WELCOME ABOARD: St Patrick's College's new principal Mark Newton.
WELCOME ABOARD: St Patrick's College's new principal Mark Newton. Troy Jegers

New St Pat's principal has tiny flaw - he loves the Blues

HE'S a staunch NSW fan who barracks for South Sydney Rabbitohs but we won't hold that against St Patrick's College's new principal.

Crossing the Queensland border six years ago to pursue a career in teaching and education, Mark Newton said he was excited about starting his journey in Gympie.

St Patricks principal Mark Newton
St Patrick's College's new principal Mark Newton. Troy Jegers

"My family and I just love the lifestyle out here. Gympie has a lot of amenities and it's close to everything,” Mr Newton said.

"The community has been very welcoming. My wife and 10-year-old daughter find Gympie very homely and we want to be part of the community.”

Before his Gympie appointment, Mr Newton was principal for three years at St Joseph's Catholic School in Cloncurry and before that was the assistant principal at St Catherine's Catholic College in Proserpine.

"We've had plenty of moves in the last 10 years and when this opportunity came up, we thought we should take it,” he said.

"We really enjoyed Cloncurry, but the two biggest challenges we faced were distance and climate - distance in the sense that it was very remote and we had very long summers which weighs you down.”

Mr Newton said he's ready for the challenges ahead.

"The thing I noticed straight away was how the college has a proud history. It's a really accepting place where any student can come and learn,” he said.

"The college has an excellent academic history and my goal will be to continue that, to increase capital works, buildings and our school grounds, also in terms of developing our market share in the community.

"Enrolments are absolutely imperative - we are keen to be seen as an inclusive college regardless of being Catholic or non-Catholic.”

Mr Newton said he's worked in various fields throughout his life from racing and mining to media before ending up in education.

"I always had Catholic education in mind. For me personally it was great having the other experience behind me,” he said.