John Paul College was awash with double denim and television favourites as past and present students and staff celebrated the school's 30th-year anniversary in full 1990s costume.

In May 1987, John Paul College (JPC) opened its doors to 687 students after the all-boys Edmund Rice College merged with all-girls MacKillop College.

Yesterday's 30 year anniversary was combined with the annual John Paul College Day celebrations.

A special mass attended by past and present students and teachers, marked their foundations as a Catholic school.


It was principal Patrick Walsh's 13th JPC day, and he said they were always exciting.

"For me it emphasises our point of difference as a Catholic school, because we celebrate with Mass," he said.

"This is a very special event in the life of the school. Celebrating our Catholicity, our talent and the support we get from our staff and community."

Mr Walsh said the school would hopefully continue to provide another 30 years of quality Catholic education.

John Paul College is a Lasallian school whose mission is to form a community where teachers and students can live their faith and become the people that God wants them to be.

Best dressed students competition John Paul College 30th anniversary celebrations. Photo/Stephen Parker
Best dressed students competition John Paul College 30th anniversary celebrations. Photo/Stephen Parker

The entire school, led by the Year 13 students, continued the celebrations with fun activities like Zorb soccer and a concert to end the day.

Teacher Minka Webb was a Year 10 student at the school when the amalgamation took place and said the school gained a whole new culture.

"It was fantastic, all the new subjects that opened up. The boys could take cooking and the girls could take woodwork," she said.


"The boys and girls moderate each other, it's more balanced."

Mrs Webb said the celebrations had certainly changed, from the days where they went to Mass and then had an ice block.

"We have established our own identity as a school, we've grown to stand on our own two feet," she said.

Religious education teacher and campus minister Bernadette Fredricksen is also a former MacKillop College student.

"The foundations were laid when the original schools were formed, and we're just continuing from that," she said.

"It's about creating a sense of community, who we are and what we stand for."