History of Our Lady of Lourdes

A Catholic Parish School, housed in an army hut divided into two classrooms, was opened in the suburb of Sunnybank in January 1952. Two Sisters of St Joseph, Sisters Macrina Monaghan and Lucille Mohr were the first teachers of the 49 children who were enrolled on the first day. These sisters lived at Moorooka and travelled to Sunnybank each day by train. 

Even though a Catholic church had been built in the area in 1938, it was not until 1955 that Sunnybank was made a separate parish under the care of Fr James Brosnan. He initiated the building by voluntary labour of a brick convent and new brick classrooms. The project commenced in 1957 and in May 1958 Sisters Macrina and Francis Anne Wallace moved into the convent. A new brick building, housing grades one to seven in three classrooms, was opened in 1960.

After twelve years as principal Sr Macrina was replaced by Sr Edmund Daley in 1964. Fr Brosnan had been transferred in 1962 and was replaced by Fr Thomas Hegerty. During the 1960s and 70s the school enrolment increased as the surrounding area became closely settled.

In 1958 the enrolment of the school was 154 but by 1972 this had grown to 504 and in 1979 over 800 children attended the school. As the school enrolment increased the number of sisters on the staff also increased. In the 1970s, when some government funding started to be offered to Catholic schools, lay teachers joined the sisters on the staff and gradually the number of lay teachers exceeded the number of Josephites and in 1981 a lay teacher was appointed to the role of Deputy Principal.

With the increase in enrolments, an expansion in facilities was necessary. In 1968 a two -storey building containing eleven new classrooms, a staffroom and office was erected. This was followed in 1972 by a building to house the infant school and four years later a further two storey block of classrooms and in 1977 a library. During this period the building programme was overseen by Fr Hegerty and the Parish Council. During these years when the changes introduced by the Vatican Council were being implemented, the school benefitted in the provision by the parish of catechetical aids that supported the modern approach to the teaching of religion.

In 1972 under the principalship of Sr Juanita Scari, the school adopted the 'Open Plan' system of primary education and was the first Catholic School in the archdiocese to do so. The Josephite principals who followed helped to consolidate the programme. The last Josephite to hold the office of principal was Sr Agnes Maria Hanrahan. In 1983 Mr Tim Carter was appointed as principal and the Josephites continued teaching in the school until 1991. 

School Principals

Sr Macrina Monaghan rsj 1952 – 1963

Sr Edmund Daley rsj 1964 – 1969

Sr Finbarr O'Reilly rsj 1970 – 1971

Sr Juanita Scari rsj 1972 – 1974

Sr Margaret McKenna rsj 1975 - 1977

Sr Agnes Maria Hanrahan rsj 1978 – 1982

Mr Tim Carter 1983 – 1995

Mr Graeme Mellor 1996 – 2000

Mr Gerry de Ruyter 2001 – 2010

Mr Mark Badke 2011 – 2018

Mr Michael McInerney 2018 – 2019

Mr Micheal O'Sullivan 2019 ​​