St Joseph's College, Nudgee

St Joseph's Nudgee College (commonly referred to simply as Nudgee or Nudgee College) is a private, Roman Catholic, day and boarding school for boys, located in Boondall, a northern suburb of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Some of the buildings of the school were listed in the Queensland Heritage Register in 2006.[2]

St Joseph's College, Nudgee Boondal
St Joseph’s College, Nudgee main building 01.jpg
St Joseph's College, Nudgee, pictured in 2017

Coordinates27°21′34.5″S 153°03′45.3″E / 27.359583°S 153.062583°E / -27.359583; 153.062583Coordinates: 27°21′34.5″S 153°03′45.3″E / 27.359583°S 153.062583°E / -27.359583; 153.062583
Other nameSt. Joseph's Nudgee College
TypePrivate, single-sex, day and boarding
MottoLatin: Signum Fidei
(A Sign of Faith)
Religious affiliation(s)
Established1891; 129 years ago (1891)
PrincipalPeter Fullagar
Grades5 to 12
Enrollment~1,600[1] (2018)
Colour(s)Blue and white

In 1891 it was decided by the Congregation of Christian Brothers that because of the large numbers of boarders at St. Joseph's College, Gregory Terrace and insufficient room to house them that a new school be opened to cater for the boarders. Both schools share St. Joseph's College as part of their name and follow the Edmund Rice tradition. Nudgee currently caters for approximately 1600 students from Years 5 to 12, including 300 boarders. Tuition is offered to boys in Years 5 to 12.

St Joseph's is affiliated with the Australian Boarding Schools Association (ABSA),[3] the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA),[4] the Junior School Heads Association of Australia (JSHAA),[5] and is a founding member of the Great Public Schools Association of Queensland (GPS).[6]


Dumbbell drill on the front lawn of Nudgee College, 1898

The college was established in 1891, as the boarding campus for St Joseph's College, Gregory Terrace. Its location was selected by Brother Patrick Ambrose Treacy, founder of the Australian Province of the Christian Brothers, at the request of the Archbishop of Brisbane at the time, Robert Dunne. Brother D. F. Bodkin was appointed first Headmaster.

At the time of Nudgee College's Golden Jubilee in 1941, the late Archbishop Sir James Duhig described the College as being "the jewel in the crown of the Christian Brothers' Schools in Queensland".[7]

School buildingsEdit

The main building, whose facade was used in the movie Phar Lap, was completed in 1891; the architect was Andrea Stombuco.[8] The matching chapel was completed in 1916 and is used for weddings and funerals in addition to school celebrations. In 1993, after refurbishment, it won Royal Australian Institute of Architects Conservation Award[9] and Regional Commendation. A second school building was completed in 1919. All 3 buildings were in Italian Renaissance Style.

In 1938, Nudgee Junior College was opened at a separate campus in Indooroopilly. In 2015, it was renamed Ambrose Treacy College.

Building has continued at Boondall, and the campus now has sporting and academic facilities including technologically advanced classrooms throughout the school, an award-winning multi-level learning centre, science laboratories, a vocational education centre, a 400-seat auditorium, 13 playing fields for cricket, rugby and football, 12 tennis courts, indoor and outdoor basketball and volleyball courts, a multi-purpose gymnasium, an Olympic grade athletics track, a weights room, Olympic 50 metre and 25 metre heated swimming pools, a sound-proofed, digital recording studio, art workshops, and cattle yards.

Other significant developmentsEdit

In July 1967, a 17-year-old student of the college, John Frances Treacy, was murdered outside the chapel by a 29-year-old man, John Martin Heywood. Heywood had befriended Treacy while in hospital in August 1966.[10] Heywood, who had a long criminal history, was convicted of the murder, and spent the remainder of his life in prison or in mental hospitals.[11]

In August 2008, a 59-year-old man from Richmond, Victoria accused a priest from the College of abusing him and four other students who have since committed suicide due to the abuse. The College was unable to locate any records of the man attending the school and denied any wrongdoing.[12]

Battle Of The ColoursEdit

In 1991, the following was printed in the Centennial Rugby Program, dubbed - "The Battle of The Colours", for the 100th anniversary of the annual Nudgee vs Terrace rugby match:[13]

Before Nudgee existed, St. Joseph's College, Gregory Terrace wore the colours Nudgee wears today - Blue and White. A popular story, especially at Nudgee, is that when Nudgee began and had to choose it colours, there was a great debate as to whether the original school, Terrace, or its "extension" school, Nudgee, should have the Blue and White. No amount of debate could solve the dispute so it was decided to rest the colour dispute on the first ever Nudgee-Terrace rugby match. Nudgee won and Terrace then chose colours diametrically opposed. The blue became red and the white became black.

