Our Story

Penola Catholic College is a co-educational contemporary learning school that has a strong learning culture that meets a diverse range of learning needs.

Our modern learning environment encourages students to be passionate and resilient lifelong learners who are creative, innovative and faith filled global citizens.

Quality learning since 1986

McCarthy Catholic College was established in 1986 as a senior secondary college in the greater Penrith region.

It became a Year 7-12 co-educational college in 1999. Further buildings and facilities were added in 2008 with the addition of an industrial kitchen, extra science laboratory and multimedia room.

The McCarthy Trade Training Centre was established in 2010 and this facility allowed students to stay on at school and achieve their HSC with the opportunity to source a School Based Apprenticeship/Traineeship (SBAT), within a flexible timetable structure. As of 2020, both the McCarthy and Trade Training Centres have become a part of the CathWest Innovation College serving Western Sydney.

Historically the McCarthys were an Irish family hailing from County Antrim.

Their western Sydney homestead of Cranebrook on the banks of the Nepean river, known by the aboriginal people as Deerubbin, was a foundation site of Catholic faith in Sydney. The Penola homestead was the centre of priestly contact in a Protestant area.

The McCarthys, as lay Catholics, played a substantial role from 1808-1818, when the Catholic population of Sydney had no priest. It was a time when the faith was kept alive by people such as the Penolas.

They were people of faith, they were ‘real’, they believed in hard work, they were survivors who took risks. All in all they were the personification of the school’s motto of Integrity, Justice and Peace and the reason for the College’s original name.

Today, Penola Catholic College, as it is now known, is a school ‘on the move’ staying abreast of changes in contemporary learning practices that engage and excite learners of today such as STEM and Flipped Learning. We are a quality secondary college that equips each student with the skills and passion to make a difference in the community.


Why not contact the school to enrol today and discover the many benefits of joining the Penola community.

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