St. Joseph’s opened in August, 1936 under the guidance of Sr. M.Thecla as principal and Sr. M. Fabian, with 78 pupils enrolled on the first day. At this time, North Mackay was part of St. Patrick’s Parish. On February 2nd, 1937, the church school was blessed and dedicated to St. Joseph by his Lordship, Bishop Hayes. Despite the poverty and the traumas of the war years, the school established firm foundations during the first decade. The enrolment in 1945 was 100 pupils.
The inauguration of the new Parish took place on August 19th, 1946 with the appointment of our first Parish Priest, Fr “Barney” Cahill. The next important milestone was on August 28th, 1955, when a new modern school hall was erected. The building consisted of four airy rooms downstairs suitable for classrooms and a fine hall upstairs, which would be suitable for parish functions, or for the use of the school children when engaged in class singing or folk dancing lessons. This development meant that the top floor of the original building could be used solely as a church.
At the end of the second decade the school enrolment had grown to 230. In the years 1966 – 1969, the school enrolment increased to over 400, partly due to the closure of the Habana School, necessitating the erection of eight additional classrooms.
The 1970’s saw such additions as awnings and new toilet blocks. The new church opened on November 7th, 1976, making the old church available as a hall. The existing hall was converted into a classroom and a library. During the late 70’s and 80’s, classrooms were carpeted and modernised and a new tuckshop, staffroom and office were constructed.
In the early years, the Parish Priest and the Sisters of Mercy administered the school. With the growth of many Catholic schools in our diocese, a centralised system of administration was established in Rockhampton. The 1990’s saw more change as Federal and State Government funding, with the support of the School Building Fund, enabled the continual upgrade of the school plan. Two new classrooms were built and refurbishments to the Administration Block, Pre-School, car park, lining of the verandahs, relocation of stairs and major landscaping were completed.
At the beginning of 2007 a brand new Preparatory Building was completed, so as to provide two new Prep classrooms and amenities for the introduction of the Prep Year which now replaces Pre-School. Throughout 2008/9 the school was successful through the State Government QCEC Block Grants funding application for a brand new Administration Building. Also of great benefit to our school was the removal of the Old Convent which has now been prioritized by our Diocese as land for educational use for the future.
The purchase of land in 2009 came in very handy with the Federal Government’s ‘Building the Education Revolution’ funding which has been a once in a lifetime budgetary opportunity our school has grasped with both hands. This BER allowed the construction of a new Multi Purpose Hall, Library and Double Storey GLA.
Through the changing facets of school life, St Joseph’s has consistently been regarded as the ‘Family School’, with a genuine connection made to our Patron Saint – St Joseph and the ‘Holy Family”. As our Mission Statement suggests, our school attempts to nurture the development and growth of each child in an atmosphere of care and concern, whilst still providing an all-round excellent education through positive partnership with our school community.