Parish’s Name:

St Joseph’s Gunnedah

School established:

  • St Xavier’s School – 4th January, 1879 – 100 students

Principals and enrolled number of students

St. Xavier’s School

YearPrincipalFeb EnrolmentAug EnrolmentOct Enrolment
1892 –  Sr Mary Aloysius O’Driscoll   

Sr Mary de Sales

Sr Mary Clement

Sr Mary Michael

Sr Mary Ita

Sr Mary Cyril

Sr Mary Martina

Sr Mary Sheils (Evangelista)

 Sr Mary Perpetua

Sr Mary Elizabeth

Sr Mavis Dick (Vianney)

Sr Lesley Saunders

1991 Sr Mary Bernard   
1991-1993 Sr Gabrielle Bloomfield   
1994-1996Mr Gary McSweeney   
1997- 2002 Mr Andrew Madden   
2003-Mr Doug Garnett

379 – Feb 2007 

374 – Feb 2008

396 – Feb 2009

366 – Aug 2005 


St. Mary’s College

YearPrincipalFeb EnrolmentAug EnrolmentOct Enrolment
1998 – 2003Mr Michael Horsley 358 – Aug 2003 
2004 – Mr Tony Moran 

377- Feb 2007 

367 Feb 2008

343 Feb 2009

366 – Aug 2005 


 History of School

 St Xavier’s School

The Sisters of Mercy were founded by Catherine McAuley (1779-1841) in Ireland in 1831; the first Convent was in Baggot Street, Dublin.

Four Sisters of Mercy arrived in Gunnedah from Singleton on the 3rd of January, 1879 to establish a School. They were apparently met, some miles outside the town by a large number of residents of the district who escorted them to town.

In that first year St Xavier’s School was opened in the original Church Hall with an enrolment of 100 students. As this School offered the only education in the town, numbers grew quickly and the School moved into larger rented premises in Little Conadilly Street in 1880, on the same block as today’s Convent of Mercy. In 1882 the School due to increasing numbers moved to its present site on the corner of Henry and Bloomfield Streets in a larger weather board building. In 1955 the weather board building was moved to the present administration site and a new brick building consisting of six classrooms, a kindergarten room, small administration area and resource area was constructed and was opened in 1955.

In the early 1970s the weather board building was demolished and replaced by a new brick construction consisting of a large administration area five classrooms and toilet facilities and was opened in 1978. In mid 1983 two large classrooms were constructed in the corner bounded by Little Bloomfield and Henry Streets. During the 1980s demountables were purchased for the Library and canteen also a large weather board hall was moved on site to be used as a temporary Hall. School numbers peaked at 456 in 1990 and have declined since then at the rate of approximately 25 every year. This slide in numbers seems to have been arrested since 1994 (present student population @ 31/10/98 is 373).

Sr Mary Aloysius O’Driscoll was the first Principal and Sr Mary Gabrielle was the last religious Principal. The Sisters of Mercy withdrew from the School at the end of 1993, this marked the appointment of the first lay Principal, Mr Gary McSweeney in 1994.

St Mary’s College

No further information has been provided at this stage. Please forward any information to the Catholic Schools Office

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