St Vincent’s Primary School has seen enormous growth since its establishment in Surfers Paradise in 1948. From its humble beginnings as a single storey building with an enrolment of 30 students it is now the second largest Catholic School in the Archdiocese of Brisbane. Many dedicated and passionate people have contributed to the development of our vibrant and flourishing community.
In 1946, Fr Neal Shannon was appointed the first Parish Priest of the newly formed Surfers Paradise Parish. The small wooden church, opened in 1948, where the Watermark Hotel now stands. It held 60 parishioners and provided classrooms for a much needed parish school. (Today,
Sacred Heart Church seats approximately 1000 parishioners.) The Sisters of Mercy were appointed to administer and service the educational and spiritual needs of the children of the parish and Sr. Mary Flora was appointed as the first Principal. The church continued to be used as a school and as enrolments increased to 150, a second storey was built in 1954. An extensive building program was initiated shortly after to satisfy an ever growing school population. A new parish church was built in 1963.
In 1970, another six classrooms were built, followed by two more at a later stage. During this period six Mercy Sisters were appointed as Principals, with Sister St Anthony being the last. The first lay Principal, Mr Brian Dunlea was appointed in 1975.
In 1986 Sacred Heart Parish Church and St Vincent’s Primary School were established in Clear Island Waters after Dr Owen Oxenham, the parish priest, initiated the move from Surfers Paradise. A beautiful new school, located in very pleasant surroundings beside a lake, was opened in June with 200 students, and 20 staff. Mr Jim O’Brien was Principal. The involvement of the Mercy Sisters concluded in 1992 with the departure of Sr. Agnes Kearney. However, St Vincent's School proudly continues to honour its founders, the Mercy Sisters and our patron St Vincent de Paul.
The school’s growth continued under the leadership of Principals, Mr Paul Allen, Mr Greg Myers, Mrs Kerry Rowlands and Mr David Sewell and today has over 790 students. Our welcoming Catholic community works together to ensure the joy of shared stories and vibrant memories for all.