Our School History
In the early 1930's Father Conway, Parish Priest of Mildura, made application to the Lands Department and the four acres of land on which the school is now sited was purchased. It was cleared of native bushland in preparation for the building of classrooms and the establishment areas.
On the 27th of April, 1933 St Joseph's Primary School, Red Cliffs began as St Joseph's Convent School, part of the Mildura Parish. It was administered and staffed by the Sisters of Mercy from Mildura.
Sister Mary Bernard Smith was Principal and there was an enrolment of nearly seventy pupils. These pupils, though mainly from Red Cliffs, included several from Cardross, Irymple South and Sunnycliffs.
The official opening took place on May 15th, 1933, and was conducted by Dr Foley, Bishop of Ballarat.
In 1953, Red Cliffs became a parish in its own right with Father Green as Parish Priest.
In 1964 our visionary parishioners established the Parish Scholarship Fund. This was dedicated to Father Green, our first Parish Priest and has been presented annually ever since. Any Baptised child from the Parish who has completed Grade Six, and who intends to further his or her studies at a Catholic Secondary school is eligible. Tests in Mathematics and English must be undertaken.
The original red brick construction of three spacious classrooms still provides two learning areas today and a library. However, the intervening folding doors have become permanent divisions with blackboards and display boards attached. Before these modifications, the folding doors would be retracted to open up a large hall-like area suitable for parish community activities and social functions.
As enrolments increased various buildings were added – in 1970 two brick classrooms were added, followed by a third and a portable classroom.
In 1990, application was made for Capital Funding to carry out a comprehensive refurbishment program. Funding became available for this project and work was completed. A Blessing and Opening of our refurbished buildings took place on September 11, 1994.
Following this, a major refurbishment of the old Parish tennis courts was undertaken.
Through the Commonwealth Government Building the Education Revolution program, we were able to officially open our project in April 2011. This involved building a new multipurpose hall, resurfacing the car park, installation of a new playground, upgrade of our irrigation system and removal of the portable.
Through Catholic Capital Grant funding 2019 we completed building works to update our Junior school area with an outdoor learning space, nature playground and new office/admin and staff areas.