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The Inspiring Military Heritage of Our Location
The modern buildings and manicured lawns and gardens of MacKillop Catholic College only thinly veil the deeper history of the site on which the institution is built. An area of sacred significance to the Larrakia people since time immemorial, the undulating landscape of the site, standing conspicuously amid its flat surroundings, has always been destined to be a place of special importance. It was these geographical characteristics which later led to the selection of the site as the 16 Mile Camp, the first of the “Mile” camps, in WW2. During the war, the vantage of the hills provided an ideal defensive location from which Australian and American soldiers, living under harsh frontier conditions at a time when the region was beyond the fringes of civilisation, dug in around the ancient ridges which had inadvertently found themselves part of Australia’s front line of defence against the Zeros and bombers of the Imperial Japanese Air Force.
The College motto ‘Lead with Courage’ echoes the spirit of those who occupied the site before us. Through study of this history, MacKillop students have a deeper understanding of what it takes to overcome adversity, and the importance teamwork and making a stand for what is right. This links seamlessly with Mary MacKillop’s famous quote; “Never see a need without doing something about it”. Thanks to this enduring spirit and strong community support, MacKillop Catholic College has gone from strength to strength since its establishment in 2012 to become an integral part of the Palmerston community.
More information on the 16 Mile Camp and other aspects of our College’s Heritage can be found here.
Useful Defence Links
Robinson Barracks (wikipedia)