One hundred years ago, after an invitation from Father Frank Masterson to the Sisters of St Joseph’s who came to Blackall to open the fourth St Joseph’s School in Central Western Queensland. St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School Blackall, then part of the Brisbane Diocese, accommodated 106 children and served its purpose to educate children of the West until 1952 when a new school was opened. The school educators where the Sisters of St Joseph’s of the Sacred Heart and their work was to follow that as outlined by their founder St Mary of the Cross MacKillop.
Since 1917 the school has seen many changes, the first of which saw St Joseph’s School become part of the Rockhampton Diocese in 1930. Students who attended St Joseph’s were educated by Religious Sisters for an industrious 70 years until the school saw the first lay principal appointed in 1987. Since its opening, many new buildings and facilities have been added to ensure that the students of St Joseph’s Blackall continue to receive the best education possible. Today, thanks to the ongoing support of our Diocesan Director: Ms Leesa Jeffcoat, the St Joseph’s school community consists of 8 teachers, all of which are female, and 6 ancillary staff. The school provides 5 classrooms, each fitted with a range of technological equipment and flexible learning furniture, a state of the art Early Learning Precinct that encompasses the Kindergarten, Prep and Year 1 classrooms and outdoor, natural play area, a well-equipped library, renovated administration block, adjoining Kindergarten facility, a Multipurpose Centre and a vast, green sporting oval.
St Joseph's School, 1917
At St Joseph’s we look to Saint Joseph, the husband of Mary and celebrate his feast day on the 19th March each year. St Joseph is the husband of Mary and our patron saint. He is known to be a working man, a compassionate and caring person who was indeed a man of faith. Through his actions, it could clearly be seen that he loved Jesus and respected God. He was regarded as a righteous man, a family man.
Being the patron saint of our school we look to follow his example and work towards living out his qualities in our everyday life.
We also celebrate the work of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, Australia’s first Saint. Mary devoted her life to the education of poor children in outback Australia and with the help of Fr Julian Tenison Woods, the co-founder of the Institute of the Sisters of St Joseph, Mary's Sisters were able to open a school in Blackall in 1917.
As noted in the Sisters of St Joseph’s emblem, Mary of the Southern Cross and Woods considered Jesus, Mary, Joseph and John the Baptist of great importance to them. But, it is the charism of St Joseph, ‘Finding God in the ordinary circumstances of daily life’ that we aim to live out and teach our students to live out daily.
Time is also spent looking at the life and work of St Patrick (Patron saint of our Parish) throughout the year. We celebrate his feast day on 17th March.
Through the Josephite Charism and the teaching of MJR, we have identified 5 core virtues for our school. Respect, Responsibility, Prayerfulness, Service and Integrity.