shallow waters.

We ran 10m transects out under the water and collected data on four different coral forms. While we had a lot of fun being in the water, we were really tired at the end of the first day. However, our itinerary indicated that there was more on the agenda for the evening! We worked in groups to cook the meals and at night one was spaghetti, a crowd-pleaser.

By 7.30am on the Friday, we were already in stinger suits ready for the next snorkel- this time we got to go out in the boats and collect data in a different bay. After a quick lunch, we spent the afternoon exploring the reef flat – collecting data in two different habitats, mangroves, and the sandy flat. Part of this involved us looking for mudskippers and shrimp-goby burrows. This was a lot of fun.

Our last night ended with butter chicken and hard-boiled rice – we had located a rice cooker for this meal but it decided to break halfway through the cooking process. This meant rice was heated up in smaller amounts using the microwave – it is safe to say the rice was not the tastiest thing on the menu. With all that said, we had a great experience. It was really awesome to be able to connect with Dr Paley in the field and then be able to collate all of our data as a cohort.

If you do Senior Biology – this is an opportunity you do not want to miss. We would really like to thank all of the staff for their work in organising the trip.’

Valedictory Day ~ Class of 2022

Valedictory Day ~ Class of 2022

Valedictory Day highlights for the Class of 2022 – the final assembly and awards, the Guard of Honour, and finishing with the Formal at Quayside Terminal.
Photography by Jo Duncan, Infuzed Media, & Matt Scully

Awards Assembly

Final Assembly

Guard of Honour

Formal Arrivals – Quayside Terminal

Valedictory Service 2022

Valedictory Service 2022

The Year 12 students and families gathered at St James’ Cathedral last night for their final chapel service, led by school chaplain Fr. Tim Adkins.
Photography by Jo Duncan.
JCU Legal Studies Conference

JCU Legal Studies Conference

JCU Townsville, Bebegu Yumba Campus.
by Tehgan Gee (Year 12, Legal Studies)

On Friday 19 August, a group of Year 11 and 12 students, accompanied by Ms. Gloudemans and Ms. Avery, had the opportunity to attend the JCU Legal Studies Conference. Along with several other schools from our region, we listened to lectures from erudite professors, solicitors, and prosecutors. We heard from multi-disciplinary artist and daughter of the renowned Eddie Mabo, Gail Mabo; Senior Prosecutor of the Police Service, Mark Fenlon, and Legal Officer of the Royal Australian Airforce, Travis Schmitt.

In honour of the 30-year anniversary of the landmark Mabo Decision, we gained knowledge of its continuing significance in native title, the concerning disproportion of Indigenous people within our legal system, and the power of Art Therapy used in the justice system. In addition, we were informed of the ranging study paths available at JCU in this area and were provided with examples of the endless career opportunities within the legal field.

I am sure those who also attended would agree it was a very interesting and beneficial day and were grateful to attend.



SPARK-ed Immersion Progam at the Princess Alexandra Hospital

by Anika Logan – Year 12

Over the July holidays, Michelle and I attended an immersion program at the Translational Research Institute at the Princess Alexandra Hospital with the University of Queensland.

The program is aimed at Year 10-12 aspiring STEM kids to give a taste of third-year university biochemistry and research.

We performed a two-day experiment in a level two lab using human cell lines and micropipettes. Our research was about the pathways into human cells of two proteins, and to see if we could successfully inhibit that pathway so the protein makers would stay on the outside of the cell.

On the final day of the program, we gave a presentation on our results to several researchers in TRI and PhD students. Through this program, I have learned lab skills with highly precise equipment, data analysis, and interpretation of microscope cell images and gained an insight into biochemistry research.

This program has inspired me to continue my STEM studies and pursue a career in the sciences, and I highly recommend to any student that is interested in STEM and research.

What is SPARQ-ed?

SPARQ-ed (pronounced spark ed) is a unique educational facility established in collaboration between the Department of Education and The University of Queensland. Our cutting edge facility features a fully equipped PC2 biomedical teaching laboratory and learning centre, located at the Translational Research Institute (TRI) in Brisbane, providing school students a practical introduction to biomedical research.

To find out more, visit:

Year 12 Completers Survey

Year 12 Completers Survey

As the Year 12s complete their final exams and enter their last week of secondary school, the students begin to reflect on their time at Cathedral and imagine a future quite different to what they have known for the past 13 years.
Most will have a good idea of what they plan to pursue, whether it’s further education, training, employment, or maybe a gap year. For those that don’t, it’s comforting to know that statistics suggest the future is promising.

Year 12 Completers Survey

Each year the Department of Education (QLD Government) conducts a survey, approximately six months after the students complete Year 12. The Year 12 Completers Survey explores post-school destinations covering Education/Training and Employment. The results from The Cathedral School Year 12s of 2019 place the school above average on a State level when it comes to post-school engagement.

How does The Cathedral School compare?

2019 Post-School Destinations (The Cathedral School)

Main Destination for The Cathedral School graduates in 2021