St Joseph's Quirindi History

Catholic Education began in Quirindi in January 1885 with the arrival from Lochinvar of three black habit St Joseph’s Sisters to establish a school. Quirindi was then in the Gunnedah Parish in the Diocese of Maitland.

In 1887 following the re-organisation of Diocesan boundaries, Quirindi was incorporated into the Armidale Diocese and the Sisters from Lochinvar were withdrawn and returned to Maitland.

In 1888, following a request to Mother Mary MacKillop from Bishop Torreggiani, a community of four sister of the brown habit of St Joseph was established in Quirindi to run a school with an enrolment of 67 children. These nuns came from Mount Street, North Sydney.

The original convent was on land where the present church stands today. In 1895 the present convent was built. Mother Mary was present at the blessing and opening on the 8th December 1895. A new school was opened in 1899, built on convent property.

By 1905 the school enrolment had increased to 141 pupils and the Community had extended to six sisters. At this time Quirindi was the Provincial House and remained so until 1917.

Domestic Science units were added to the school in 1952, and in 1957 new Secondary additions were blessed and opened by the Most Rev. E. Doody. The Secondary School was closed in December 1970. This initiated the establishment of the Motor Mission in 1971.

By 1982, the Community was down to two sisters, only one of whom was teaching. Lay teachers held all other positions in the School. In 1983 the first lay Principal was appointed to St Joseph’s. At the conclusion of the 1995 school year, the sisters were farewelled from the school for the last time, ending 107 years of teaching.

In the last few years St Joseph’s has undergone major building projects to bring the school to life. The building projects have made St Joseph’s outstanding facilities the envy of others. These facilities enable St Joseph’s dedicated staff to teach in a contemporary manner to Australia’s future- the students of today.


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