Saint Marcellin Champagnat founded the Marist Brothers in 1840. The Marist Brothers are a group of Catholic men who dedicate themselves to teaching a Christian education to young people from poor, rural and isolated areas in France, and the work of the Marist Brothers has spread widely to every corner of the world. A small group of Marist Brothers came to Innisfail in 1938 to start the Mother of Good Counsel School.
Good Counsel College was formed in 1975 from a merger of the girls’ school (Sacred Heart), conducted by the Sisters of the Good Samaritan, and the boys’ school, conducted by the Marist Brothers. Catholic Education commenced in Innisfail in 1903 with the arrival of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan and further grew when the Marist Brothers started Mother of Good Counsel School for boys in 1937.
Good Counsel College is a parish school maintained by the parish of Innisfail and South Johnstone/Mourilyan, and serves the Southern Deanery of Cairns Diocese for students as far south as Tully and Mission Beach, in the west to Millaa Millaa and in the North to Babinda. The Catholic education office for the Diocese of Cairns, Catholic Education Services, provides supervision of and support for the College.
Mr Alwyn Webb was Principal from 1989 to 2008 and under Mr Webb’s leadership, the College flourished with an expansion of facilities, resources and extension to the curriculum.Initially, Good Counsel College was established as a Year 8 to Year 10 school, however under the guidance of Mr Peter Albion (the first lay principal) the school expanded to cater for the full academic education of students up to Year 12.
Under Mr Jeff Schneider and Mr Paul Keenan, Good Counsel College continued to flourish. The College is recognised as a thriving regional secondary College with an enrolment of over 500 students.
The name ‘Good Counsel’ refers to the good advice that Mary, the mother of Jesus, gave to the servants at the wedding feast of Cana, when Jesus turned the pitchers of water into wine at the request of his mother. The ‘good counsel’ which she gave the servants was to do whatever he (Jesus) tells you to do. This remains fine advice for all members of our school community. We need to be open to the word of Christ and respond accordingly.
‘One Spirit in Christ,’ the College motto appears to be a natural outflowing of our response to our seeking ‘good counsel’.