In the early 1960s, the Dominican Sisters were invited to Canberra to start a Teacher Training College and Primary School. Rosary Primary School was started in 1963. Sisters Maura Campbell (Majella) OP and Margaret Cain (Cyril) OP were the first teachers at Rosary, with Sr June Peck (Joseph Mary) OP as the Foundation Principal. The original name of Rosary Primary School was Blackfriars but this was changed within the first few years. During the first year, construction of the buildings continued with Grade Five of St Brigid’s Dickson being accommodated in one of the newly completed rooms.
From the outset, Rosary School was a demonstration school for Signadou Teachers’ College which prepared teachers for the many dioceses throughout Australia. The demonstration lessons kept the staff at the cutting edge of education theory and practice. Enrolments came immediately and in great numbers such that the completion of the building was eagerly awaited. Sr Louise Wellbourne OP was appointed at the beginning of 1965. She states: ‘For several months in 1965 the enrolment almost doubled each Monday morning as new families arrived as tenants of the government housing in the new suburbs. The school had been planned for approximately 450 but someone miscalculated and by 1969, the enrolment was almost 700.’
The last Dominican Principal appointed to Rosary was Sister Mary Rafferty who left at the end of 1984. Mrs Meg Clark was appointed the first lay Principal.
The whole community is greatly indebted to the Dominican Sisters who worked so tirelessly to establish and nurture the growth of Catholic Education at Rosary. We are proud of our rich history and strive to keep the Dominican spirit alive in our school. We work closely with the Dominican priests who run our Parish and feel privileged to be part of such a spiritually rich community.
Today, Rosary caters for 293 students and is very well resourced. The school community takes pride in the buildings and school grounds which are well-maintained. Major refurbishments were completed in 2010.