Fr Luke Reed and Mr Bernard Holland on the site of St Mary MacKillop Catholic School
School History - Our Story
In January 1988, five hectares of gladioli-strewn vacant land and a rented house were purchased by the Archdiocese of Brisbane from Ray and Lina Bandiera. This land was situated on the corner of Birdwood Rd. and Haig St., Birkdale. On the 1st October, 1991, the Council of Priests voted in favour of a new Parish at Birkdale to commence at the beginning of 1992. This parish was to be formed from the existing parish of St. Anthony’s, Alexandra Hills. On 8th March, 1992, it was formally launched with a mass at St. Anthony’s, which was celebrated by Fr. Paul Rooney, (St. Anthony’s) Fr. Charles Tomasi, (retired) and Fr. Joe McGeehan (Birkdale), the first Parish Priest. Prior to this, Mass had been celebrated in the area monthly by Fr. Tomasi at the Wellington Point State High School. The land on which the church and school is built had been purchased by the Archdiocese in 1988 in anticipation that a new parish would be formed given the population growth in the Redlands region. Originally the Redlands had just one Catholic Parish. Star of the Sea at Cleveland, was established in 1877. In 1979, while Fr Frank McKinlay was Parish Priest of Cleveland, it was divided into two parishes with Fr Paul Rooney appointed of the new parish of St Anthony’s at Alexandra Hills. In 1987 St Luke’s at Capalaba was excised from Alexandra Hills. Five years later Birkdale was also excised from the remaining portion of Alexandra Hills. About the time Capalaba was excised, St Rita’s Victoria Point was excised from the parish of Cleveland. After the establishment of the Parish of Mary MacKillop, on its present site in 1992, the local church community was faced with the question of whether or not they wanted to plan for the establishment of a Catholic Primary School. Overwhelming support for the idea was given by the parish community, which at that time was made up mostly of families who had already experienced a Catholic Education for their children. They too wanted young families to have the same opportunity. Therefore after much planning, Government grants were secured and permission given for our primary school to commence. St Mary MacKillop Primary School opened in 1997 with an enrolment of 50 pre-schoolers and 91 primary students (Year 1 to 3). On Sunday, April 20, 1997 the Parish School was blessed and opened by Archbishop Bathersby. Bernard Holland was appointed the first Principal. Since these humble beginnings the Parish and school community has been supported by Priests: Fr Luke Reed, Fr Ian Wren, Fr Anthony Mellor and Currently Fr Frank Jones. School Principals have been Mr Bernard Holland, Mr Michael Kearney, Mr John Carroll and currently Mr John Spillane. Ove this time the school has blossomed into a co-educational, three streamed school, with an enrolment of approximately 580 students and a staff of over 65 teachers and support staff.