About Us

Message from Fr. Patrick Harvey

St Joseph’s School, West Brunswick, is a vital part of our parish life and always has been so. It is nearly half a century since it first began life as a church/school where children came to be educated on weekdays and then came together with the rest of their families on Sunday for Mass. It has been served by faithful and dedicated teachers and staff since its beginning and the principal, along with teachers and staff continue this great tradition of service to the community. I would like to thank them for all that they do for our children, our families and our parish community.

I would also like to thank and pay tribute to the great work done by the members of the Parents and Friends association and the School Board. Their co-operation, support and dedication makes our school an integral part of the parish life and is much appreciated by all.

May St Joseph’s School continue to flourish and be blessed by God in all it does.

Letter from the Principal

Dear Parents/Caregivers,

Welcome to St Joseph’s Brunswick West, especially to the families new to our community. It is a privilege for our community to share in the life long education journey with your family. To achieve this, we work as partners in the education of your child to ensure their success so that they can make a valuable contribution to society. The Catholic Ethos underpins our relationships and activities in our school.

Families have many opportunities to actively participate and be involved in our community, from Advisory School Board, Parents and Friends, Canteen to Classroom Helper Training and Support. Families are always welcome to join our celebrations and activities. Family Masses are celebrated on the last Sunday of each month and we have many occasions to join in parish masses. As a Parish School, we are very involved in the Parish through class masses, sacramental preparation, social functions and other activities to engage our community. We are very proud of our partnership with our dynamic community.

At St Joseph’s our Vision is to educate the whole child, Spiritually, Academically, Physically, Emotionally and Socially. We are founded on the Mary MacKillop tradition which honours the dignity of each child and strives to provide an excellent education for all. We value the diversity of talents and skills of our students and promote the development of each child’s self esteem, communication skills and confidence by providing many opportunities, programs and a supportive environment to support these. Programs such as our specific social skills, oral language and student leadership as well as the motor skills programs aim to meet the individual needs of each student.

We value each student’s voice in decision making and learning goals as we underpin our learning environment with Personalised Learning. Our students are engaged and happy learners who are encouraged and supported to strive for excellence to achieve their potential through an engaging and innovative curriculum.

Our newly renovated classrooms, playground, newly built classrooms and library provide a bright and vibrant environment for learning. We offer a safe and secure setting for our students to flourish. The Out of School Hours Care program offered at our school provides a fun and energetic program.

I warmly welcome you to our dynamic and excellent community and hope that you will find in St Joseph’s Primary School a place where you too will learn many new things alongside of your child and enjoy friendships in our dynamic community.

Vision, History & Profile


St Joseph’s Brunswick West is a Catholic parish primary school founded on a century of care and excellence. As members of the people of God, we base our lives on the life and teachings of Christ and are also guided by the faith and service of Mary MacKillop and the Sisters of St Joseph, ‘to never see a need without doing something about it’.

Our commitment to quality, contemporary education nurtures a passion for learning where all are respected and valued.

We aim to develop active global citizens with the skills for the 21st century.

We encourage our school values of responsibility, empathy, honesty and respect in our relationships.

We recognise the important role that the parish, families and the wider community play in enriching our learning. In our partnerships we welcome and celebrate diversity, creativity, courage and compassion.

St Joseph’s: united in friendship, faith and a love of learning

St. Joseph’s, West Brunswick is a Catholic Primary school situated in the inner suburbs of Melbourne. St. Joseph’s was created as a parish in February 1911 when a Church/school was built. In 1918 the present Church was built. The Sisters of St. Joseph were at this time caring for the students.

In 1929 work on the current buildings began and St. Joseph’s grew rapidly into a vibrant working class community. At this time, Brunswick was largely an Irish Catholic community, with many people contributing to the development of the Parish and school. In the 1950’s St. Joseph’s Church was extended as the population continued to grow. St Joseph’s welcomed migrants from Italy, Greece and the Middle East. Each of these groups has had an influence on St. Joseph’s School, contributing to the atmosphere of acceptance and inclusion which still permeates the school.

Today, St. Joseph’s is a modern primary school offering a comprehensive education to approximately 280 students from the Parish and drawn from the Western region of Brunswick and Northern area of Parkville. As part of the Building Education Revolution, classrooms have been refurbished incorporating latest technology, and a new library and contemporary learning space recently built.

Parents are encouraged to become involved in the school through a variety of activities. Parent helpers give support in the classroom and Library programs.

Many parents support the school through the Parents & Friends, Board, fundraising, canteen, maintenance/grounds committee and Out of School Hours Program. The School Advisory Board and portfolio committees meet regularly throughout the year.

School Officers ensure that the school administration runs effectively and efficiently and provides a friendly and informed initial point of contact with the school.

As a school we aim to be a significant part of the Parish and local community and our efforts are directed toward the full development of students and others within a Catholic environment. Every opportunity is taken to make use of facilities and services offered to the school. Family Masses celebrated on the last Sunday of each month offer full involvement in the Parish. Class Masses are also celebrated throughout the year at either the Sunday Mass times or during the term. Education in Faith is a significant part of our mission.

West Brunswick Parish was established by Archbishop Thomas Joseph Carr in 1913, appointing Father C. Sheahan as the first Parish Priest. The first Baptism recorded in the Baptism Register is that of 23rd March 1913. At that time Sunday Mass was celebrated in part of what is now the school hall.

