Volunteer surf lifesaver and local Principal selected to lead planned new Sunshine Coast College


​​​Principal Dan McShea.​

In the heart of Bells Creek Queensland, a remarkable educational journey is about to begin.  
The inception of Notre Dame College, a Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE) Prep to Year 12 College, is planned to open in 2025 led by community focused Principal and volunteer surf lifesaver Principal Dan McShea. 
Dan has a wealth of experience in the education sector and deep roots within the Sunshine Coast community. He is currently the Principal of Unity College Caloundra and has been there for more than five years. In 2022, Dan was also awarded a medallion at a Parliament House ceremony during Surf Lifesaving Australia’s (SLSA) Rescue Medal Presentation for helping save a seriously injured surfer in a group rescue effort.   
Starting in the role of Founding Principal of Notre Dame College in 2024, Dan McShea said he is thrilled to be chosen to lead the planned new College which will eventually grow to 1836 students, including up to 160 staff members. 
“It’s an amazing opportunity to be involved in creating a College from the ground up,” he said. 
“I am excited to have a role to play in establishing the culture and build a community of excellent educators and school leaders, I could not be happier. 
"I have an opportunity to reimagine what education looks like at a planned new College and create a school community which is a vibrant innovation hub, where every student has the opportunity to reach success and be actively engaged in their own education journey. 
“It’s an honour to get to lead a Prep to Year 12 school of this magnitude from the very beginning.” 
BCE’s Deputy Executive Director Durm O’Riordan said Dan fosters vibrant, innovative, and inclusive learning environments, but it was his visionary leadership and commitment to serving the Sunshine Coast community which made him a perfect fit for BCE’s new Notre Dame College. 
“Dan is a true community builder, actively involved in his community parish activities, and has been a part of life-saving efforts for over 25 years at Caloundra,” he said. 
“On the weekends you will find Dan patrolling local beaches, leading many local rescues where people’s lives were saved thanks to his quick thinking and unwavering commitment to the people of the Sunshine Coast. 
“We feel Notre Dame College will be in safe hands with Dan and we can’t wait to see where he takes this new school community.” 
Dan added it has been a privilege to lead Unity College for the past five and a half years. 
“It is a difficult decision to leave an outstanding school community and a job that I absolutely love, and I hope the two schools can create a synergistic partnership in future,” he said. 
“I can’t wait to make a mark on the Notre Dame community and help my new students create the identity of BCE’s newest College.” 
BCE would like to extend their warmest congratulations to Dan McShea and the Notre Dame College community as they embark on this exciting educational journey together. 
Notre Dame College is planned to open its doors to Prep to Year 3 students, as well as Year 7 students in 2025 excited parents and careers can register their interest here and be the first to be notified when enrolments are open. 

The Colleges Stage 1 works, including Prep to Year 3, and Year 7 classrooms and specialist are planned to open in January 2025. 
To read more about Dan’s surf lifesaving rescue efforts click here. 


About Notre Dame College Bells Creek: 
Notre Dame is a Brisbane Catholic Education Prep to Year 12 College which is planned to open in January 2025 on the Sunshine Coast. 

Located in Aura Stockland in Bells Creek, Queensland, Australia, Notre Dame College will be a co-educational school, master-planned for 1836 students when all stages of development are completed. With a proposed opening in 2025 for Prep to Year 3, and Year 7, Notre Dame College will provide a high-quality Catholic education for families in the Aura area. 

Part of Brisbane Catholic Education, which consists of 146 schools, soon to be 147, and six offices across South East Queensland, Notre Dame College will be supported through one of the most reliable systems of schools in Australia. 

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