There are 45 schools in the Diocese of Lismore educating 17000 students from Tweed Heads in the north to Laurieton in the south. The Diocese extends west to Casino and Dorrigo and covers the northern rivers and north central coast of New South Wales. From Tweed Heads to Laurieton is 800km. The total population of the Diocese at the 2006 census was 458,858 with 108,171 Catholics (23.6%).
The region has an agricultural / service industry / tourist based economy and continues to experience significant growth. The Catholic education system currently includes 33 primary schools with an enrolment of 9,255 and 12 systemic secondary schools with an enrolment of 7,976. There is also one non-systemic secondary school with a further 1,200 students. About 74% of students in the Diocese are Catholic. All 46 schools are co-educational.
A total of 1935 staff are currently employed in Diocesan schools including teaching staff, specialist support staff and administration/clerical staff.
Catholic schools are part of the local parish. They support the work of the parish and the parish priest and assist parents with the faith development of their children. The size of the schools varies considerably from Bowraville, a predominately indigenous school of 50 students in the Nambucca Valley to secondary colleges like John Paul College in Coffs Harbour and St Joseph’s Regional College in Port Macquarie with over 1000 students.