The present Church is the second building to stand on the site. Archbishop Daniel Mannix laid the foundation stone of the first Church on the 9th of November 1918 in his second year as Archbishop of Melbourne. This first Church served the Catholic community of West Brunswick for many years but with the increase in parishioners it became sadly too small. When Father John McDonnell was appointed Parish Priest in 1947 Archbishop Mannix broadly suggested that Father McDonnell might consider building a new Church as part of his Parish Priestly brief.

Work was begun on a new Church in 1949. The St Joseph’s Parish Gazette—a parish paper—in March of that year, comments that ‘the spectacle of the building which is slowly taking shape behind the present structure will be a very pleasant sight’. The new and present Church was built in two sections, the first part being built behind and over the top of the former one, providing the present sanctuary, sacristies, transepts and part of the nave. The work went on slowly but surely. The main source of revenue for it was the old Block Collection, the forerunner of the weekly envelope collection.

Father McDonnell who came from County Kerry, Ireland was the driving force behind the project and was strongly supported by the parishioners of the day. He was ordained at All Hallows College in Dublin in 1922 and came to Australia to serve the Melbourne Archdiocese. Before his appointment to West Brunswick he had been Parish Priest of Korumburra. The same March 1949 edition of the Parish Gazette shows us something of Fr McDonnell’s determination as the building began. ‘At the present time Fr McDonnell’s main worry is the new church. His recreation is the new church and his hobby is the new church. We wish him well in these activities’.

When the first section of the new Church was complete and in use, the smaller first Church was demolished so that part two of the present Church could be built, roughly from the middle of the nave to the main entrance.

After ten years since the beginning of the project, the completed Church was solemnly blessed by Bishop Arthur Francis Fox on Palm Sunday, the 22nd of March 1959 much to the joy of Father McDonnell and all parishioners. Father McDonnell continued on as Parish Priest until December 1970 and died a month later on the 26th of January 1971. St Joseph’s Church stands as a sign of his dedication to the people of West Brunswick and both present and future generations give and will give tribute and thanks to his foresight and vision.

Over the years internal additions and alterations have taken place to the original Church design and interior. But the building continues to be the place where the people of God gather in this part of the universal Church for worship, prayer and nourishment by word and sacrament. After celebrating its Golden Jubilee in 2009 may we pray that it will continue to be what it has been, a sign of God’s presence among his people.


Prep enrolments are taken from the beginning of the previous school year. Parents fill in an application form, which can be collected from the school office. If you are unable to drop in, call the school office to have one sent out. Interviews with each family are held in Term 2. Parents are notified as soon as possible after the interviews.

Please take the opportunity to attend our Open Day held in March or a Principal Tour (dates advertised in the local newspaper and on the website) to learn more about our approach, look around the school and talk to current students.

Below is a map of our parish boundaries. You can find our Enrolment Policy in About Us.

Uniform Shop

Dear Parents


As we have advised during the first term of school via our newsletters, the school has outsourced our uniform requirements through AGS Pty Ltd.

This business is located at 133 Bakers Road, Coburg North. Purchases of uniform items can be made at the store on Monday 9.00-4.00, Tuesday 9.00-4.00pm, Wednesday 9.00-4.00, Thursday – CLOSED & Friday 9.00am-1.00pm.

Uniform items can be ordered through the school via the order form provided by AGS.

The form must be at the school office prior to dismissal on Tuesday of each week with payment (either credit card or cheque – please note there is not to be any cash payments) for delivery of the order by Thursday back to the school. The parcel will be sent home via the child nominated on your order form.

Alternatively, you are able to send your order by fax or phone call to AGS yourself with arrangements for payment via credit card. Again, these orders must be to AGS by the end of Tuesday for delivery to the school on Thursday. You are able to arrange delivery to your home address for an additional cost.

The order form is available at the school office, the parent information table and from the school website within the “uniform” tab.

If you have any further queries about the uniform purchases or ordering system, please call by the school office for assistance.


Denise Dalla Zuanna
Education Support


Good Eats and Healthy Treats

Our canteen manager, Lisa (below centre), provides an extremely healthy selection of snacks and lunches for our students to enjoy at very affordable prices. Pick up a current price list at the notice board. Lisa also offers special food days like sushi, pizza and souvlaki! Special order forms go home on these occasions so nobody misses out.

Our canteen relies on parent volunteers so please let Lisa know if you can help. As you can see from the smiles below, it’s lots of fun being a helper in our community!


Canteen Menu Term 3


OSHC – Out of School Hours Care

St Joseph’s has an OSHC program which is run by OSHClub. This service operates before school from (7.30am – 8.30am) and after school (3.30pm – 6.30pm).

For more information go to the following website:



Bright and Colourful Learning Spaces

All classrooms at St Joseph’s have recently been refurbished. Our students enjoy the bright and stimulating learning environment. Staff and students work together to create visual displays that are used as teaching tools. New technology such as Interactive White Boards make learning engaging and exciting!

Prep Writing session

New Resource Centre

The Building Education Revolution has provided us with a new contemporary learning space, including a library and computer centre on the ground floor, and an open plan learning space on the first floor.

The library is well resourced with a wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts.

The library.

Year 3/4 contemporary learning space

Exciting New Playground Areas

Our students are enjoying our new contemporary play areas. These include a new futsal field (pictured below), basketball and netball courts, as well as a prep to year 2 adventure playground and years 3-6 adventure playground (scroll down for more photos).

Preps racing in the flagpole area in the James Street yard

Years 3-6 Adventure Playground

Futsal field

Sustainability Website

Click on the link to view our Sustainability Website, created and managed by St Joseph’s Students.