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Communities

Holy Spirit College services a number of different communities; students come from those described below as well as others. Some students have come from the Torres Strait Islands to attend the campuses in Cooktown and Cairns; during weekends and breaks they live with local extended family members.

 

 

COOKTOWN

Cooktown is at the mouth of the Endeavour River, on Cape York Peninsula in Far North Queensland where James Cook beached his ship, the Endeavour, for repairs in 1770. Both the town and Mount Cook which rises up behind the town were named after James Cook. It is approximately three and a half hour drive from Cairns or a 45min flight from Cairns.  Cooktown has a population of around 2300 people. while about another 4,000 in the region use it as a service centre. Visitors enjoy the delightful tropical environment, the historical connections, and use it as an access point to the Great Barrier Reef, the Lakefield National Park, and for fishing.

Cooktown has a public library, bowling green, swimming pool, golf and turf clubs, historic cemetery, Chinese shrine, James Cook Museum, Botanic Gardens with walks through to the beaches, Grassy Hill lighthouse, and an Events Centre which sits between Holy Spirit College and the Cooktown State School. The Information Centre and an Environment Display are in Nature's Powerhosue in the Cooktown Botanic Garden. Charlotte Street is the main shopping and heritage precinct.

Cooktown is of particular interest to botanists since the time of James Cook's visit when extensive collections and illustrations were made of local plants. It is situated at the junction of several vegetation zones including tropical rainforest, sclerophyll forests, sandy dunes and lagoons. 

Cooktown is a service centre for the district including the Aboriginal communities of Hopevale, 47 kilometres (29 mi) to the northwest, and Wujal Wujal, 72 kilometres (45 mi) to the south.In the local language, Guugu Yimithirr, the name for the region is Gangarr which means “place of the rock crystals”. Cooktown is also the first time that the word Kangaroo - ‘Gangurru’ was recorded. Along with Holy Spirit College Cooktown has a P-12 state school and a P- middle school Christian College.

 
HOPEVALE

Hopevale is a township situated 46km northwest of Cooktown and is located in a valley surrounded by native bushland, mountain ranges and coastal plains. Hopevale has a population of approximately 1500 people.  The Lutheran Church established the community in 1886 and still has a strong presence in the community. Due to a lack of reliable water supplies at Elim, the community moved to its current site about 20 km inland.
In 1986 the community became the first to receive a Deed of Grant in Trust (DOGIT) and formed the Hope Vale Aboriginal Council. Hopevale is home to thirteen clan groups and mostly speak Guugu Yimithirr. Hopevale is also a pilot site for the Cape York Welfare Reform .  Department of Main Roads have upgraded the Endeavour Valley Road between Hope Vale and Cooktown  to an all-weather access.  There is now only 13 kilometres of un-sealed road between Hope Vale and Cooktown, making access to  Hope Vale a scenic and enjoyable drive.   Students attend either Cooktown P-12 or go to boarding schools to complete their high school education.

 
WUJAL WUJAL

The community of Wujal Wujal has existed on the site for many hundreds of years and is set around the highly sacred waterfalls of Wujal Wujal meaning ‘many falls’ in the local language. Wujal Wujal is located in the Bloomfield Valley inside the World Heritage Area some 170km to the North of Cairns and 70km South of Cooktown Lutheran Missionaries came in 1886 and Wujal Wujal remains largely a Lutheran Community. The population is around 480 people.  The main clan group languages are Kuku Yalanji, Kuku Nyungul and Jalunji. No alcohol is allowed in Wujal Wujal. Wujal Wujal is a dry community and is considered a restricted area. Penalties apply for having alcohol in Wujal Wujal- these penalties apply to all people residing in, travelling trough, visiting or working in the restricted area. Wujal Wujal students attend school at Bloomfield River State School which is a P-7 school.  Generally, when young people from Wujal Wujal reach high school age they need to move to boarding schools down south to complete secondary schooling.

 
CAIRNS

The Cairns Region is located about 1,700 kilometres north of Brisbane. The Cairns Region is bounded by the Cook Shire and the Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire in the north, the Coral Sea and the Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire in the east, the Cassowary Coast Region in the south, and the Tablelands Region in the west.  The original inhabitants of the Cairns Region were the Kuku Yulanji people, the Tjapukai people and the Walubarra Yidinji people. Cairns is named after William Wellington Cairns, former Governor of Queensland. European settlement dates from 1876 when the township of Cairns was established to serve miners heading for the Hodgkinson River goldfield 80kms west of Cairns. The estimated residential population of the Cairns urban area in 2016 was 157,847.  Cairns is a provincial city, with a linear urban layout that runs from the south at Edmonton; to the north at Ellis Beach. The city is approximately 52 km (32 mi) from north to south; it has experienced a recent urban sprawl, with suburbs occupying land previously used for sugar cane farming. By 2036 the population for Cairns is projected to increase to 244,083 people.  
Cairns experiences a tropical climate, specifically a tropical monsoon climate as it has a wet season with heavy monsoonal downpours which runs from November to May. Most of the rainfall occurs from December to March. There is also a relatively dry season extending from June to October, though light showers can occur during this period. Cairns' mean annual rainfall is just over 2,000 millimetres.
Tourism plays a major part in the Cairns economy. The Cairns region is the fourth-most popular destination for international tourists in Australia after Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Holy Spirit College is situated in Moignard Street, Manoora.  Manoora forms the inner west suburbs of Cairns alongside Manunda and Mooroobool.