Our History

St. Anthony’s Catholic Primary School began in 1897 by the Sisters of Mercy. Catherine McAuley founded the Mercy Order, strongly believing that children should not be taught just the 3 Rs, but should also be educated in faith. Her Sisters’ mission was to devote themselves to the poor, whose need for a Catholic education was not being met. They commenced teaching on the site, in a small wooden building known as the ‘Academy’, with an enrolment of 30 pupils. Their dedicated contribution to our school was to continue for 82 years.

The first lay principal was appointed in 1973. This appointment enabled the Sisters to continue their teaching in the school whilst allowing them more freedom to encompass the evolving diverse pastoral needs arising in the Catholic community.

1981 marked a significant period in the history of St. Anthony’s with the Sisters of Mercy withdrawing their services from our school. The Convent of Mercy building was leased to a parishioner from 1984 until 1997, when the school purchased the lease. In 1999 the Convent of Mercy was renovated into administration and classroom areas and renamed Mercy House. The Chapel was also renovated and named Catherine McAuley Chapel.

Renovations and extensions occurred in 1900, 1954, 1984, 1991, 1999 and in 2009 at St. Anthony’s. With a generous government grant, we undertook the biggest redevelopment in the history of the school community, and in 2010, the Building Education Revolution enabled the school to build a full sized gymnasium. Towards the end of 2017, saw the development of a Nature Play area, a Reception to Year 6 Playground, a new Environmental/Science/Construction centre as well as four existing classroom renovations.  Currently St. Anthony’s, in partnership with CESA, Edge Architects and Dycer Constructions, is building Stage 1 of the Master Plan, incorporating two new classrooms and a play area.  These new classrooms will be completed in 2024.

Through all these changes the ethos of the school continues to echo the words of Catherine Mc Auley, ‘We should be shining lamps, giving light to all around us.’ 

At St Anthony’s we aim to develop in students a passion for life, learning and service of others and we work together to build a family atmosphere that fosters joy and strong sense of community.