Learning Journey

House System

We place great importance on building collaborative relationships with students, so we can better understand their individual learning style, encourage their passions, develop their independence and provide consistent guidance and encouragement.

By putting relationships at the centre of everything we do, we give our students a sense of belonging and a voice in their learning.

Our House system provides a network and a caring environment for all students at St Joseph’s. When joining the College, each student will be assigned as a member of one of the College’s four Houses.


House motto:
‘Care for Everybody’.

The crest for Brennan House is based on Bishop Brennan’s own crest.  Bishop Brennan was the third Bishop of Toowoomba and was instrumental in the foundation of St Joseph’s College. He was known for his determination and vision.  The central elements of the crest are a unicorn, a lion and a sheaf of wheat.  The lion is symbolic of courage and the unicorn is symbolic of strength and virtue.  The sheath of wheat is symbolic of the achievement of our dreams and hopes.

The motto for Brennan House is: ‘Care for Everybody’. This challenges us to be strong, courageous and honest in our relationships and in all we do.  As a House we commit ourselves to work with others who need support to realise their dreams.


House motto:
‘Resilience, Hope and Compassion’.

As a young woman in Ireland, Catherine McAuley inherited money from a family friend.  As a person with much compassion, she used the inheritance to put into effect her plan to educate young women who were marginalised in society. Even though she was criticised and ridiculed by many, her resilience enabled her dream to become a reality.  The Institute of the Sisters of Mercy was established to visit the sick, to educate poor girls and to house and maintain poor young women who were in danger. Catherine McAuley brought hope to many who would otherwise have been forgotten by society.

The McAuley House crest is a Phoenix which symbolises our ability to face new challenges and to be resilient in the face of difficulties. Just as the phoenix is rising towards the sun, we are called to bring light and hope to those in need. The McAuley House motto invites us to be people of

‘Resilience, Hope and Compassion’.

St Joseph's College Toowoomba


House motto:
‘With Vision and Spirit’.

Our first principal Brother Bernard Murphy after whom Murphy House is named, was a gifted teacher and musician. From God’s Word he drew courage and creativity.  During his time at the College he wrote the college song which is still sung at all major college liturgies.  The Murphy House crest is an Australian wedge-tailed eagle in full flight in front of a blazing sun.  This eagle symbolises vision and spirit.  The outstretched wings signify protection and compassion for all.

May Brother Murphy’s life and example fire in us a desire to discover our talents and put them to the service of all we meet making a difference in their lives.  The Murphy House motto ‘With Vision and Spirit’ encourages us to look beyond ourselves in the service of others in a spirit of generosity and integrity.

St Joseph's College Toowoomba


House motto:
‘A Gentle Strength’.

Rice House holds before the College the continuation of the work and vision of Edmund Rice.  There was nothing special about Edmund Rice; he was an ordinary man who took up an extraordinary challenge.  He was a man who saw a need in society and saw no reason one person could not make a difference. Not only did he see this, but he also took action: thought without action is worthless.

The two elements in the crest, the outreaching hand and tools for the hand, are symbolic of the life and work of Edmund Rice.  Our motto is: ‘A Gentle Strength’.  This is not a strength which is proud and arrogant but a strength which is confident and caring, a strength which doesn’t merely talk about what needs to be done but which acts.  The tools symbolize Edmund’s very practical nature.  He gave young people the skills they needed to improve their lives and the hand he offered was one which helped others to be all that they could be.


St Joseph's College Toowoomba

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