— B. D. Honan in Nudgee College Centenary Rugby Programme, The Battle Of The Colours, 1991.

The result of the Centennial Nudgee vs Terrace rugby match was a 15-all draw.[14][15]


Nudgee College's teaching and learning ethos aligns with Art Costa's Habits of Mind framework.

In addition to a wide range of subject offerings, Nudgee offers students access to learning support, an enrichment and extension program and a vocational education and training program. The school is also a pioneer in the field of flipped learning.


As a member school of the GPS Association, Nudgee students are able to take part in cricket, rowing, volleyball, debating, swimming, football, tennis, cross country (athletics), rugby, basketball, chess, and track and field (athletics). The school also offers students access to an extensive music program, Theatresports, a robotics and steam club, and a cattle club, Art Club.

The SeasonEdit

In 2017, Nudgee College was featured in series one of Onion TV's production of The Season. The series followed the school's first XV as they progressed through the 2017 GPS season, which ultimately ended with a tied Premiership with The Southport School. The Season aired on Fox Sports 3 in Australia and Sky Sports in New Zealand. The episodes are now available to watch on the school's Youtube channel.

Nudgee International CollegeEdit

While Nudgee International College sits within the grounds of Brisbane GPS School St Joseph's Nudgee College at Boondall (also an EREA school), Nudgee International College is a completely separate entity and is not part of St Joseph's Nudgee College. In early 2012 it was announced that the International College would be closing.[16] As of late 2012 the site has ceased to function as a separate college, with the building and facilities were tuned over to the St Joseph's Nudgee College. The site was repurposed by the school for planned redevelopment.

Notable alumniEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "About Nudgee College » Nudgee College". Archived from the original on 3 July 2018. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  2. ^ "St Joseph's Nudgee College (entry 601771)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 6 July 2013.
  3. ^ "St Joseph's Nudgee College". Schools. Australian Boarding Schools' Association. Archived from the original on 17 November 2007. Retrieved 27 December 2007.
  4. ^ "AHISA Schools". Queensland. Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia. November 2007. Archived from the original on 2 November 2007. Retrieved 26 December 2007.
  5. ^ "JSHAA Queensland Directory of Members". Queensland Branch. Junior School Heads Association of Australia. Archived from the original on 12 April 2008. Retrieved 27 December 2007.
  6. ^ "GPS Schools". Sport and Music. Brisbane State High School. Archived from the original on 31 August 2007. Retrieved 27 December 2007.
  7. ^ "College History | St Joseph's Nudgee College". Archived from the original on 10 January 2019. Retrieved 9 January 2019.
  8. ^ "St Joseph's Nudgee College (entry 601771)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
  9. ^ "Awards". Archived from the original on 19 August 2006. Retrieved 20 October 2006.
  10. ^ "St Joseph's Nudgee College remembers John Treacy 50 years after on campus murder". Courier Mail. 12 July 2017. Archived from the original on 29 April 2018. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  11. ^ "Office of the State Coroner: Inquest into the death of John Martin Heywood" (PDF). Queensland Courts. 3 December 2009. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  12. ^ "Abused student myster". Brisbane Times. 24 August 2008. Archived from the original on 11 September 2008. Retrieved 28 October 2009.
  13. ^ Honan, B. D. (1991). Nudgee College Centenary Rugby Programme, The Battle Of The Colours.
  14. ^ "Terrace GPS Rugby Results (1918 - 2008)" (PDF). Brand and Game. Archived (PDF) from the original on 9 November 2018. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  15. ^ "Terrace News". Brand and Game. 19 (25). 8 August 1991. Archived from the original on 30 December 2012. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  16. ^ "Nudgee International". St Joseph's College. Archived from the original on 6 August 2012. Retrieved 9 November 2018.

External linksEdit