Special Character

Trinity's four core values are drawn from the charisms of the founding religious orders. They are the guiding principles that influence our relationships within the College and the delivery of the curriculum.

Our founding religious orders are the Dominican and Mercy Sisters and the Christian Brothers. These orders were based on the principles from the life and teachings of Jesus which form Catholic social teachings. These values permeate the life of the school in our relationships, teaching and activities, and are displayed through an emphasis on restorative justice and doing what is right for each member of our College.

Prayer/karakia is part of our daily school life and students are given the opportunity to participate in the sacraments and celebrate the special feasts and seasons of the Church year. Awareness of social justice issues is promoted through all curriculum areas, but especially the  Religious Education Programme. As a College we expect all students to take an active part in social justice activities. 

For those families who do not come from a Catholic background, students quickly familiarise themselves with the Special Character of the College and are supported to feel comfortable in this environment.  If you would like to find out more about the Catholic faith journey, you may find this website useful.

As a Catholic school, we have a close relationship with both secondary and primary Catholic schools in the diocese. This provides the opportunity for supportive relationships for both students and staff. It brings the additional benefits of sports competitions and the annual Bishop’s Shield scripture, speech and drama competitions. Trinity Catholic College is part of a Community of Learners together with the Catholic primary schools in Dunedin. This provides another opportunity for collaboration in the Catholic educational community.

The Trinity School Prayer

We pray for the community of Trinity Catholic College
May we grow in Respect for ourselves, each other and our world
May respect lead to Service to those in need
Through service may we bring about Justice and in
Justice may we reflect and share the Truth of the gospels
This we pray in the spirit of
Catherine McAuley
Edmund Rice and
St Dominic.
With Mary as our Guide
Hei ākonga mā te Karaiti


Trinity Catholic College's latest Special Character Report



At Trinity, RESPECT is the recognition, allowance and encouragement of our own, and others', uniqueness, gifts and talents.

1. Respect is not earned, it is given. Every person deserves Respect.

2. We Respect ourselves through best effort and self-control.

3. We Respect each other through kindness and tolerance of difference, through listening and trust, and through encouragement and support.

4. We Respect our world through the care of our planet and through the care of our school.

5. We Respect the rules. If a rule is unfair we can work to change it.

In the Gospel stories, we hear often of Jesus' respect for others - when he recognises the abilities of those who were rejected by their community; when he trusts people who have made mistakes; when he speaks with people who have been outcast; when he treats all people as equal as we are all made in the image of God.


At Trinity, SERVICE leads on from RESPECT and is the action of helping make our community more caring, hospitable, peace-making and joyful.

1. Service involves 'selfless' action. It does not start with 'what is in it for me'.

2. We Serve ourselves through reflection, best effort and self-control; through being the best person we can be.

3. We Serve each other by responding to the needs of others and by ensuring we do not hurt others.

4. We Serve our world through making responsible, informed choices and through responding to the needs of our world.

5. We Serve our College through caring for it and through supporting all members of the Kavanagh community.

In the Gospel stories, we often hear of Jesus' service to others - when he washes the feet of his disciples; when he heals; when he listens, teaches and prays. We are called to do to others, what we'd like them to do to us.


At Trinity, JUSTICE is a product of SERVICE and is the action of and desire for fairness, reconciliation and peace.

1. Justice is constructive. It is more focused on 'making things right' than on punishment or revenge.

2. We act Justly to ourselves through thinking before we act, through standing up for what is right and through allowing ourselves to be forgiven.

3. We live Justly with each other through acting fairly, with compassion and through striving for reconciliation.

4. We create Justice in our world through doing and speaking what is right.

5. We create Justice in our College through being people of peace.

In the Gospel stories, we often hear of Jesus' call for justice - when he challenges those who treat others harshly; when he speaks of the need to bring about the 'Kingdom of God'; when he forgives those who have done wrong; when he calls us brothers and sisters.

"What does God ask of us? To live justly, to love tenderly and to walk humbly with our God." Micah


At Trinity, TRUTH emerges from JUSTICE and is the basis of RESPECT. It is the practice of being courageous, honest, trusting and reflective.

1. Truth requires courage.

2. We show Truth to ourselves through being honest with ourselves and through not hiding behind excuses or lies.

3. We show Truth to each other through seeing things as they really are and through constructively speaking out.

4. We see Truth in our world through looking beyond ourselves.

5. We create Truth in our College through being involved, owning up and speaking out.

In the Gospels, we hear Jesus speaking often about truth - when he challenges the people in power; when he acknowledges the poor and suffering; when he teaches and tells stories; in his unconditional love for all people; when he shows us he is the Way, the Truth and the Life; when he teaches us to pray.


Social Justice

We believe that our purpose as a Church is to bring about the Reign of God into our world. We do not sit back and wait for heaven, but rather we make a difference at the time and place we find ourselves in. For this reason, Social Justice informs a significant part of our activities and thinking at Trinity. All tutor classes or year levels are encouraged to carry out an action for the good of others and all students are encouraged to participate in these projects. Senior students are on a roster at the Mercy Parish to help with the cooking of meals for the needy.

There are two times of the year when Social Justice is particularly emphasised. The first is during Lent and the second is the Caritas Challenge, the timing of which can vary from year to year. Our school has an emphasis on Catholic social teaching as part of our annual and strategic plan, and more can be read about this on the national Caritas page.