St Joseph’s is a safe place for students. They feel safe and secure within the framework of established boundaries and routines. These boundaries and routines create a peaceful and just atmosphere for the students to be in. The students are helped to develop an awareness of their rights and responsibilities and the consequences of their actions on themselves and others.
St Joseph’s is a faith community. A sense of wonder of God, of the world and of each other is fostered. All students are supported to grow in understanding of their own faith journey as an integral part of their lives.
"Faith and Justice"
Who We Are
St Joseph’s school is a community comprising of 25 students, under the care of a close, effective, professional team of teachers, aides and administrative officer.
We currently have two classrooms. A junior room with 11 students from Prep to Grade 2 and a senior room with 14 students from Grade 3 to Grade 6.
The Kolor people had lived in the shadow of Mt Rouse (which they also called ‘Kolor’) for countless thousands of years before Major Mitchell travelled through and named ‘Australia Felix’ in 1836
So, having been the Kolor district for millennia and a part of Australia Felix until it became ‘Mt Rouse’, our part of the Western District of Victoria was already known as Penshurst when the first St Joseph’s School was opened here in 1874.
Throughout most of the next century and a quarter, the teachers at St Joseph’s have been members of the Catholic laity, although that norm was interrupted from 1944 to 1976 when Sisters of Mercy of the Ballarat congregation assumed responsibility for the school’s activities. The school was rebuilt during this time and reopened officially 18th November, 1956.
In sending their children to our school, the parents recognise that they are placing them in a Christian environment where faith is celebrated.
Although it has so far proven impossible to find records of the very early days at St Joseph’s; in our imagination, we would dream that in those days as in these, the children were the most significant members of the school community and that they and their school were significant to the community at large as this story suggests:
It was Jack’s 87th birthday. All ‘his kids’ – every one of the 40 pupils of St Joseph’s – had crowded around him for the birthday party they had organised for him.
They had sung Happy Birthday and all that was left was for Jack to blow out the candles. But before he did so, as he looked at all the expectant faces around him and with a tear rolling down his face, he said, ‘You’re my life, Kids; you’re the reason I get up each morning.’