History of the School



St Joseph’s Parish School is an integral part of the Cairns Diocese and the Atherton Catholic Parish. Located approximately one hour’s drive from Cairns, Atherton sits within the heart of the naturally beautiful and agriculturally rich Atherton Tablelands.   Despite its many changes over the years, St Joseph’s Parish School has remained committed to providing its students with a well-balanced and relevant education and curriculum.

St Joseph’s Parish School was founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1923.  The first lay teacher began in 1966 and the first lay principal was appointed in 1986.  Today the school is staffed by a strong group of dedicated teachers and school officers who continue the mission of Catholic Education begun so many years ago by the Sisters of Mercy.

Today, there are approximately 200 students enrolled in Prep to Year 6 at St Joseph’s as it continues the goals of Catholic Education; to foster a Christian community and a belief in the message of Jesus Christ alongside a balanced and quality education. Students are drawn from Atherton itself and a number of smaller towns such as Herberton, Yungaburra, Tolga, Malanda and Walkamin. 

St Joseph’s has a welcoming feel to it and a group of highly dedicated and motivated parents and carers who genuinely assist with the provision of the best educational environment possible for their children, through their hard work and commitment.

St Joseph’s is also fortunate to have a skilled staff who see their role as nurturers of the faith and who are committed to their role as Catholic Educators.


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