In 1950 the two Parishes of Ngaio and Khandallah combined and were renamed Onslow Parish as the majority of area was in the Onslow Borough. Father Tim O’Brien was appointed Parish Priest and was given the job of developing a Junior School in the area.
The current site in Nicholson Road was purchased in 1952 and on Sunday 7th September of the same year, the new school was officially opened by His Grace Archbishop P McKeefry. The school cost 12,000 pounds and the first classes began on Wednesday 10th September with 152 pupils.
The school catered for infants to Standard 6 level children until 1966 when, due to a lack of classrooms, the junior school was closed. In 1972, the junior classes returned and Standard 5 and 6 classes were diverted to other schools. The boys were sent to Wilton Marist and girls were sent to Sacred Heart in Guilford Terrace.
The Brigidine Sisters provided all the early Principals and teachers. Mother Killian was the first Principal and was assisted by Sister Ita and Sister Rose. She saw the school through its first term and was followed by Sister Colman (1953-54), Mother Baptiste (1955 to 71), Sister Margaret (1973) and Sister Adrian in 1976. The first lay principal was Mr Tony O’Riordan (1974-75), followed by Mr Peter Corrigan in 1977.
The students soon out grew the accommodation and in February 1980, Cardinal Tom Williams, then Archbishop officially opened four new classrooms, staffroom and library.
In 1981, St Benedict’s became integrated with the state school education system.
In 1994 the new library was built and with continued roll growth, our facilities were further developed with the addition of a new classroom, music resource room, reading recovery room and library office.
February 2002 saw the completion of a new Administration block, staffroom and classroom changes, with extensive improvements to the school grounds also completed in 2002.
St Benedict’s has a rich history which is intertwined with the parish, community families, teaching staff and pupils to provide a nurturing environment based on gospel values as the original founders would have wished. St Benedict’s celebrated its 50th Jubilee in 2002.
Continuing along the path of milestones and achievements, our current successes include:
- Tui Block built and officially opened in 2015 (there are now 13 classrooms in total)
- A HoK-funded Junior Playground (2017)
- Seismic strengthening of the school (2018)
- Working bees held, external art work added and vegetable gardens created (2018)
- The school purchased life size Values’ pencils to signal what our school stands for and typifies when walking on to the school’s grounds each day (2018)
- A back-bank Nature Walk and Skink Garden opened (2018)
- A backdrop and stage area in front of the amphitheatre to encourage public speaking, dance, drama and acting (2018)
- Re-carpeting of the top floor classrooms and library (2018)
- Lino laid in the top floor classrooms, hallway, stairwell and foyer. (2018)
At the end of 2018 the student roll reached an all-time high of 295 students.
In 2019, A joint partnership between HOK and the Board of Trustees funded the turfing of the top field which has added significant value.
In Term 4 of 2019, the school’s admin areas will be re-roofed and the offices, front foyer and middle and top floor toilet areas will be restructured for ease of access and modernisation. This project is due for completion by the first day of Term 1, 2020.